Women and homosexuals in war (primarily in the Canadian Armed

For Women
 World War
 World War
 Post World War
 Today
For Gays, Lesbians, etc…
May 1967
 Sociology
• Feminist
 Psychology
• Military
Gay head priest shows how far Canadian Military has come
Highest rank/position achieved by non-commissioned women
Institutional policies and practices
Individual policies and practices
 Gender
 Same-sex
 Equal
rights for women
major branch of the study of gender
roles in war is the study of how gender
roles and expectations on both genders
 War fought on a scale never previously
seen, which initiated massive social
change, contributing to the beginning of
modern feminist movements
Strict conservative morality
prevailed, in form of Victorian
Women seen as housekeepers
whose primary role was
caring for their children
Men seen as primary financial
support and also as the
backbone of military
By 1914, about 5 of 23 million
women were employed, acting
as secretaries, teachers, etc.
International tension exploded into
huge conflict on unprecedented scale,
with over 65 million soldiers
participating worldwide, including 5
million Americans and 12 million British
soldiers; women deployed exclusively
as nurses
Millions of soldiers were drawn away
from jobs, and need for war supplies
also drastically increased, leading to
gaps in the economy which were filled
by women
Women entering into industrial factories
and munitions factories to work – places
usually reserved for men
Also took traditional male jobs such as
in police force (top picture)
After the war, due to the economic
support women provided, suffrage
movements gained traction and many
countries gave women right to vote
A war even more enormous in
scale than World War 1, it
involved every level of society in
a ‘total war’ against the country’s
respective opponents
As such, cultural perceptions of
female work during the war
shifted from being replacements
to being active supporters of
struggle against Hitler’s forces
Females made up 17% of
industrial work force prior to the
war, rising to almost 30% after it
Women revered as war heroes
much like men, having formed
backbone that made military
action possible with their work
 Women
were able to fulfill roles traditionally
assigned to men and show their aptitude in
these positions
 Society shifted back with men regaining
most of their roles
 These changes, however, provided some of
the ammunition (terrible pun) for the
blossoming feminist movement
 Women had shown their abilities, making
society more open to the feminist agenda
‘Rosie the Riveter’
 Gender
roles in war, while often
preventing women from fighting
alongside men, also prevented men from
staying at home and fulfilling labour
roles, holding men responsible for
fighting for their country on the front line
Men who did not fight were
typically perceived as
unpatriotic and cowardly
Seen as abusing the
sacrifices their fellow men
were making at war
Due to increase in female
presence in war, it is likely
this attitude has blunted
significantly; however,
since no conflicts on this
scale have occurred
recently, it is difficult to
measure how much this has
changed since the military
is still male-centric in
Modern military ads
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlzdZq
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqZVIZJaI8
These cultural changes can be
interpreted in various intellectual
Structural materialism sees women
working as solution to practical
problems created by absence of male
workers during war
Functionalism recognizes that military is
not independent institution but is
supported by other institutions that had
to be run by women in absence of men
Behaviourists may view this as people
becoming accustomed to idea of women
working as a social norm due to
exposure and propaganda
The situation of women during the two
wars led to serious social changes that
eventually led to modern feminist
movements and contributed to a higher
level of social equality