Woman as consumer & victim in WWI


Women work in warThis week in Gender Roles in Wartime and Peacetime, we discussed the effects of World War I on the home front. Let’s extend our discussion in the blogosphere.

Below are several discussion questions students in the class submitted for this week’s readings. Post your comments to one or more below.

  1. According to Davis’s article, does the WWI German society ultimately view the “poor woman consumer” as a victim, a hero, or the cause of the food shortage problems? – from Laura
  2. In the Davis article, the author states, “The public believed that by late 1915 poor women were suffering as keenly from the privations of the economic war as they were from the effects of the hostilities on the battlefront” (289). Starvation has a possible outcome of death. Even though women were not fighting, they still were in a life threatening situation. Could that be compared with the battlefront? If so, what is the comparison? – from Kendra
  3. On page 186 of “Child of the Barbarian,” it says, “Rather these stories (of rape) more often stressed the relations between men, with rapes recounted as though they were designed to humiliate husbands unable to defend their homes.” This issue was seen as more of an attack on France than as a human rights issue. Why do you think this was? – from Jill
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Gender: Essential or constructed?


Female Male SymbolsOur discussion in Feminist Theory class this week revolved around whether gender is essential (biological), socially constructed, or a combination of the two.

Since we obviously can’t do justice to this subject in one class session, I am posting a few of your discussion questions to our blog so we can extend our conversation in cyberspace.

Read the questions below and post your comments on one or more:

  1. How can we stop the social construction [of gender] and separation of men and women (in terms of their expected behaviours and roles), especially if these roles and behaviors are deeply rooted in societies all over the world? – from Laura
  2. In John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women, he states that “to be an equal is to be an enemy.” Would this not go against the equality for all and feminism? – from Amanda
  3. Does the Mill reading relate to any other readings we have covered in class thus far? If so, in what ways? Explain. Further, do you believe women are oppressed by men today, as they were in the past? Explain and cite examples. – from Sarah L.