Vienna and Feminism

Before I started Erasmus, I chose some lectures and seminars which I want to visit during my semester in Vienna. Amongst other things, I decided to attend a lecture that is called “gender and deconstruction in literature” and the seminar “trans*: gender in literature”. When I look back at this choice, then I realize that this selection is typical for the city: Gender and especially feminism are big themes in Vienna. I live together with three art students and one of the first things I learned from them about the Viennese art scene is that there is a group called “Burschenschaft Hysteria”.

It is a normal Burschenschaft (with strict clothing rules and things like that) with the only difference that all members are women. Only women! One of their demands is, for example, that men should have fewer rights. Of course, there is a lot of discussion about this group (probably also because of the popular Austrian writer Stefanie Sargnagel who is a part of the group) but this should not be the topic of this text. Another moment when I realized that feminism and gender are important themes was when I saw a lot of feminism posters in front of the university. And one of the most important things is a little black book with the title “Feminismus und Gender”. This book contains all lectures, readings, seminars etc. at university or without the context of university (for example events at the Wiener Festwochen) which take place in the next months. And you can believe me: there were a lot of events! Of course, my gender-lecture and my trans*-seminar were also listed. I am really surprised that feminism is such a big theme here and I think, it is more currently more present than in Switzerland. For me, it is a good opportunity to think about feminism. So, I will try to use the little black book as much as possible. Thank you, Vienna!

Eva Lichtsteiner

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