Gender and War: Australians at War in the Twentieth Century

TitleGender and War: Australians at War in the Twentieth Century
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1995
Series EditorDamousi, Joy, and Marilyn Lake
Number of Pages351
PublisherCambridge University Press
CityCambridge; New York

This  collection of essays explores for the first time the interrelationship of gender and war in Australia. War has been a key part of the Australian experience and central to many national mythologies. Yet more than most activities, war polarises femininity and masculinity. While there has been no shortage of military history, little has been written about Australia's military involvements from the perspective of gender. Traditional images of Australians during wartime show the digger making history in battle while women play a supportive role as nurses or wives and mothers on the home front. Yet, as this book shows, war offers opportunities that erode gender boundaries. Women can be empowered economically, politically and sexually while the trauma of war can leave men emasculated. Gender and War focuses on women's and men's experiences in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. A team of leading writers addresses a range of subjects, including: female desire and sexuality in both world wars; women and the anti-conscription campaigns in World War I; gay men and lesbians in the military services; the crisis of masculinity during and after World War I and World War II and race and gender in World War I and Vietnam.

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