Bisexual women with bob hair: a scene from the TV series “Babylon Berlin”.
Dr. read it. elephant. Daniel Arnett
Male, Female, Diverse – Gender debate has recently spread to many regions around the world: in the United States, the toilet row over door signs with the words “All Gender” is escalating, and in German-speaking countries there is a heated debate about gender asterisks in texts printed, and in Argentina if the president decides in mid-July 2021 that the X will serve as an entry for the third gender in identity documents.
“Boy or girl?” It is the title of a postcard for a German poem from about 1930, followed more poorly by correct rhyming verses: “One thing ain’t spinning in the head, no: / That you, as a creative masterpiece, / Messing with the master working in / With your bobbing.” Directly aimed at women who cut their hair in their golden twenties. For the Nazis rushing to power, they had the following slogan: “The braid is ary – pop is jewish.”
“Pop – the male gaze, the sense of the female self” is the name of the book by German librarian and author Helga Ludtke (79), where the previous poem can be found. In it, she shows how women’s head hair sparked the first gender controversy a hundred years ago: “It was not the bob hairstyle itself that disturbed minds so much, but the associated image of androgynous women with a slim, straight silhouette and clothing with masculine connotations.”
Coup à la Garçonne (English: bob) appeared in Paris in the 1920s. According to Woodtek, who created it cannot be determined without a doubt, “A lot of events can be used here, a lot of ‘inventors’ flaunt their work.” However, there is no doubt about the intention of the women who wore it: “Many urban women considered the corrugated cape in the interwar period to be an obvious and well-worn symbol of modernity and liberation,” writes Lodtke.
Berlin is the melting pot in which this development was particularly evident at that time. “Berlin has also become a promise to young women from the regions and from abroad, and it is a place they crave,” Ludtke said. They flock to relatively liberal and socially open capital, to leave behind the narrowness of traditional family and specific gender roles, to try new things, and to seek employment.
Women in Menswear and Pants: Nobody embodies this better than German-American actress Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992), who seduces Professor Rath as the slutty Lola in The Blue Angel (1930). “This shows a revealing contradiction” writes Lodtek: On the one hand, there is a largely negative public attitude towards androgynous women, and on the other, the secret veneration in which the erotic component plays.
Helga Ludtke, “Pop – the male gaze, the female sense of self”, Stein
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