When you hear the word Drindl what do you imagine?
For me, as a tuba player of German-American heritage, it’s a way to say to men and others in Volksmusik that I have every right to express my culture without fear of assimilation or judgment by others. If I did have one it would be dark red (Krapmanns) and green (Bishops) because in German culture colors are values red being courage, and bravery and green is a color of hope and new life. As a rule, my bow goes in the front meaning I’m not ready to look for anyone because I’m asexual. Yet as a German-American woman it’s hard finding one that is true to North Bavarian culture when I find labels like, costume, sexy, bar wench, and many other derogatory delights.
For Asian Women, there is the fetish trope of the Lotus Blossom which has to lead to very dangerous interactions and situations with men in the community. Yet why does no one address not only the Fraulust of wearing a drindl but also the cultural fears and dangers that come with it in the eyes of women of German-speaking heritage? Why has no one addressed the Edelweiss, women of German and German-American heritage whose own clothing is fetishized by Anglo-Saxon men (non-German and German-Americans) to the point they become objects free for the taking without consent or protection by other women or men.
Why use Edelweiss?
I use Edelweiss because it’s a flower that grows only in the Alps and because of its context in Volksmusik; something that is worth protecting that is fragile and beautiful and is often a metaphor for young women protecting themselves from predatory men, some folk stories involve men looking or picking the flower for a woman ending in death. The moral of most of them is for men to be faithful and honor their women instead of picking or looking for other women.
Sometimes it’s a warning about the sexual fantasies of men with unobtainable goals for girls and women. Mark Twain even called out the search for the flower as a fancy for an ugly flower he as a Southerner could not understand without in particular in the Bauerdeucher context. When a man tells you he is looking for the Edelweiss in Alpine culture it means, “I’m looking for a woman but can’t find any”. He also got into a nasty Copywrite battle with Hindrich Hoffmann after he wanted to Americanize and retranslate Der Struwwelpeter and lost because many German immigrants brought the book with them to teach their children the Mutterspechen from their Himattland.
Today it is clearly well documented that American beauty standards created and responsible by both genders harm women that descend from immigrant and refugee families. German American women in the Bauerdeuche (mid-west America) now fear being full-figured, practicing diets that eliminate their traditional foods and cooking, overworking, and exercising with an emphasis on losing weight and not on expanding longevity and personal happiness.
I a child of the ’90s and a lover of food, was no stranger to a change of culture that is not Brittney Spears fault but a culture that valued women as trophies, tokens, and idols and not a people. When I first got my brust and bust, trying on clothes back and forth was sheer torment; nope cameltoe, nope too small, too tight, too bulgy…I even have a name for men who design jeans and clothing without plus-size women in my community in mind… Mister Mean Jeans. Girls and women cutting out the size tags are not out of spite but out of fear and shame of their bodies.
This left a tween-year-old me wishing I was a boy and frowning on books, movies, and comics for girls covered in glitter bombs, princesses, whiches who looked nothing like Hermione, faires, and cis-gendered supergirls. My feminine side died to embrace a new world of male protagonists that I could relate to; Gorge and Harold had creativity which powers Captain Underpants, Calvin and Hobbs had adventures not involving girls but breaking rules that must be broken, The Fair Side had jokes that I could understand and learn from especially the jellyfish with a slice of cake inside him, and Peanuts helped me understand hard emotions and embracing sadness and anger.
One series that made me cry my eyes out was Tezuka Osamu’s Buddha in particular the fourth book where Siddhartha becomes a monk and is brutally rejected and another part in the fifth where Tatta now a grown man, is told to stop an angry elephant and when the fight is all over the wounded elephant goes to a graveyard to which the character follows and the elephant dies.
Elephants are lead by females and in the manga are treated no differently than the Suda cast which includes slaves and servants of poor origin, just like the term Wench in Alngo-Saxon terms means a woman of poor class sold as a slave to work for a man of power. However, in German culture, it can mean a woman who allows and participates in a culture that suppresses and excludes women or particular kinds of women.
Julie Andrews, Jenny Mc Carthy, Audry Geisel, women who run MLM’s, women who say they work with special needs people but don’t lift a finger, women who want us to cake on makeup, women who want us to drink a smoothie of green other than mint chocolate, women who don’t embrace and suppress what it means to be Bauerdeuche Frauen.
The Grimm Reaper in German art is skinny and a man for a reason, Germans refer to food and natural things beginning with feminine and nutter articles because they bring life and happiness. Something the Drindl is supported to represent and not restrict in our culture. The Drindl is not dangerous so long as Grossenfrauen are around to protect the women of our heritage who wear them proudly something I want to represent as a tubist.