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Lecture 2

HIST 263 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Nichola Goddard, Mass Mobilization, Socalled

Course Code
HIST 263
Claire Cookson- Hills

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HIST 263 Module 2 Notes
Learning Objectives
- Identify the major arguments for and against female participation in the military
- Assess the validity of these arguments through debate and discussion
Gender and War
- Module 1: warrior-kings and twentieth century generals
- Module 2: what about Spartan warriors and twentieth-century soldiers?
- Mass mobilization (conscription)
Wide pool of personnel
Lowered physical standards
Emphasis on military needs
- Volunteer Militaries (Professional forces)
Shallow pool of personnel
Higher physical standards (E.g. Universality of Service)
Greater emphasis on individual choice
- 20th century soldiers: “aggressive, fearless, passionate, and indomitable.” – Paul Jackson, One of the
- Traits associated with historic masculinity
- All militaries want their personnel (regardless of gender) to act out these traits, but not in equal
measure at all times
- Aggression
Militaries want their personnel to be selectively aggressive
Aggressive in battle towards enemy combatants, but not aggressive to prisoners of war,
civilians, or towards members of their own military
- Fearless
Military fearlessness may be necessary in battlefield situations
Military fearlessness can lead to soldiers acting impulsively or contrary to orders
Being fearful can be an expression of battlefield caution or PTSD
- Passion
Passion in wartime is one of the ties that bind soldiers together as an expression of
camaraderie, loyalty to commanders and military, loyalty to the nation or state, and loyalty
to the cause
Passion can also be indiscriminate or misdirected
E.g.: In the Second World War, Canada fielded an overseas all-volunteer army until 1944.
The military relied on tapping into Canadian nationalist passion to fuel successive campaigns
for volunteers. Once the military got those volunteers to the theatre of war, they had to
contend with other, unwanted, aspects of passion STIs. While they recovered from STIs,
these diseases took soldiers out of combat. By 1944, over half a million days of military
labour had been lost to treatment for STIs.
- Indomitable Spirit
An indomitable (unconquerable) spirit in an evenly-matched battle can provide momentum,
create cohesion, and help achieve victory

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Military personnel are expensive to replace. Most militaries do not actually acculturate their
soldiers to seek death instead of capture, if they are outnumbered, outgunned, or out-
manoeuvered in battle
Western-influenced militaries train their soldiers that the Laws of Armed Conflict guarantee
the rights of prisoners of war
- 20th century military masculinity is continually negotiated between the state, civilian culture, military
culture, military leadership, individual personnel, and situational necessity
- What room does this leave for women in 20th century militaries?
Women at War
- Warfare is “the one human activity from which women, with the most insignificant exceptions, have
always and everywhere stood apart. Women look to men to protect them from danger, and bitterly
reproach them when they fail as defenders. Women have followed the drum, nursed the wounded,
tended the fields and herded the flocks when the man of the family has followed his leader, have
even dug the trenches for men to defend and laboured in the workshops to send them their
weapons. Women, however, do not fight. They rarely fight among themselves, and they never, in
any military sense, fight men.” John Keegan A history of warfare
- Pre-20th century
War has never been an exclusively male enterprise: women rulers, women military leaders,,
individual women soldiers, camp followers, etc.
If a woman was ruling during war, she was involved in the application of violence either by
giving orders herself of by allowing herself to be the military figurehead (e.g.: Elizabeth I of
Great Britain. This portrait commemorates the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, with
the fleet in the background and her hand resting possessively on a globe.)
In rare instances, women were military leader sin their own right (e.g.: Jeanne d’Arc –
French Military Leader in the Hundred Years War)
Throughout military history, a number of soldiers have been discovered to be women. These
individuals were usually cross-dressing at the time (E.g. Albert Cashier, borne Jennie
Hodgers, was a transgender soldier in the American Civil War, 1860-65. Jovita Feitosa was a
Brazillian soldier in the wars against Paraguay, 1864-67)
Women historically played many roles by traveling with armies on campaign, such as
cooking, cleaning, washing, nursing and providing sex to soldiers (e.g.: Florence Nightingale,
a nurse in the Crimean War, 1854-1856)
- In 20th century
All-female units, or participation in mixed-gender units increasingly common, and some
women shine as soldier-heroes (e.g.: Maria Botchkareva WW1, Russian Civil War.
Nadezhda Popova WW2. Nichola Goddard Afghanistan War: These women performed
complex gender roles and operated at the boundaries of acceptability)
WW1 and WW2: The rise of mass armies demanded new roles for civilians including
civilian women. Women were original mobilized in labour units as a way to free men for
combat roles. These units and roles became increasingly militarized, until by the end of
WW2, many militaries had women in non0combat roles.
WW1: In Britain, women mobilized for agricultural labour and home-front military positions.
In Russia, Maria Botchkareva formed the Women’s Battalion of Death to shame men into
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