Gender Wars: The First World War and the Construction of Gender Relations in the Weimar Republic

TitleGender Wars: The First World War and the Construction of Gender Relations in the Weimar Republic
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsKundrus, Birthe
EditorHagemann, Karen, and Stefanie Schüler-Springorum
Book TitleHome/Front: The Military, War, and Gender in Twentieth-Century Germany
Pagination159-179
PublisherBerg
CityOxford and New York
Abstract

The author of the book chapter "Gender Wars: The First World War and the Construction of Gender Relations in the Weimar Republic" questions the degree to which entire generations of soldiers were shattered and unsure of themselves as males. According to Birthe Kundrus, a crisis in masculinity that prompted a Männerbund mentality, misogyny, and eventually a reactionary National Socialist gender platform is not the whole story. She emphasizes that while both men and women found defeat traumatic, they also perceived great opportunities for experimentation in the post-war world, including the chance to create a lasting camaraderie between the sexes. Even National Socialism in its early years "promised to enforce an ordered reconciliation of the sexes". Kundrus makes an effective argument for a plurality of experiences among both men and women. She also suggests that Weimar social reality may have provided more of a turning point for changing gender dynamics and the seeds of a gender war in late Weimar (e.g. the growing significance of war literature and the Frontsoldat after 1929) than the war itself.

URLhttps://www.bloomsburyculturalhistory.com/encyclopedia?docid=b-9781350048379
Original PublicationHeimat-Front: Militär und Geschlechterverhältnisse im Zeitalter der Weltkriege
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50643982

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