In the late 1890s, a travel writer by the name of Marie Remick, in a book called A Woman’s Travel-Notes on England, made the following observation:
After Germany, where women apparently take no interest in public affairs, and seem to obey to the letter the young emperor’s injunction “Let women devote themselves to the three K’s, — die Küche, die Kirche, die Kinder“(kitchen, church, and children), the active interest and influence of English women on all great questions were refreshing.
Liberal writers used the triple K phrase numerous times throughout the 1890s and it became fairly well-known in the English-speaking world. The Nazis never used the term officially, but by deed they demonstrated that it still held sway in the Reich. For example:
When Hitler came to power in 1933, he introduced a Law for the Encouragement of Marriage, which entitled newly married couples to a loan of 1000 marks (around 9 months’ average wages at that time). On their first child, they could keep 250 marks. On their second, they could keep another 250. They reclaimed all of the loan by their fourth child. –Wikipedia
The phrase is reminiscent of the American concept that women should be kept ‘barefoot and pregnant’, and suggests that the speaker/writer believes women should be minimalized into birthing machines.
The German phrase indicates a woman’s place is with children, the church, and the kitchen, and nothing more. Clearly, a woman is not expected to have a career and a life of her own, and if she did work she should not expect to make as much as a man for the same labor. (Republicans do not support the Lily Ledbetter Act, giving women equal pay for equal work.) Is that not the same philosophy that drives the Republican right to pass 31 bills restricting or outlawing abortion but not one bill on job creation to date? The conservatives seem obsessed with controlling women’s bodies, passing laws requiring women to have transvaginal probes inserted in their bodies so that they may confront the fetus they plan to abort face to face, as it were. (Virginia) And are they not possessed by the fear that their Christian churches might be damaged by some federal law? (They don’t care a fig about synagogues and mosques, because they have convinced themselves that Christianity is the only correct religion.) And what argument do they make against same-sex marriage? That gay people can’t have children. So they are fixated on children, too. (They’re really off on this argument, given how far science has come.)
Of course, they are frightened. Their way of life is changing, the nation is moving from white domination to a mixed bag, and they fear that. So they want to keep those white Christian children coming. And they seem to want the mom to stay home, out of the workforce, and take care of the kids. How different is that from Kinder, Küche, und Kirche?
- Still-Terrible Virginia Ultrasound Bill Now in Effect (motherjones.com)
- The madness of crowds: Transvaginal probes (will-self.com)