Gender and War: Australians at War in the Twentieth Century

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Joy Damousi, Marilyn Lake
CUP Archive, 1995 - History - 351 pages
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War has been a key part of the Australian experience and central to many national mythologies. Yet more than most activities, war polarises femininity and masculinity. While there has been no shortage of military history, little has been written about Australia's military involvements from the perspective of gender. This exciting collection of essays explores for the first time the interrelationship of gender and war in Australia. Traditional images of Australians during wartime show the digger making history in battle while women play a supportive role as nurses or wives and mothers on the home front. Yet, as this book shows, war offers opportunities that erode gender boundaries. Women can be empowered economically, politically and sexually while the trauma of war can leave men emasculated. Gender and War focuses on women's and men's experiences in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. A team of leading writers addresses a range of subjects, including: female desire and sexuality in both world wars; women and the anti-conscription campaigns in World War I; gay men and lesbians in the military services; the crisis of masculinity during and after World War I and World War II and race and gender in World War I and Vietnam.
 

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Contents

A crisis of masculinity? Australian military manhood
133
Sex and death in Gallipoli
148
Touring Vietnam
223
Margaret Thorp
239
Anticonscription
254
The costofliving
274
Anzac mythology and the feminist challenge
302
Sexual identity
311
Contributors
342
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About the author (1995)

Joy Damousi was born on June 17, 1961 in Melbourne, Australia. She is a graduate of La Trobe University , BA (Honours) and Australian National University, PhD in history. She has held various positions at the University of Melbourne, Monash University, La Trobe University in women's studies and history. Her books include Gender and War: Australians at War in the Twentieth Century, Depraved and Disorderly: Female Convicts, Sexuality and Gender in Colonial Australia, Living with the Aftermath: Trauma, Nostalgia and Grief in Post-War Australia, The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia, Colonial Voices: A Cultural History of English in Australia, 1840-1940, and Memory and Migration in the Shadow of War: Australia's Greek Immigrants after World War II and the Greek Civil War.

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