By Angela Woollacott
During this evocative ebook, Angela Woollacott analyzes oral histories, staff' writings, newspapers, authentic experiences, and manufacturing facility music lyrics to offer an intimate view of ladies munitions staff in Britain in the course of international battle I.Munitions paintings provided working-class women--for the 1st time--independence, a competent source of revenue, even a far better lifestyle. yet male employers and alternate unionists introduced them face-to-face with their subordination as ladies inside their very own type, whereas stories with middle-class girls co-workers and police reminded them in their prestige as operating class.Woollacott sees the lady munitions employee as a robust image of modernity who challenged the gender order via her patriotic paintings and challenged type variations via her elevated spending energy, mobility, and altering social habit.
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Additional info for On her their lives depend: munitions workers in the Great War
Report of the Inteligence and Record Section, Public Record Office (hereafter PRO), MUN 2/27, 12 February 1916. 5 There is no exact statistic of the number of women employed in munitions work in World War I. Probably the most useful figures were those compiled by the War Cabinet Committee on Women in Industry, which was commissioned in 1918 and reported the following year. It calculated that the number of women employed in industry increased between July 1914 and July 1918 by 792,000 from 2,178,600 to 2,970,600.
14 Yet nurses, the Florence Nightingales of World War I, performed the maternal, nurturing role of healers, those who worked to restore life to the decimated, emasculated victims of war. In contrast, women munitions workers, besides being numerically more of an army, were the first stage of the production line of war: they made the guns, shells, explosives, aircraft, and other matériel that "made" the war at the front. They could not consistently partake of the pacifist opposition to war that was available to, and subscribed to by, some nurses, members of the Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs), and ambulance drivers.
Arms and the Woman: War, Gender and Literary Representation (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989). 30. By "gender" I mean the social and cultural construction of ideas of femininity and masculinity, which are linked to but distinct from biological differences between women and men. 31 The war was a searing epoch unto itself that no one who lived through it could forget. As Samuel Hynes opens his account of how the war transformed culture: "The First World War was the great military and political event of its time; but it was also the great imaginative event.