The (Leng 131). German girls of higher social class

The first wave of the women’s movement was centered around topics such as sexual equality, education, and abortion rights.  Maintaining abstinence until marriage was mandatory for women, and if they broke this they were considered prostitutes.  Henriette Fürth was a famous feminist at the time and she asserted “empowering women to act upon their sex drive and needs would help create conditions of sexual equality” (Leng 131).  German girls of higher social class were only educated until their teens, and girls of low social class received little to no education.  Feminists fought for all women to be educated and for women to be able to be educated as long as men.  Abortion was illegal during the beginning of the century, and women fought to have abortion legalized.  However, it was not legalized until almost thirty years later, and abortion was only legal when birth would be fatal for the mother.  Feminist unions and activist groups began forming for women, but they were later dismantled by the Nazi government.  By the end of the first wave, Adolf Hitler came to power and he created a negative connotation with feminism.  The Second Wave: 1960s to 1970sAfter World War II, men were still hired over women because they were not educated, and women called for a change in society.  The second wave of the women’s movement was focused on the wrongfulness of the government, mother’s rights, inequality of power, and breaking the stereotypical belief of what a woman should do with her life.  The feminist movement arose in both the East and West despite the wall that separated them; however, the Western women could not communicate with the Eastern women.  East Germany did not allow any communication with the West, especially about feminism, because they believed that West feminist groups despised men and this influence would be detrimental to Eastern women (Rosenberg 145).  East Germany was ruled by a communist government, whose biggest motto is that everyone is equal, but women still saw inequality between genders.  As a result, feminist and progressive groups started forming.  Many West Germans feared that “there is a flight from housework and…the indiscipline of women and children would one day lead to social unrest or even explosions” (Altbach 454).  A student feminist movement also appeared in the West and they advocated for women to have equal opportunities in universities and the workforce.  In the seventies, women’s advocating started to payoff because they began seeing changes in the law and society.  Women fought for more abortion rights because the current laws were so limiting that most women could not have an abortion.  The East and West heard the outcry of the women’s movement and legalized abortion up to twelve weeks of pregnancy.  In 1972, the first women’s shelters were opened and feminist companies emerged (Altbach 455-456).  Literature for women during the seventies was centered around their health and wellbeing, as in Brot und Rosen.  By the end seventies to early eighties, a political party, known as the Green Party, advocated women’s rights and they gained the support and leadership of many feminists.  The Third Wave: 1990s to Present The third wave of feminism is described as “a movement that contains elements of second wave critique of beauty culture, sexual abuse, and power structures while it also acknowledges and makes use of the pleasure, danger, and defining power of those structures” (Baer).  In the 1990s, females could declare their female identity, but women became more androgynous and they did not have to be feminine.  It was encouraged for women to recognize feminism because it is empowering (Baer).  Today, feminism is mainly advocated through social media, marches, and protests.  In 2012, the term “#aufschrei” became popular on Twitter, and it brought to light sexual harassment and raised awareness.  Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it mandatory that women hold a portion of the seats in government.  Now, women have more opportunities in the workforce. How Feminism has Impacted Children’s Literature The women’s movement has greatly impacted children’s literature.  Stories have transitioned away from teaching a woman how to become a good housewife, as seen in Töchteralbum, to women who are independent and strong, like Die Dumme Augustine.  Children’s stories now have female narrators and lead roles, and this makes stories relatable to young girls and gives them role models to look up to.   Books discuss women being in the workforce and having the same jobs that men have.  Feminism has affected children’s literature by advocating for equal opportunity, as in Die Dumme Augustine when she is denied the career she wants but she shows in the end that she can do it.  Children’s stories now discuss modern issues that women face, such as Bitterschokolade where a young woman struggles with an eating disorder.  Feminism has impacted children’s literature because stories now advocate for women’s rights, discuss problems that women face, and encourage women to be strong.  Die Dumme Augustine Die Dumme Augustine was written by Otfried Preußler in 1972.  This story is about a family of circus clowns, and the wife, Augustine, dreams of breaking free from the stereotypical housewife role and performing as a clown, like her husband.  However, her husband doubts her abilities as a woman and when he falls ill, she takes his place as a clown and is a success!  This book was published during the women’s movement in Germany and its major theme is feminism.  This story criticizes sexism and tolerance.  Women wanted equal rights and opportunities in their personal life and career, to be able to choose a fulfilling job.   The women’s movement is seen through Die Dumme Augustine through stereotypical gender roles, Augustine’s longing, and her performance in the workforce.  In the beginning of the book, Augustine plays a stereotypical stay-at-home-mom, she looks after the house and watches her three children all day.  The illustrations of Augustine when she is washing, ironing, and sewing, show that she is very unhappy with her life and job (Preußler 5).  See Figure 1.  This coincides with the feminist movement because women were tired of working as a caretaker, and they wanted to be able to choose their career.  Augustine asks her husband if she can work with him as a clown in the circus, but he snarks “You’d better stay with Guggo, Gugga, and Guggilein” (Preußler 7).  This scene also portrays that men expected women to stay in the house and look after children.  Augustine longs to work as a clown, and Preußler shows that her heart is fulfilled when she thinks about it, with her body language (6).  See Figure 2.  Women also longed for careers that men held, and they expressed this through advocating for women’s rights.  After Augustine’s husband falls ill, Augustine performs for him and she was a success.  This conveys the women’s movement because after was more opportunity for women in the workforce, women proved that they can be just as, if not more successful and hardworking than men.Bitterschokolade Bitterschokolade was written by Mirjam Pressler in 1980.  This is the story of a young girl, Eva, who struggles with an eating disorder.  This book was published during the women’s movement.  Feminism is a large theme in the story, and the book criticizes sexism.  This is a feminist book because the main character is a woman and it is told from her perspective, and it discusses modern issues that women face.  The women’s movement is seen in Bitterschokolade through stereotypical gender roles, her father, her mother, classmates, Michael, and the pressures of society.  Eva tolerated her father because he was very particular about the cleanliness of the house and was always looking to pick a fight.  This coincides with the women’s movement, when women were expected to keep the house clean and men were the bread winners.  Her father often, unintentionally embarrassed Eva about her weight, by claiming  “her size was ok because men like something to hold on to” (Pressler 11).  This not only brings women’s issues to light, but her father also implies that her goal is to please a man.  Eva has a hot-and-cold relationship with her mother because she tries to make Eva eat food, while she is trying to diet.  Eva does not respect her mother because she changes her attitude around her husband.  This happened during the feminist movement, Eva is more progressive, like feminists, and her mother represents old values.  Eva feels inferior around her classmates because they are all thin, but she is sometimes friendly to Fransiska.  She has trust issues with her classmates because she used to be close friends with them.  The women’s movement is seen through this because it brings issues that women have to light and it shows the pressures they face.  Michael is Eva’s boyfriend.  She likes him, but does not want to be stabbed in the back by him, as symbolically depicted in her dreams.  I think that she just enjoys the attention because he called her a “stupid cow,” and she immediately forgave him (Pressler 28).  Eva has a binge eating disorder that is caused by society’s pressure to be thin, this is portrayed by her skinny classmates, and her mother over-feeding her.  Her mother used to give her chocolate when she was dealing with the death of a friend, and this taught her to comfort-eat.  This goes along with the women’s movement because society pressures women to look and act a certain way, and the feminist movement is about bringing those pressures to the surface.  This story could be comforting for readers who also suffer from eating disorders, but it could also trigger those who are struggling.My Final Thoughts I know that women have fought for centuries for equality and more opportunities.  I was shocked to hear about all of the rights that women did not have in the 20th century.  Those are privileges we have today, such as rights to abortion, women’s unions, women’s shelters, education, and the freedom to choose any career.  Learning this reminds me to be thankful of the rights that I have because so many women fought for them.  I couldn’t imagine not being able to be educated, or being denied a career because I am a woman.  I think that it is good that the women’s movement impacted children’s literature because it is history, some things women still face today, it teaches girls to be strong, and it gives them confidence.  Though we have come a far way since the early 1900s, we still have work to do.  Women are still sexually and physically abused and are expected to keep quiet because they are female.  Women still do not get paid as much wages as men.  However, if you just take a look at the history, you will realize that it is just a matter of time because women have been overcoming obstacles since the beginning of time.