‘The Outward and Visible Sign of Her Patriotism’: Women, Uniforms, and National Service During the First World War

Title‘The Outward and Visible Sign of Her Patriotism’: Women, Uniforms, and National Service During the First World War
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsGrayzel, Susan R.
JournalTwentieth Century British History
Volume8
Issue2
Pagination145-164
Date Published1997
Abstract

The wearing of khaki uniforms by British women involved in voluntary war work during World War I, or after 1916 enlisting in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, aroused vehement public debate. Proponents claimed that it was evidence of national solidarity across class and gender lines, while critics argued that it violated normal womanly behavior and demeaned male servicemen who might have to sacrifice their lives. Women's wearing of khaki slowly, and in some quarters grudgingly, won approval. It contributed to ending certain taboos about acceptable female conduct, enhanced women's claim to citizenship, and was taken into account (although not to the same degree as age and marital status) in the decision for female enfranchisement.

URLhttp://tcbh.oxfordjournals.org.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/content/8/2/145
Short Title‘The Outward and Visible Sign of Her Patriotism’
Reprint EditionFull text available Oxford Journals Online.
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