By Patricia Melzer
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Additional resources for Death in the shape of a young girl : women's political violence in the Red Army Faction
Feminist Practices versus Feminist Subjects: The Subversive Power of Gendered Violence Any attempts to understand the ways in which the debate on the RAF was gendered, and in particular the implications its violent political actions have for feminist politics, necessitate a philosophical excursion into the question of what actually constitutes violence. If we understand the concept to include injuries other than physical ones, and injuries to be inflicted by both direct and indirect agents, the damage violence does goes further than blows directly aimed at bodies and objects.
To dismiss the connection between left-radical women and feminist activists/politics because their ties were not formally organized means to discount gender as an organizing force beyond consciously politicizing it. Instead, my analysis of memoirs and unpublished letters shows that armed women at times engaged intensely with feminist issues and politics and suggests that there existed a mutual influence between the different political groups of women that demands a reconsideration of what constitutes feminist politics.
It would be difficult to imagine a more spirited, intellectually challenging, and personally rewarding group of research fellows, whose input into my work has been invaluable. Special thanks go out to Carol Dougherty and Jane Jackson. I am particularly grateful to Genie Brinkema, whose brilliance and generosity directly impacted the theoretical underpinnings of this book. I also want to thank the best post-doc writing group one can ask for, Yasmine Ramadan, Alex Orquiza, Elizabeth Falconi, and Nikki Greene.