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Gender[ed] Thoughts No. 1/2019 – "‘Female Phallicism‘ in German Hip Hop" by Mirja Riggert

The Berlin Hip Hop duo SXTN is famous for its provocative lyrics borrowed from the male-dominated rhetoric of battle and gangsta rap. The present article analyses the music video FTZN IM CLB of 2016 regarding its emancipatory potential, which the media frequently attributes to the female rappers. A configurative analysis of visual, textual and tonal elements applies assumptions of gender theory to the video. Thus, it becomes obvious that performing an aggressive sisterhood in FTZN IM CLB results in deconstructing phallogocentric images of femininity because feminine topoi are intertwined with male connoted behavior. At the same time, the mimetic adaptation of a male habit reinforces the female position as a derivative of the male. This is conceptualized in the idea of “female phallicism” by Angela McRobbie (2009), which considers the “phallic girl” a re-stabilization of gender hierarchy. In the self-assertive rhetoric of SXTN it becomes evident how this concept manifests itself under the guise of female empowerment.

With a comment by Eva-Maria van Straaten

Gender[ed] Thoughts No. 4/2018 - Special Issue "Gender and Violence in Contexts of Migration and Displacement" by Susanne Hofmann and Hatice Pinar Senoguz

This special issue originates from the Summer Symposium Reconsidering gender-based violence in the context of displacement and migration held at the Georg-August University of Göttingen on 6-7th July 2017.

The following working papers explore different forms of gender violence, avoiding the pitfalls of a mainstream feminism that reproduces stereotypes of victimhood and marginalisation. Instead, the authors emphasise the role of power in relation to various kinds of gender violence, paying attention to the intricate inequalities that structure victims’ lives. The authors contribute to intersectional and actor-focused understandings of gender violence in conditions of mobility within or across borders of nation states.


Introduction to the Special Issue: Gender and Violence in Contexts of Migration and Displacement by Dr. Susanne Hofmann & Dr. Hatice Pinar Senoguz

National Belonging and Violent Norms of Gendered Migrant Citizenship: Indonesian Migrant Domestic Workers’ Appropriation of a National Ritual by Samia Dinkelaker

Song of My Mother: Remembering and Representing the Forced Displacement and Resettlement of Kurdish Women by Tebessüm Yilmaz

Biopolitics and Displaced Bodies: Challenging Message and Representation in Refugee Art by Güler Ince


Gender[ed] Thoughts No. 3 - "Go hard or go home!" A qualitative examination of the meaning of diverse body shapes for the recognition of young men in the context of fitness" by Peter Kiep


The current trend in body shaping has undergone continuous changes in recent years just as the commercial gym has as a recognized place for the articulation of modern corporality. This especially becomes apparent in the increased standards regarding socially accepted body ideals. Engaging in sport activities at the gym thus induces positive as well as negative experiences which are tied to appearance and athletic performance. From here, the study at hand considers the question – at the point of intersection of sport science and gender studies – which meaning diverse body forms have for the recognition of young men in the context of fitness. In this process, positive experiences of recognition based on appropriate self-fashioning as well as athletic performance become evident, on the one hand. On the other hand, dependencies between body-related tendencies of discrimination, body dissatisfaction and self-determined participation in body-modulating sport become apparent.


Gender[ed] Thoughts No. 2 - "About the symbolic castration of traditional masculinities in Elfriede Jelinek’s fiction" by Julia Schwanke


The Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek (*1946) is regarded as an author who criticizes patriarchal forms of hegemony with the exaggerated depiction of masculine dominance. The contribution at hand analyzes two of Jelinek’s novels from the 1980s from a gender-theory perspective: Wonderful, Wonderful Times [Die Ausgesperrten] and The Piano Teacher [Die Klavierspielerin]. It highlights that Jelinek goes beyond a common critique of patriarchy by reducing masculine dominance to absurdity – she showcases symbolically castrated masculinities as a persiflage of traditional masculinity. For the analysis, sociological gender- and class-based theoretical approaches are combined with a method of character analysis. Michael Meuser’s approach, which combines Raewyn Connell’s concept of hegemonic masculinity with Pierre Bourdieu’s habitus concept, is integrated into Jens Eder’s character analysis. With this the performance of masculinity becomes (more) visible in Jelinek’s prose and is integrated into the context of a double distinction and dominance logic. In the course of the analysis it becomes clear that the male characters, who orient themselves to the ideal of hegemonic masculinity in the construction of their own masculinity, are failing. They cannot meet the requirements which the patriarchy with its embodiment of a hegemonic masculinity imposes on them. Jelinek symbolically castrates them.


Gender[ed] Thoughts No. 1 - "Reflecting the student university initiation from an empirical perspective" by Simon Volpers und Folke Brodersen


Based on qualitative field work (participant observation, narrative interviews), this paper reconstructs practices of student university initiation for the Physics, Economics and Social Sciences programs in Göttingen. These initiation rites (‘O-Phase’) have increasingly drawn criticism both in the public as well as in discussions within the university itself. The article follows emerging movements of discourse, contrasting them with the rites’ intrinsic logic. Regarding their underlying structure of excess and their violently gendered and sexualized practices, it discusses whether this way of beginning academic programs is appropriate in the context of the university’s current transformations. The article develops an empirically grounded localization, compilation and reformulation of this criticism.