Where Have All The Women Gone? The Pre-Twentieth Century Sexual Division of Labor in Armies

TitleWhere Have All The Women Gone? The Pre-Twentieth Century Sexual Division of Labor in Armies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1985
AuthorsHacker, Barton C.
JournalMinerva
Volume3
Issue1
Pagination107 - 148
Date Published03/1985
Abstract

In this classic article Barton C. Hacker argues that women, sometimes in great numbers, have always played military roles. Wherever and whenever states have supported armies, those armies have included women. Put another way, the common vision of armies as all-male institutions strongly distorts past realities. Furthermore, women mattered. Their military roles, however little admired or rewarded, have usually been vital. Armies needed the services women provided. Without women, armies would rarely have functioned as well, might even have failed to function at all. Necessary and so taken for granted as to be almost ignored, women's work in armies differed little from women's work in society at large. Perhaps because that work rarely included combat, military history remains largely silent on the subject, just as it tends to ignore the vital work of male noncombatants. Theirs was the world of camp and train, the place of all noncombatants but women's special military milieu.

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