SEXUALITY AND FASCISM (Miscellaneous Big Flame Documents no 12)
Posted by archivearchie on March 31, 2011
This post is the twelveth in an occasional series. This site already contains a large number of documents produced by Big Flame or its members. Most can be found in the 30 posts in Episodes in Big Flame History. Each post contains links to documents which relate to its theme. Links to the same documents are also listed on the website’s Publications page, this time sorted by type – pamphlets, journals, newspaper, internal documents.
This series aims to add to these documents by making available others I find interesting which didn’t fit with any of the post themes, were overlooked when the posts were written, or a copy was not available to me at the time of the post.
On this site, or elsewhere on the internet, are all the significant pamphlets written by Big Flame members (tell me if you think I have missed something). Up to now there one short pamphlet which has been overlooked.
Sexuality and Fascism, first published in 1979, contains the write ups of three talks given at a Big Flame Dayschool in December 1978. One focuses on the 1930s, another on the 1970s and the third shifts between the two. Two of them examine Fascism and Women, the third Fascism and Men. A wider ranging discussion of Fascism can be found in a pamphlet which came after this one: See the post in the BF History series on Racism and Fascism.
“Women and Nazi Germany” discusses how the Nazi Party’s perspectives were based on the aims of increasing the birth rate and promoting the “ideal peasant wife”. Marriage and the family were supported and abortion and birth control attacked. It reveals some contradictions in the position. A shift in the position on unmarried mothers took place as the priority of the birth rate won out over traditional morality. There was no parallel shift in relation to women’s employment, despite the economic requirements of rearmament and the need to win the war.
“Women and the NF” found similar statement in contemporary National Front literature – the emphasis women as wives and mothers and the need to build the white race, the opposition to abortion and contraception. It raises a couple of interesting issues without really exploring them. How was the NF able to explain how its position on motherhood apparently didn’t apply to black women? What was the appeal of the NF to the quarter of its membership who were women?
“Men and Fascism” discusses the relationship between the Nazis and masculinist currents in inter-war Germany (which promoted male comradeship and were extremely anti-women). It also argues that the NF’s appeal had something to do with the politics of everyday life and a desire to recover masculine self respect. Men’s power and privilege had been increasingly lost, both at work and in the home. The NF promised to return women to their traditional place and its street fighting offered an opportunity to prove manliness.