“Patriotism Is Neither Masculine nor Feminine”

Gender and the Work of War

Authored by: Charissa Threat

The Routledge History of Gender, War, and the U.S. Military

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138902985
eBook ISBN: 9781315697185
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315697185.ch15

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

A 1940 editorial on war work posits that “patriotism is neither masculine nor feminine. It is human emotion”; however, the work of war in the United States, as with many places throughout the world, has historically been gendered. 1 Gender, the socially constructed masculine and feminine traits that are associated with the biological sex of males and females, has determined the roles and responsibilities of men and women in relation to war. Historically, Americans concluded that patriotism meant that soldiering was the obligation of male citizens, while support roles were the concern of female citizens. Nevertheless, since colonial times, war in America, as in other places, often worked to undermine these gendered divisions of labor. By the late twentieth century, ideas about gender and war challenged historical assumptions about patriotism, and scholars increasingly examined how the nature of warfare and the work of war—or martial responsibilities in the broadest sense—consistently blurred the lines between feminine and masculine duties in defending and supporting the nation.

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.