By Laurie Marhoefer
Liberated, licentious, or only liberal, the sexual freedoms of Germany’s Weimar Republic became mythical. the house of the world’s first homosexual rights circulate, the republic embodied a innovative, secular imaginative and prescient of sexual liberation. Immortalized – notwithstanding misleadingly – in Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories and the musical Cabaret, Weimar’s freedoms became a touchstone for the politics of sexual emancipation.
Yet, as Laurie Marhoefer exhibits in Sex and Weimar Republic, these sexual freedoms have been simply acquired on the cost of a minority who have been deemed sexually disordered. In Weimar Germany, the citizen’s correct to sexual freedom got here with an obligation to maintain sexuality deepest, non-commercial, and respectable.
Sex and the Weimar Republic examines the increase of sexual tolerance during the debates which surrounded “immoral” sexuality: obscenity, male homosexuality, lesbianism, transgender identification, heterosexual promiscuity, and prostitution. It follows the sexual politics of a swath of Weimar society starting from sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld to Nazi stormtrooper Ernst Röhm. Tracing the connections among toleration and law, Marhoefer’s observations stay suitable to the politics of sexuality today.
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