Non-fiction – society, biography, and literary and cultural history

Margarete Stokowski
Untenrum frei

© Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 2016 Margarete Stokowski: Untenrum frei © Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 2016How a girl learns almost incidentally that her body is inadequate per se and needs to be worked on and improved is described unemotionally and succinctly by the author, who made a name for herself as a columnist for the tageszeitung and Spiegel Online. Her aim is not to damn make-up, high heels or shaved armpits, of course. What does interest her is where the boundary lies between one’s own notions of beauty and internalised social pressures. “Everything is more beautiful if it is voluntary and consciously chosen for oneself, and to make such a choice, you must at least be aware of the alternatives,” writes Stokowski.
She doubts that young women are adequately aware of alternatives to the stereotypical role models and therefore, one cannot speak of any real freedom of choice. In turn, this lack of freedom is reflected in a lack of freedom across the whole of society. “We cannot be free down there if we are not free up here”, is her book’s central message. Since women are still affected much more strongly than men by this lack of freedom, her perspective is decidedly feminist.

Nadine Lange: „Aus die Maus“
© Der Tagesspiegel, 29 September 2016

Margarete Stokowski
Untenrum frei
Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 2016
ISBN 978-3-498-06439-6
256 pages


Related links