White Feathers and Wounded Men: Female Patriotism and the Memory of the Great War

TitleWhite Feathers and Wounded Men: Female Patriotism and the Memory of the Great War
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsGullace, Nicoletta F.
JournalJournal of British Studies
Volume36
Issue2
Pagination178-206
Date Published04/1997
Abstract

Chronicles the practice of utilizing British women in the "Order of the White Feather" to embarrass male citizens attempting to avoid military service during World War I and thus raise the numbers of enlisted men. The white feather brigade urged women to use their femininity to persuade sons and lovers to defend Britain by branding unenlisted men as effeminate cowards. Based on the popular novel 'The Four Feathers' (1902) by A. E. W. Mason, the white feather symbolized patriotic femininity, cowardice, and romantic love during war. The National Service Bill in 1916 ended official recruiting appeals by women, although zealous feminists continued to verbally assault men not in uniform. The rising number of casualties and disabled veterans did little to ease the public's bitter feelings toward those refusing to serve, and servicemen remember the feminist tactics with resentment and disdain.

URLhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/176011
Short TitleJournal of British Studies
Reprint EditionAvailable fulltext through JSTOR and Cambridge Journals Online.
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