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Approaches Revision Notes: GENDER: War/Revolution:
1. In what ways do questions of gender identity come forward in periods of war/revolution?
- Legal changes:E.g. Post-WW2 France women given right to vote (22nd march 1944) and run for office.E.g. Post-WW2 France: Const of Fourth Rep enshrined right to work ('the law shall guarantee to women rights equal to those of men' [preamble]).E.g. Post-WW2 France, June 20th, 1946: equal pay for equal work est.E.g. Brit, WW1: Women who turned down domestic service refused unemployment benefit.
- Changes in politicians' views.
- Highlighted by diff reactions of politicians to certain situations (see below).
- Through imagery and symbolism - propaganda stronger in times of war/Rev.
- Through practical actions that come from necessity.E.g. women's war work.
- Through stereotypes about expected behaviour.
2. Why does war/Revolution bring forward questions of gender identity?
- Ultimately, both = disruptive."The First WW disrupted almost every facet of life in Britain" (Lucy Noakes).In such a big and frightening upheaval, it is natural that all aspects of life will be called upon to help. E.g. in Germany, WW1, national unified welfare system created to take care of children.
- Practical needs (esp in times of war).Young-Sun Hong argues that this was the case in Germany - gender diffs' "presumed naturalness [was]...
demystified".E.g. women having to take men's jobs could challenge stereotypes.E.g. women taking part in political movements as result of upheaval.
- E.g. Post-WW2 France: The Resistance (and women's role in it) was seen by some (like Communist rep for Algiers, Fernand Grenier) as proof that they should be full equal citizens.
E.g. Women's Armed Auxiliary Corps set up 1917 in Britain. Women wore military uniform - challenged trad ideas of men = military, women = helpless (could cause backlash: "both disturbing and offensive" [Jenny Gould]).Concern that everyone couldn't fully fulfil their social role could stimulate women being helped/their role being more fully recognised.E.g. Post-WW1 Germany: Formation of women's social education schools (e.g. Social Women's School, Mannheim, Marie Bernays and Elisabeth Altmann-Gottheimer) for educating women in law, politics, economics, pedagogy, social ethics.Can at the same time act to reinforce stereotypes through backlash (Lucy Noakes).
- See above.
- E.g. 1919 Sheffield Daily Telegraph said 'girls... show a tendency to avoid the home'. 6 months earlier had spoken favourably of women's war work.
- Atmosphere of renewal and nationalism.E.g. changes in Post-WW2 France: "The war seemed to clear the way for nat renewal" (Jane Jenson).However, this idealistic mindframe could also entrench existing values as creating an 'ideal women' was a central part of it.Temma Kaplan argues that nationalism is "ultimately destructive of rev'nry goals".Desire for stability/security: the family (and as a result, gender roles) had a central part to play in this.
- War especially can make pre-war peace seem very desirable, hence ^conservative attitudes.
- E.g. Post-WW2 France: Vichy regime saw breakdown of family as one reason for German victory.E.g. Post-Rev France: The preamble to the Const of Year III said 'no one is a good citizen if he isn't a good son, good father, good friend, good spouse'.
- E.g. Brit, Post-WW1: Women's Reserve Sub-C'ttee discussed need to balance between need for women's war labour and 'desire to preserve the domestic order'.E.g. 1915 meeting of German Commission for Welfare of Small Children, Wilhelm Polligkeit spoke of 'the collapse of the fam'.
- E.g. French invasion of Algeria, June 1830. Tried to dismantle Islam, which in turn became a sanctuary from the French.
- V Moghadam argues that this was strongly the case in Post-Rev France - decline of old institutions like the Church led to a "revalorisation of family life".
- Temma Kaplan: "most revolutions use gender to legitimate the new social order".
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