Gender In Second World War

Better Essays

This book collects fifteen articles to integrate gender into the politics, military, economy, culture, and social values in the first half of the 20th century in Germany, where home and front were separated by a porous line. The articles focus on the creation of gender notion in three phases of wars. Firstly, they study the building of gender images and relations in the military and the civilian society in the context of WWI and WWII. Secondly, they investigate the approaches to restore or to reconstruct the concept of gender after both world wars by reflecting upon men’s and women’s respective roles during the war. Moreover, the book probes the multivalent ways of remembering the two violent conflicts after decades from gender-specific perspectives …show more content…

They are either the attempts of either the German females’ new frontier acquired during the wars and their defense of it in peace times, or the male Germans’ endeavor to reinforce their masculinity during their service or to repulse the attacks to it when they faced defeat, disability or danger. The editors highlight that the dynamic wartime relationships between men and female in Germany, eventually, resulted in that “the old gender images, which had symbolized a fundamental social order, no longer functioned in the reality of ‘total war’” (3). In contrast, after the world wars, the German society strived to restore the prewar traditional gender order by encroaching the grounds that women had occupied during the conflicts with “a vengeance” (4). The gender relationship is not limited to that between husbands and wives, but always entangled with domestic politics and nationalism. The two major themes successfully connect every essay in this book …show more content…

The article analyzes how French and German created a gendered image of the French colonial troops and the women in contact with them on the battlefields and the occupied zone in post-WWI Germany. Citing the articles, propaganda, and speeches created by political, military, and culture elites. In Germany, the colonial soldiers were described as “bloodthirsty, uncivilized and uncivilizable barbarians” (150). French women were licentious while their German counterparts posed as victims of the sex violence of the colonial troops (150). In French discourse, the image of women in these two countries is directly opposite to the image in German propaganda, while the colonial soldiers were also presented as bloodthirsty in the prewar period but transformed to “noble savage” after the war (150). Koller asserts that sexism in WWI was frequently aligned with European racism and nationalism

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