This book is the first to make the case that women's changing role in European and American society was critical to Dada. Debates about birth control and suffrage, a declining male population and expanding female workforce, the emergence of the New Woman, and Freudianism were among the forces that contributed to the dadaist enterprise.
For all of its iconoclasm, the Dada spirit was not without repression, and the Dada movement was not without misogynist tendencies. Indeed, the word Dada evokes the idea of the male—both as father and as domineering authority. Thus female colleagues were to be seen not heard, nurturers not usurpers, pleasant not disruptive.