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Vrouwen tijdens WO1

 
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shabu
Cheffin


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BerichtGeplaatst: 14 Feb 2009 20:14    Onderwerp: Vrouwen tijdens WO1 Reageer met quote

Via deze link een aantal mooie foto's van vrouwen tijdens WOI:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/uknews/3380912/A-Woman-In-Love-And-War-Vera-Brittain.html?image=2


Laatst aangepast door shabu op 14 Feb 2009 20:18, in toaal 2 keer bewerkt
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shabu
Cheffin


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BerichtGeplaatst: 14 Feb 2009 20:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

"The myth of female inferiority has always been rooted in the contention that men die for their country but women do not"

Vera Brittain's 'Testament of Youth', a classic of the Great War, has been described as the war book of the women of England. This prescient and powerful essay, written in 1968, two years before her death, charts how the war sparked the feminist revolution

Soon after seeing Journey's End, I began to ask myself: Why should these young men have the war to themselves? Didn't women have their war as well? They weren't all, as these men make them out to be, only suffering wives and mothers, or callous parasites, or mercenary prostitutes. Does no one remember the women who began their war service with such high ideals or how grimly they carried on when that flaming faith had crumbled into the grey ashes of disillusion? Who will write the epic of the women who went to the war, and came back leaving the bones of their men in the trampled fields of France?

In pictures: Women at war
Churchill's Wizards by Nicholas Rankin
Kitchener's Last Volunteer
Could I, who had done nothing important yet, carry through such a massive undertaking? With scientific precision, I studied the memoirs of Blunden, Sassoon, and Graves. Surely, I thought, my story is as interesting as theirs. Besides, I see things other than they have seen, and some of the things they perceived, I see differently. A new type of autobiography was coming into fashion, which would represent the ordinary people of the world upon whom wars were imposed. I wanted to make my own story as truthful as history but as readable as fiction, and in it I intended to speak, not for those in high places, but for my own generation of obscure young women.

A woman could perceive the picture as clearly as a man - perhaps more clearly, owing to the inevitably greater detachment which a woman's wartime insignificance gave her. Midway between the beginning and end of the war I had written to my brother in the trenches about the quality of our age. He was then on the Italian Front and, though only 21, was the kind of correspondent who understands everything. Such individuals are so rare that I have missed him all my life.

About the summer of 1917 I wrote to him: "I think that 'Before' and 'After' this war will make the same kind of division in human history as 'BC' and 'AD'." At the time this seemed an extravagant and even absurd assessment, but after half a century it does not seem to me that I was so far wrong in my estimate of that tremendous perspective.

The quality of the two titanic revolutions was, of course, quite different. The transition from the pagan to the Christian world meant a vast spiritual change affecting all human lives from the first century onward. The changes created by the events of 1914 and the years immediately afterward were social and political, but they, too, were apocalyptic and fundamental. Mankind was never the same again after 1914, any more than it was ever the same again after the Crucifixion. Only those who recall, however dimly, the vanishing sunset splendour of the final Victorian years can estimate in their personal histories the quality of the transformation which the events of 1914 created for the much battered human race.

I have never been able to feel that September 3, 1939, presented a comparable cataclysm to that of August 4, 1914. The second date had been long foreseen, and though it heralded more and worse disasters which were to come closer to the comfortable British people than the cross-Channel terrors of the First World War, it lacked the same quality of shock.

The "awful face of duty" sent the generation which had known no major war since their grandparents had fought in the Crimea into the interminable miles of trenches which stretched from the Ardennes to the North Sea, or took them in the ships, great and small, which when they were sunk carried hundreds of young men into a cold, anonymous grave without hope of rescue or the least understanding of the issue for which they had sacrificed their lives.

They belonged to a sheltered human vintage for which occasional disasters, such as the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, were isolated reminders that tragedy existed. But no one, before 1914, expected it to come nearer, for smooth events had established the conviction that human happiness was normal and disaster exceptional. To us, with our cheerful confidence in the benignity of fate, war was something remote, unimaginable, its monstrous destructions safely shut up, like the Black Death and the Great Fire, between the covers of history books.

What really mattered were the absorbing incidents of our private lives - our careers, ambitions, friendships, and love affairs. And now public issues and private lives had become bewilderingly inseparable. Yet if the whole comfortable generation had felt sheltered and secure, its women seemed to be especially cut off from reality. Their subservience was not a matter for discussion except by a handful of wild fanatics who had begun to make extravagant claims to equality and opportunity.

The inferiority of women was accepted as part of the natural order of creation. The suffragettes, to the amusement of the unthinking public, began to make their vehement demands, less than a decade before the world changed forever.

The wearing anxiety of waiting for letters probably made all noncombatants feel more distracted than anything else in that sustained nightmare. Even when the letters came, they were at least four days old; the writers after sending them would have had time to die many times. This particular form of painful suspense began for me when Roland Leighton [who was to become her fiancé] went to the Front as a boy barely 20 in March 1915 and ended for me only in June 1918, when my brother's death after that of Roland and our two dearest friends left me with no one else for whom to feel anxiety.

During the periods of waiting, especially when the newspapers reported the imminence of a "great push", ordinary household sounds became a torment. The striking of a clock, marking off each hour of dread, broke into the immobility of tension with the shattering effect of a thunderclap. Every ring at the bell suggested a telegram, the only method of conveying urgent news before the days of radio and television; every telephone call implied a long-distance message giving bad news.

It is not surprising that many women developed an anxiety neurosis which lasted until the end of their lives. To this constant dread was added, as the end of the fighting moved ever onward into an incalculable future, a new fear that the war would come between the men at the front and the women who loved them. Between 1914 and 1919 the war always did, putting a barrier of indescribable experience between the two sexes, thrusting horror deeper and deeper inward, linking the dread of spiritual death to the apprehension of physical disaster.

When one of two dear friends was blinded at Arras in 1917 and sent to England to die in a London military hospital, I went to his funeral in Sussex, where his family lived. More bitter even than the sorrow of his death was my acute consciousness of England's uncomprehending remoteness from the tragic, profound freemasonry which united the men and, very rarely, the women who accepted death together overseas. The women who served or only waited in the Second World War, though they experienced fresh horrors, were at least spared this fear of estrangement due to ignorance, for in this second onslaught of fate men and women alike shared the perils that threatened both sexes.

The myth of female inferiority has always been rooted in the contention that men die for their country but women do not. Now neither sex, except in very primitive societies, can do this with any expectation that their efforts will be effective against the colossal amoralities of dominant science.

The war was often said to be responsible for the immediate postwar feminist reforms in Britain, and indeed it helped, in the sense that it did give women the opportunity to show that they could do what they had long claimed. These results would not, however, have achieved their purpose without the preliminary years of feminist spadework, ending in the spectacular protests of the suffragettes, who put the women's cause on the map.

But in a much deeper sense the two wars made the sexes equal, not merely because women proved that they could do the work of men (as they did), but because they could, and did, die the deaths of men. Thus, they shared the "supreme sacrifice", which made them equals in death as in life.

•'Because You Died: Poetry and Prose of the First World War and After', by Vera Brittain (Little, Brown), is available from Telegraph Books for £9.99 + 99p p&p. To order, call 0870 428 4112 or go to books.telegraph.co.uk
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kiwii_17



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BerichtGeplaatst: 14 Feb 2009 22:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooie fotoreeks!
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Yvonne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Mei 2010 9:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooie foto's!
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Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

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shabu
Cheffin


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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Mei 2010 9:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Misschien een idee om deze samen te voegen met het andere topic?
Nu zijn er twee topic over vrouwen tijdens WOI, allebei in een ander forum gedeelte.
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jurgen



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BerichtGeplaatst: 15 Jun 2011 17:30    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

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