Eastern German women considered ‘less ditzy’

Eastern German women considered 'less ditzy'
Alice Schwarzer accepting the Bundesverdienstkreuz in 2005. Photo: DPA
Prominent German feminist Alice Schwarzer on Monday said women from the formerly communist eastern part of the country were less “ditzy” than those with western German roots.

Considered the Gloria Steinem of Germany, Schwarzer told the latest edition of weekly magazine SuperIllu that eastern women were better able to withstand modern German society’s obsession with youth and beauty.

But women from what was once West Germany were “told 40 years long that they only had to swallow the happy pill and then they’d be fine. Or that they only had to buy a tight dress to get every man slobbering to chase them,” she said.

Schwarzer claimed women were made “relatively less ditzy” in East Germany since a widespread “consume-and-be-happy ideology” only came to that part of the country 20 years ago after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

However, the feminist icon said she could still feel eastern German women’s opposition to the more superficial pressures of society. Discussions in cities such as Erfurt or Leipzig were generally more serious than those in western Germany, she said.

The women’s movement in the former communist east had also therefore helped “improve the situation of women in all of Germany,” Schwarzer told the magazine.

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