The “Woman Question”

The “woman question” is not just the question of female emancipation from biosocionomic constraints and impositions but also, and above all, a question formulated by Hedwig Dohm (1831–1919) but standing in need of further elaboration: “Why give life to creatures that, barely ripened into adulthood, will be snatched away by war?” (Hedwig Dohm: Der Missbrauch des Todes. Senile Impressionen) The question that this question of Dohm’s demands to be developed into runs: “why bring about the start of the lives of human beings who, if they do not fall victims to some natural or social catastrophe, will still have to perform those >Alloted Tasks of Existence which consist in falling sick and dying? This is all the more a “woman question” inasmuch as it continues still today to be first and foremost women to whom the task of raising children and caring for the sick devolves.

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