German Word of the Week: Kampflesben

They’re big, they have short, spiky hair, and they know what a glasspack is.  The English words for these formidable women are diesel dyke, or (my favorite), tool-belt lesbian.  In German, they are Kampflesben.  That is, "Combat Lesbians."  I would hope there’s a brigade of Combat Lesbians in the German army.

Being the broad-minded sort, I’ve nothing against Combat Lesbians.  A few of them run my neighborhood video store.  Now, to be fair, I can’t look inside their brains and tell what their sexual preference is.  But they do advertise exclusively for female counter help, which by theway is perfectly legal here.  Here’s another clue.  Whenever I pop in to rent a few DVDs, they almost always accidentally give me one I didn’t actually order.  (To choose your DVD, you pull a tiny plastic tag from in front of the box of the DVD you want to watch, and the Combat Lesbian attendant behind the counter fetches the actual disk from a jumble of single discs behind the counter.  Much can go wrong during this process, especially when you’re simultaneously smoking, bitching about taxes to someone on the telephone, and wiping a stain off the counter).

Ordinary, the movie I wanted to see is either European art-house fare or obscure Asian horror movies (of which the Combat Lesbians stock a rich assortment).*  The video I actually get, by "mistake," is almost invariably a straight, guns-blazing Hollywood action flick.  (Think Die Harder).

Are they trying to tell me something?

* One movie that my friendly neighborhood Kampflesben turned me on to is the disorienting, surreal South Korean masterpiece Old Boy, winner of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.  Go see it now!

One thought on “German Word of the Week: Kampflesben

  1. Hmmm, so is this Cologne’s Traumathek? If not, does that mean that there’s actually a decent video library in Düsseldorf? Inquiring minds want to know.


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