Sleeping with the Political Enemy: Woman’s Place in Discourses of Race and Class Struggle in 20th Century Central Europe

Dániel Bolgár


In this paper, I shall argue that the convergence of ideologies operating through the creation of enemies like racism and Bolshevism with discourses regulating gender relations in the Central Europe of the twentieth century had the grave consequence of questioning women’s position in the political community. In short, I shall argue that in the context of racist and Bolshevik discourses, the very fact of being female was in itself a political threat to women. To demonstrate my point, I shall discuss two recent publications. First, I shall analyze the context of the convergence of racist and misogynist discourses in turn-of-the-century Vienna through discussing András Gerő’s book, Neither Woman Nor Jew. Second, I shall explore how the discourse of class struggle affected the political status of Hungarian women in the Stalinist era through discussing Eszter Zsófia Tóth’s book, Kádár’s Daughters.


class struggle, misogyny, racism, Vienna, political enemy

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