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Feminist Politics at the Local Level (1986)

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For us, feminist politics does not mean having ourselves deputized to formulate others' interests, but rather encouraging and giving women in the city their own space, including parliamentary space, to present and justify their demands. Concretely, this means, for example, that we are repeatedly requesting speaking rights in committee meetings for women's initiatives and projects, although these are routinely dismissed by the CDU majority. Frequently, the few female city councilors that there are from the CDU then justify their rejection of our proposal, for example, by pointing to our feminist group's lack of representativeness, meaning that they're actually taking care of business for the men. For us, doing feminist politics also means using every opportunity to take a public position, to take part in discussions to which we are invited as city councilors, to use our status in order to bring women into the public discussion and to learn for ourselves about how to be active publicly and how to argue in a way that people can understand.

Source: Elke Kiltz and Brigitte Sellach, "Das Projekt 'autonome Frauen im Römer:' Feministische Politik im Frankfurter Stadtparlament" ["The Project 'Autonome Frauen im Römer': Feminist Politics in the Frankfurt City Parliament"], Beiträge zur feministischen Theorie und Praxis 1986, n. 18, p. 41 ff; reprinted in Christoph Kleßmann and Georg Wagner, eds., Das gespaltene Land. Leben in Deutschland 1945-1990 [The Divided Country. Life in Germany 1945-1990]. Munich, 1993, pp. 238-41.

Translation: Jeremiah Riemer

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