Last time we went over the political landscape and scope of WWI, including the context of democracy here. Hence, establishing the war was one for democracy but these were to some degree empty words and questioning if democracy is inherently good. Another note of interest was the role of women in democracy. But what about the general, overall role of women at the time?
The wife, the mother, the cook and so on. That is the traditional role of the woman in the early 20th century that most of you know of or are aware of. For Wonder Woman and her fellow Amazons they occupy many roles such as warrior, farmer, metal workers, teachers and much more. On Paradise Island there is no set role as it is more communal. Yet, during the war things changed for women. You know Rosie the Riveter? Truth be told, she already existed prior to Pearl Harbor. Keep in mind many of men were shipped off to the front during the war. With that said, who occupies those left over jobs? Women of course, sometimes married women. You had women working in the factory producing for the war effort, such things as ammunitions. Propaganda posters were created such as “These Women Are Doing Their Bit.” Hell, they even got nicknames such as Munitionettes and Canaries because of the yellow skin they got from working with toxic chemicals. Others jobs were doled out to women through recruitment drives such as railway guards and ticket collectors, buses and tram conductors, postal workers, police, firefighters, and clerks. There is the story of Gabrielle West in Britain who served as a guard in a munitions factory, overseeing women workers. In fact, women were also payed lower wages which did lead to strikes and demands for equal pay, an issue that was not born simply today.
Of course women flocked and or were recruited to become nurses within the realms of the military of their respective nation or The Red Cross. Yet, there are also tales of women having actually served in battle such as Dorothy Lawrence from England, Maria Bohckavera, Olga Krasilnikov and Natalie Tychmini all from Russia and the highly-decorated female soldier of Serbia – Milunka Savić. The Russian Provisional Government of 1917 even formed its own Women’s Battalions. Now granted, some of the time these women who entered were disguised as men. A personal favorite of mine is the Cossack Marina Yurlova who followed her father at young age into the war and served as a child soldier who fought the Turks and would later on become the sole survivor of her fellow prisoners at the hands of the Bolsheviks.
Granted, it seems things are finally changing as sexism is ending and we are erasing the common gender roles. This is something Diana would be excited about and impressed by man’s world. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Women were simply fulfilling a demand for more hands, more help. Once the war was over and men returned home, the women were driven back home to the traditional house wife status. The war had not changed anything for women. And women would be stuck there again until WWII. It’s strange as WWI created a communal environment and planning, yet once the crisis had been diverted we returned women to private home life. The young idealistic Diana will be coming to this world to see this. What would Diana say and respond to man’s world finally letting women in the factory and on the battlefield, only to turn back on them at the end? It is safe to say this will help ruin that idealism as she turns her back on man’s world which we will finally touch base on and end next time.
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