• Tue, Nov 9 2010

German Feminist Alice Schwarzer Says Heterosexual Intercourse Subjugates Women

German feminist Alice Schwarzer sparked controversy by claiming that heterosexual intercourse necessarily involves the subjugation of women.

In a public feud, Germany’s leading feminist campaigner recently called its minister of families and women “incompetent” and “hopeless” — not what we think of as an empowering way to treat other women, but hey, it’s Germany, what do we know? When we read up on why they’re fighting, though, we started to feel a little more strongly: Their disagreement stems from comments by Alice Schwarzer, Germany’s foremost feminist campaigner, claiming that “heterosexual sex was hardly possible without the subjugation of women.”

Kristina Schröder, the minister of families, pensioners, and women, stated that she couldn’t agree with Schwartzer’s philosophy that women should reject heterosexual relationships, stating in an interview that “It’s absurd to define something that is vital to the survival of humanity as subjugation.” (She also went on to state that young boys’ underperformance in school is to blame on an overabundance of female teachers and care-takers, and rejected the idea of hiring quotas to increase women’s career opportunities.)

Neither side of this argument seems rock solid, but we can’t say that we’re on board with the idea that heterosexual sex is necessarily subjugating to women. Women are at much higher risk of sexual assault and rape, and we’d bet that they’re more often on the losing end of dysfunctional sexual relationships than men, but is it possible for women to have safe, healthy sex with men? We sure hope so.

Who’s side are you on: Is Alice Schwarzer onto something with her theories about women and sex, or is Kristina Schröder right to critique her views? Tell us in the comments section, below.

via The Guardian

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  • Tom

    Hmm, well if her issue is with the act of penetration itself, I’d say she’s embarrassingly ignorant of the kinds of sex that many heterosexual people do get into. Any heterosexual man willing to ‘flip’ for his woman can be penetrated quite well with many popular devices on sale in the thriving adult sex toy industry.
    Women can ‘dominate’ her man in sex play in lots of other ways, too, besides penetration; men even go and pay for it.

    But, ‘kink’ aside, really, does Schwartzer think that garden-variety ‘vanilla’ consensual, loving sex between a man and a woman is subjugation? And does she not know that many women really, actually *like* having sex with their men? Wow. Jeez, climb on top sometime, Alice, it’s O.K. and your man will love it — or, just use more lube, or something.

  • Doug Lefelhocz

    We don’t know the difference in frequency of rape for men and women in civil society. Do you know of any large scale studies of rape which include in the definition of rape penetration of any orifice *as well as* penile envelopment?

    • Now and then

      There is no civil ‘society’, it’s lies, lies and more lies.

  • Now and then

    Alice Schwarzer
    A thief, cheat and a liar.