feminist squat & infoshop in Luzern (Belladonna #3 & 4)

Elianna Renner (‘Re-Sisters‘ vocalist) from Zürich (Switzerland) started this fanzine and  from the 3rd issue on Dani (the band’s bassist) cooperated. I’d never seen the zine until Dani contributed some scans (of no. 3 from 1996 & no. 4 from 1997). I’m republishing some stuff in relation to women’s squatting activities and a feminist infoshop (Degu-Tante) in Luzern at that time. It shows how difficult it can be (still relevant nowadays) for women to claim their own space and to go against male chauvinism…

[Translation below (with help from Pablo ‘Von Paz’)]

Belladonna #3 (96) – Frauenhausen

What we experienced during our legal search for a female housing- and working-space: far too high rents for women’s wages, there’s no negociating with women’s groups without a lobby, women’s spaces are not an issue for the public anyway.

Frauenhausen: a house-women occupation [“Hausfrauen” is a play on words – as they didn’t see themselves as typical ‘housewives’]

We [women] want to live together and work and celebrate together, without male comment. Woman wanted/wants to create space for a woman that doesn’t depend on the city, the county and/or influenced by other men’s machinations, but that works and lives autonomously from woman to woman.

In July 95, we occupied a 90-year-old house with garden and washing-room in Kriens (Luzern). Armed with brooms and washcloths, we cleaned the house first, then the owner, with whom later we had “lively discussions” for 3 months. Seriously: the owner, Kurt S., an architect from Reiden, softened at the sight of our housewife-appearances and agreed to negotiate. How exactly these negotiations developed is pointless to describe. The fact that a woman in a skirt is in need of help, and therefore not taken seriously, is too tentative. And when we then put on the co-worker’s suit to make the house habitable and ready for winter, and put our contract-proposals on the table, we were very quickly misunderstood. It quickly became clear that the owner wanted to profit from us. (Kurt S. owns other houses next to this one.) Caritas was called in as an intermediary, and we got the result of ‘being nice’ and ‘talking to each other’ by mail at the end of September, after we had questions about the contract from Caritas:

Dear women, I received a notification from S. Immobilien AG that the non-contractual condition is no longer tolerated, rather you will be asked to leave the house by Saturday at the latest. On the one hand, I regret very much that this project is now terminated. As I have already told you in our last conversation, mediation on your part is no longer possible because the homeowners are unwilling to deviate from the issued contract. On the other hand, you can’t accept that the conditions for a contract aren’t available. I’m now reachable again. Concerns from your part would have to be discussed directly with S. Immobilien AG anyway. To this regard, I remain with the best wishes and best regards. (Caritas Luzern)

First of all, we would like to express our surprise regarding the slogans, expressions of force and insults that you have voiced towards Mr M. on the phone. One really wonders if this is the fine kind of a human being, especially a woman. We believe that you and your companions are illegally staying in a strange house and we see this as trespassing. There’s no corresponding contractual relationship. The initially shown goodwill for a negotiation was exploited by you in a shameless manner. Further negotiations are therefore out of the question. Commissioned by Mr. S. we confirm you the already known issue: that the house at the Degenstrasse 2 in Kriens must be vacated by your group by Saturday 14 October 1995 at the latest. Otherwise we’ll be forced to clear the house with help of the police. Best regards. (S. Real Estate AG, Seperate delivery xxx, Police-post 6010 Kriens)

We prefered to leave the house before winter because there was still no electricity (the house was to be torn down hence already cut from the electricity-net) and we didn’t want to freeze in the cold without any perspectives. On October 14th (ultimatum) we nailed down Frauenhausen’s window with black boards: ‘HAVE A LOOK INSIDE’. Afterwards we had our breakfast on the street and waited for the threatening police-operation that never happened. Before we got a nicer visit from a mixed group, who immediately re-occupied the house, and seems to be living there until today.

Unlike us women, the new squatters have no problem with negotiations. Spokesmen seem to be more accepted by possessioning men than women, who aren’t satisfied with the role of the mute exhibit-object. One thing was certain after our departure: we carry on – right now:

Frauenhausen again – a women’s occupation

On 19 nov. 95, 50 women met for a Sauvage-matinée [“wild morning”] in the (almost) vacant Schilldruck building on the Sentimattstr. 6 in Luzern. In addition to acoustic music and breakfast, there was – in one of the two halls – already a work of art, that was done by a prominent leftist artist. It was precisely this artist who showed little understanding of our cultural activities, let alone our intention to occupy a hangar and the house. How cool and courageous the men in power are, we learned during the next 2 days: already on monday morning (before the first café), the architect F. appeared in the company of a heating-specialist, who immediately made the heating of the house unusuable. F. barked at us, and the leftist artist taught us what culture was and that women’s issues belonged in the timeframe of the 1968 movement. On tuesday we had a rendez-vous with the owner, Marco G. (& AG, Ramistr. 46, Zurich) in front of our house. The young, dynamic management-consultant then tried to convince us for an hour that he was social and that we should leave the house. We decided in favour of living/staying there/the women’s project. This was too much for Marco G.: after giving us angry looks, he threw the square negotiation-table over the railing. The glass clinked, the mandarins rolled, G. snorted and we barricaded ourselves in the house. G. penetrated the house, went out again, got an axe out of his car and came back in. We cleared out; over the roof. The owner raged for a while and then smoked – cool in the entrance – his cowboy cigarette. Later the police and the press appeared, but these stood around quite perplexed. Meanwhile the leftist artist wiped the broken pieces and bolted the open entrances to the house the next day. And we’re again looking for … (see beginning of text). By the way: in the same week we received the news that the house is now sold and will be reconstructed from December 11th on.

Belladonna #4 (97) – Schlössli

On August 15th, the ‘Schöneck’ castle here in Luzern was occupied by about 50 people. Until now, there was no autonomous, self-determined, independent, free-culture-woman-living-space. That’s why something had to happen (finally!) in this shitty desert tourist town. That’s how it came about and that’s the way it is. The castle then quickly got a year-contract, as that’s how it is in Luzern: here everything is settled peacefully… To keep aggression under control. Because otherwise you’d shock the idyllic little Luzern and scare off all the money-spending tourists. In the beginning, there were always some district-cops, on a peaceful mission as they say, to ask us to not to cause chaos. Then there was this crazy gardener ‘Tarzan’, who worked for free and didn’t want us on his territory and therefore always had to act like Bruce Lee. He’s no longer there I believe, I think things had gotten too much for him, he had wiped everywhere with the broom at first. What more does a person want, a castle, an orgiastic view over Luzern, a forest behind the house and an in-house, state-conscious gardener.

So, the whole thing has also developed. There has been a Frauenstock [women’s floor] since the beginning (see next pages, thanks to Orrieta and d.n.a. for the reports), causing some disputes with certain male persons who felt themselves excluded and deeply hurt in their masculinity (and always threw around words like sexist and seperatist). I would like to mention that in Luzern, a huge process has begun of relinquishing the theme feminism. At least for certain types. Once more quickly to the women’s floor. Frauenhausen [see above], a women’s squatters-group, didn’t get a house after the last issue of our zine (had to get out everywhere). So some occupied a part of the women’s floor.

In the castle [Schlössli] there’s also a women’s infoshop (that has also caused a lot of discussions): ‘Degutante’, a concert-room,  which also serves as cinema, concert-space and a bar. Yes, a café with people’s kitchen is under reconstruction, etc. Come on over, do something, drop by… For concerts you can write to the Belladonna address…

P.S .: A lot of people still live there. Before every concert there is a vegan people’s kitchen… Since recently there are now also lectures!

Belladonna #4 (97) – Frauenstock

PEOPLE ARE LIVING UNHAPPY, INJUSTICE RULES, WOMEN ARE DISCRIMINATED DAILY… PATRIARCHY AHOI, ALSO IN THE LEFTIST SCENE. AS WOMEN, WE’VE HAD ENOUGH OF SEEING HOW MEN ENRICH THEMSELVES AT OUR EXPENSE. WE ARE FED UP WITH BEING SEEN AS OBJECTS. WE NO LONGER WANT TO BE UTILIZED, EXPLOITED AND OVERRUN. WE DECIDED TO FIGHT AGAINST DISCRIMINATION. A BATTLE AGAINST SEXISM HAS STARTED.

WE DEFINED OURSELVES AND FOUNDED THE ‘FRAUENSTOCK’. A WOMEN’S PART WITHIN A MIXED PROJECT. THE ‘FRAUENSTOCK’ BECAME A WOMEN’S LIVING- AND CULTURAL SPACE. WOMEN DEFINE THIS SPACE WITHOUT COMMENTARY OF MEN. BESIDES THE LIVING-SPACE WHERE WE ARE FIVE AT THE MOMENT, MORE DEVELOPED. ONCE A MONTH A WOMEN’S GATHERING TAKES PLACE WHERE ALL WOMEN ARE WELCOME, TO DISCUSS VARIOUS ISSUES. FIRST WE EAT TOGETHER AND THEN WE DISCUSS DIFFERENT ACTUAL MATTERS.

WOMEN PLENARY SESSIONS: 4 THURSDAYS A MONTH, 7 P.M. WITH YUM YUM. THERE’S VEGETARIAN/VEGAN COOKING. EVERY FIRST THURSDAY OF THE MONTH THERE’S WOMEN’S BAR WHERE WOMEN CAN MEET TO PLAY, DISCUSS, PHILOSOPHIZE, EXCHANGE. ON THE THIRD THURSDAY THERE’S A WOMEN’S MOVIE-BAR WHERE WOMEN’S FILMS ARE SHOWN.

WHAT OTHERWISE IS ALSO THERE OR WILL ARISE: AN ACTION-GROUP, A LADIES’ WORKSHOP, A DISCUSSION-GROUP… THE IDEA ABOUT ‘FRAUENSTOCK’ IS THAT WOMEN CAN COME, NOT ONLY TO CONSUME THE WAY WE ARE USED TO IN THIS CONSUMER-SOCIETY, BUT TO INTRODUCE IDEAS OURSELVES AND REALIZE THEM. WE ARE INTERESTED IN COLLABORATION WITH OTHER WOMEN’S GROUPS (WORLDWIDE). LONG LIVE THE SOLIDARITY BETWEEN ALL WOMEN-WARRIORS. LET’S DESTROY PATRIARCHY TOGETHER. LET’S BUILD A WOMEN-FRIENDLY WORLD.

I’m living at the ‘Frauenstock’ (Women’s Floor) since about 5 months. I know that the guys from ‘Schlössli’ have dealt with the topics of feminism and sexism. But how does that look like in practice? And what do they think about women, when it’s not about talking/being politically correct in order to look well and offer no field for attack? Isn’t it still a fact that it’s much more exhausting for me to give my opinion to at a plenary session [VV = Vollversammlung] at the ‘Schlössli’, to explain my views, to share my part, rather than to a woman of the ‘Frauenstock’? Aren’t women regularly being interrupted during these plenary sessions? Do we really fight for the same thing? And what about the means to the goal? Can one fight against fascism if one doesn’t manage putting not being sexist in practice? And what would also somehow interest me: how do the ‘men amongst themselves’ talk about the ‘Frauenstock’? But, do I really want to know that? After all, it may be much harder to believe in a common goal – although of course I hope that’s not the case.

THERE’S ALSO A WOMEN’S INFOSHOP: ‘DEGUTANTE’. ALSO A MEETING-GROUP THAT ORGANISES DIFFERENT WOMEN’S EVENINGS HAS EMERGED. THESE TAKE PLACE EVERY 4TH SATURDAY, FROM 8 P.M. ON, WITH A WOMEN’S KITCHEN.

Belladonna #4 (97) – frauenhausen benefiz

On 11.4.96 there was a benefit  gig at the Boa-Bar for Frauenhausen (women’s squatter-group Luzern). There were 3 female bands announced for the evening: ‘Motzende Fotzen’[Grousing Cunts], ‘Re-Sisters’ (our first concert) and the ‘Verwirrtas’ [confused, this is a play on words – verwirrt = confused – adding ‘as’  to clearly state it’s a feminist band]. That was the grimmiest thing I’ve ever experienced at a concert… All night long there were nothing but sexist slogans, until things escalated. A friend of ours was cornered and threatened by 3 guys (‘Schnecke’ and 2 other blokes types that I don’t know – one of them, I think, was from Hamburg). I also a lot of problems with these people, even though I have lived together with some of them and the rest was always visiting. That they would end up like this, drunk and full of crap: I would never have thought that. I’m being deliberately not that detailed, as ‘Pestbeule’ [‘Re-Sisters’ member] and a male gave 2 detailed accounts of it. Would be stupid if all 3 of us write the same. We have included the article of the male in the zine because it was the only guy (if I heard that right) that expressed himself in a verbal and written manner about it. Then recently I got the accusation that most men feel oppressed by the sexism issue (every man a potential rapist; it seems to hurt their masculinity too deeply) so I just wanted to show that, also in Luzern, there are guys who think differently about this topic and question themselves, and can deal with it, without a woman standing next to it with lumber. (We deal with such problems in the outbacks of Luzern.)

The dick-swingers described above are, so to speak, the fanclub of the ‘Motzende Fotzen’ [‘Grousing Cunts’] (the name was given to them by one of the asocials, that speaks for itself again), ride along to every concert and ‘protect’ their female hero-cunts. The organisers of the concert learned about it, then asked the band to leave their appendage at home. I think that the blokes were so pissed about the flyer (it said: no access for sexists) that they had to come in spite of it to confront the evil women’s libbers. The guys were almost impossible to bring back home. After the fight, embarrassingly 2 more guys had to get out their cock and piss on the floor. Some dumb-ass then called the cops, which made things even worse, which is logical. I don’t need any help from the cops, I puke on their help. The atmosphere was pretty bad. Nevertheless, we [‘Re-Sisters’] soon started to play (after ‘Alexkitschnudel’ puked with excitement and I had suffered a terrible cough-attack on the toilet so that everyone thought I was just puking my guts out and I thought my end was near) It was weird to do our first concert under such circumstances. After us, the ‘Verwirrtas’ (R.I.P.) played and they were very cool – old-school hardcore with Spanish (and also German) lyrics – good and with a strong message.

Oh well, these fucking guys are all ex Vorplatz-punks [punks from Bern that used to live/hang around the Reithalle] who now live in Biel, at the Schrottbar. So when women go there they shouldn’t go alone but with 10 and taking a kalaschnikov. The Bielers are pretty OK but they’re living together with these arseholes, and as long as that is still the case, it’s not a recommendable place to go. In the staircase of the Schrottbar there are slogans such as: “Vegans and lesbians off to Bergen Belsen [nazi concentration-camp] !”. One can ask her/himself if it’s just the clothes that sets them apart from the nazi-skins… Fuck off nazi-punks!

PS: Somehow the incident has not gotten around…was quickly repressed and forgotten. Even the threat of rape was not treated any further… Luzern keep sleeping quitely. (‘97)

REGARDING THE WOMEN’S HOUSE BENEFIT-KONCERT ON 11.4.96 IN THE BOA IN LUZERN, AN OPINION, A FEW DAYS LATER.

I already knew from the beginning that a disaster was imminent that night, because of the well-known band ‘Motzende Fotzen’ from western Switzerland: at all their gigs they have to have their male punters with them; who, as it were, provide their moral support with their toughest cock-related thinking and drunken megalomania. The organisers made it clear from the start that it would be a mixed party because it was a solidarity event. So we were more or less prepared for everything, regarding the westerners.

Only just arrived, some well-known types immediately displayed their sexist behaviour while they drooled all over me, amongst other things. I didn’t feel like getting an ear-ache and immediately got involved in discussions which later turned out to have brought nothing at all. All these zombies in punk-disguise I knew from the past all too well (back then when “everything was still different”) and after the first five minutes already I had enough, so I narrowed down the conversation to the “old days” and alcohol.

Meanwhile, there would have been verbal fights at the entrance about organisational differences with the westerners, but I haven’t noticed any of that (as many other things that evening). Until the ‘Motzenden Fotzen’ started things were relatively quiet. The punters were on the forefront while indulging their female heroines. The commotion started when the person at the mixing-desk said that all dogs had to get out (westerners without dogs is like liquor without alcohol) which made the singer go wild and shouted that the dogs would stay. Then a few blokes shouted: “Show your tits.”. Whereupon the singer did what she was told. Then hell broke loose. A woman (from the organising-committee) got on stage and there was some pawing that soon degenerated into a wild massive brawl. The punters/fans immediately marked their territory with fists to protect their sacred icons; women beat women, blokes beat up blokes, guys beat women. Chaos and destruction.

There were some courageous people that intervened and unfortunately got brutally beaten in the face. I couldn’t watch the scenery anymore and went in, and got one of the ruffians of the stage and shouted at him and his buddies, whereupon the stage-hero got impressed and became as calm as possible. Massive discussions, screaming, melee, swearing, it was a miracle that my face didn’t get ‘polished’. But that was probably because I knew these idiots from before or I was angry. The brawl cooled down, the situation calmed down a bit when suddenly a woman called the cops, what knocked the bottom from the barrel – the level of aggression rose again and some westerners got really angry again; understandably. More swearing, accusations, disputes without end. Calling the cops was most painful and an absolute proof of poverty.

Everybody was fed up. The westerners finally returned home after fierce swearing, I was glad, the whole pest from the west can go to hell. It took a long time until they were pissed. Only later I heard from a woman-organiser that 3 of the punters had threatened her with rape several times. Gross is: she also knew those arseholes from her early days. I thought I was going crazy. If myself and others had known that soon enough (about the threat) then blood would have flowed. Oh how I would have liked to have polished the faces of these brain-amputated because of that, my ex-buddies.

It was clear that the westerners deliberately wanted to stirr shit up because they already felt attacked by the concert-flyer that said ‘Sexists are not allowed’. It is quite obvious that these guys wanted to ride the evening to shame and they managed to do that for 90%. After they all got pissed, the remaining 2 bands played their sets and the atmosphere got better again, although the evening was over for me. I don’t know why such creatures as these westerners can exist at all. Imagine they all run around in punk-uniform but have the standard of dirty filthy bald boneheads: I would have preferred a fascist-attack that night because then we’d have known what it was about and then concrete actions could have been taken.

The evening proved to me the typical media-image of what punks should be and how the whole press and population wants to see them, namely cowardly dirty and brutal idiots. I don’t get it into my head how the westerners built such a crass group-dynamic, in their flock they all have a big mouth but on their own they are just filthy creeps with nothing to offer, spineless underdogs that provide the necessary manual work for the ‘Motzenden Fotzen’ – that makes you want to throw up.

Conclusion (if there is such a thing): there was a concert organised with women’s liberation/solidarity as the theme and then exactly those types come to the concert that we can and want all to do without so much – the enemy itself. I’ve never experienced something as blatant as that, as on this evening. The westerners are known throughout Switzerland to be rough thugs and asocial “punks”. I think this should never happen again. These guys that showed up (especially the 3 who threatened the woman with rape) should get the ‘short process’ [meaning they should be judged and eliminated in some way…not sure what the english expression would be]. If that’s gonna be easy… That evening I definitively lost old buddies and I don’t care, I’m glad about it. It must be an incredible ‘honour’ for me to ever have known such creatures. I’m sick of it. The thing with the threatened rape will have an aftermath and that certainly won’t be taken care of by discussing it, it’s time to sharpen the knives. One of these guys is called ‘Schnecke’ (‘snail’) and is thus well-known by everyone involved. I don’t know the other 2. Punk is dead – I don’t care.

A male who doesn’t want to keep his mouth shut.

P.S. ‘wessis’ (westeners) refers to people from Bern and Biel; there were also 3 West-Germans…

BOA BAR, 11.4.96 FRAUENHAUSENBENEFIZ

‘MOTZENDE FOTZEN’ (Bern) – ‘RE-SISTERS’ (Luzern) – ‘VERWIRTAS’ (Winti)

Perhaps it was crucial that it was thursday evening and therefore a small bunch found their way into the Boa; maybe it was also the occasion itself and the unambiguously women-‘specific’ content, that only a fraction of the oh-so solidaric ‘scenes’ showed up. But actually it’s idle to speculate and in any case it must be emphasized that the very reason for the occasion and the far-reaching content, will needs to be and remain a theme, especially after what finally dominated the evening!

But now for all those who weren’t present the course of action:

As already mentioned, the reason for the women’s band spectacle was a political one: the women-squatters are stuck in state-related needs, especially of financial nature and to fix that we have such events. The atmosphere in the early evening was already a bit stressy but not necessarily for musical reasons, but because of the recurring controversial issues of the ‘herd attitude’ at concerts: even before the arrival of the gang from Bern, there were 5 dogs in the room: yapping, sniffing each other, etc. The way dogs are. Well, the points of view were clear, I hardly have to state the arguments.

Conclusion: during the concert no four-legged friends in the room. Until then everything was logically understandable and correct in that way that the dog-owners had no objections. Then however came misfortune no. 1: not that the arrival of the women from Bern in itself was to be described as unfortunate, but rather the coincidence of the circumstances! Or was it? The conflict was predicatble: ca. 10-15 people with half as many dogs meet up, are greeted by an already annoyed woman going “Dogs are not allowed in the concert-room.” (or so) and how do those that just arrived react? They start a pretty intense discussion (misconceptions, flipping out, a quarrel or even a grumble…?) and don’t let themselves convince about the basic essentials. Here I have to admit, however, that the whole dog-story could have taken a different course (!) if the whole issue had been dealt with 10 min later in a quiet, ‘reasonable’ way. But it doesn’t matter: that’s how the situation was and nothing else, the level of conversation, if ever there was one, was quite poor and soon it became clear that no solution could be found.

In the naive belief that the problem was jabbered to death and the resulting antipathies were suppressible, the soundcheck was started. Then the ‘Motzenden Fotzen’ from Bern presented themselves in over-shrill costumes and it seemed as if their male fans had drunk enough to annoy the rest of the audience with their macho-pogo from the first song on. This led to the first beatings between the bouncing guys and the women, who defended themselves. Another drop in the already quite full barrel, was the claim that came from the stage: “We play for those that are not male-hostile, because we fancy men!”.

Well, so much for the embarrassing coming-out of the heterosexuals, perhaps this was a comment on the clearly anti-sexist advertising for the evening. After all they brought it to other opinions of that kind. The band still managed to play 3 songs, that also neatly sounded like punk, the idiots’ pogo also stopped, but then it definitely was over: the mixer came on the stage and repeated her demand in a moderate tone: “Sorry, but as long as the dogs are here, I turn the system off.”. Well, the reaction was probably the tragic highlight of the evening! I wouldn’t like to repeat the phrasing of the singer in detail, understandable that none of the people in the audience let’s her/himself insult as “fascho” and “vibrator-cunt” (etc.): also not from the audience that even excedeed the crudeness of the band-leader. When a woman snatched the mike out of the singer’s hand and tried to get her off stage, 3 of the drunken idiots quickly got on the stage and beat the woman up. Three against one is not very heroic but the situation invited them to make it clear to the guys that they were in the totally wrong place.

In that way the brutal intermezzo took its course and ended as suddenly as it had started: with an almost broken nose, blood and the cops that had been called by some little-minded. The cops were quickly gone but the men with scratched masculinity were not to be persuaded to retreat, and unfortunately there were enough people who felt the need to engage in discussions with the sexists. This lasted another hour, during which the punters got nothing to drink and therefore smashed all available bottles in the room. When the people from Bern had disappeared, there was a strange silence in the room. The two remaining bands agreed with each other – still or even more so – to play, even in the audience had shrunk to a small group.

Thus, out of the vacuum of the situation, the ‘Re-Sisters’ from Luzern set out for their first concert on the battered stage. The relief and the joy that the festival could still take place, shaped the mood of those remaining… In order not to throw around stupid comparisons, I just say the music of the ‘Re-Sisters’ is most beautiful something-something-core with cool antithetical dual singing: the one screams the soul out of her body and the other sings . The lyrics are mostly in German and partly also understandable, and to make all content comprehensible, lyric-sheets were distributed. That bands like ‘Wemean’ are just a hype should be obvious, but since the ‘Re-Sisters’ the others are as dry and expressionless as a piece of bread. Finally, a D.I.Y. band that has fun and is also angry enough to be real and to also stay that way. Make more songs and keep your anger!

Something in general: events like these show how necessary the hushed-up sexism-discussion is, and that sexism is not a problem of the others but exists in our scene, even if that is relativized again and again. Let us defend ourselves. Threats such as these, direct from the ‘own’ ranks, must be counteracted, also the claim for opinions of other men is justified. Women make bonds, fight back.

Belladonna #4 (97) – Degu-Tante

Degutante (or a story of our aunt)

Our grandmother’s aunt always said: why do you all call me aunt, I’m Helmine, not aunt. That’s how we got our our name, but the ‘disgusting’ is still a multi-layered appendage. Yes that’s us: cheap, interested, dirty, smelling of a lot of good things, striking, love women or simply disgusting. Our concerns as info-shop are as colorful as they are motivating. We have recognized the necessity, from the stories of all aunts and our unfortunately still uncle-stained everyday life: we need a women’s infoshop.

We are a few women that, like uncles, want to create a place of exchange and information for us and all other women. Our focus is on feminism, women’s rights and sexism. It’s important to make these topics finally accessible to the general public and to observe them in everyday political issues in the discussion and in the minds. We want: that you come to us to discuss, bring along stuff or get smart and get our info, magazines, books and music. We don’t want: that you have the feeling ‘these aunts know everything better and want to divide the oh-so connected scene in uncles and aunts’. The separation is done by you. Imagine, woman and man, come to aunty, she will tell you everything or ask everything?

Women’s infoshop ‘Degutante’ has been in existence since january ’97 and is the first, women only infoshop in Switzerland… We are still under construction…looking for things (books, mags, zines, records, etc.), trying to find, collecting. We look forward to every visit. We want you to come over, collect and bring things. We sell everything at cost, we will inform you cheaply. The revolution is priceless, so are you. We’re looking for meaningful music, especially from women who get distributed through us and not through Viva [mainstream]. CDs are smashed by us, our music-shelves are only for cassettes, LPs and singles. Come along, we listen to you too when you talk. You don’t need to be afraid of us, even if we are degoutant. So ‘Degutante’ has everything your heart desires, come over, we’re waiting…

The info-shop is open every Saturday, from 3 to 7 p.m., during events until 9 p.m. Of course for all men & women, aunts & uncles, boys & grrrls, mothers & fathers! However, every 4th Saturday of the month it’s open exclusively to women.

Since in most other infoshops the feminist aspect is neglected (and sometimes also sexist, misogynistically influenced products are tolerated more or less uncritically), some women in and around Luzern have set up an infoshop that focuses on these topics. Apart from the other typical infoshop-inventary – political information which is given too little attention by the mass-media, that are kept secret or misrepresented – it’s a matter of concern for us to also collect information about women-specific topics & make them accessible. For example, the women’s struggle is in the public space largely reduced to the pursuit of ‘equality’ (tragic enough that women are not even treated the same as men legally) and its fundamental criticism of the current circumstances is left completely aside. An important topic is sexual violence against women as a means of maintaining patriarchal conditions, as well as women’s health and their condemnation for the same purpose. (However: the private is political!) ‘DeguTante’ also offers practical information to this regard. Furthermore, there’s a small people’s library, where one can find non-fiction on topics such as women’s struggle, gender-conflict, sexual abuse, women’s sexuality, emancipation, feminism, etc. (Oh yes, while we’re at it: the library would like to grow bigger – don’t let your old books collect dust at home, bring them over!)

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