Patriotic, Not Permanent: Attitudes about Women’s Making Bombs and Being Bankers

TitlePatriotic, Not Permanent: Attitudes about Women’s Making Bombs and Being Bankers
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsStreet, Kori
EditorGlassford, Sarah, and Amy Shaw
Book TitleA Sisterhood of Suffering and Service: Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the First World War
PublisherUniversity of British Columbia Press

This chapter explores how Canadians understood women's wartime paid work in terms of gender. For some women, the war provided economic opportunities. Others were motivated by a sense of patriotism. While women's participation in paid work garnered praise in some corners of the country, it brought concern or condemnation in others. While there was some fluidity in gender-related work as a result of the war, which resulted in concerns about morality and motherhood, women's working in Canada during the war did not result in a lasting challenge to, or transformation of, gender ideology. Despite a lingering belief that large numbers of women entered the workforce during the war and were transformed as a result, Canadian women were not perceived as dangerous enough to warrant the backlash experienced elsewhere. Any challenge posed to gender was mitigated by a process of ideological accommodation that ensured that gender ideology remained fairly static during the war. [Author]

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