oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen
oracne

Notes--women in WWI



INTO THE BREACH: AMERICAN WOMEN OVERSEAS IN WORLD WAR I, Dorothy and Carl J. Schneider, Viking Penguin, 1991.

p. 264 postwar period: "Nice women--and these were almost all thoroughly nice women--did not gossip, did not openly criticize men, did not say anything that might damage another woman's reputation, did not worry their families unnecessarily, and did not talk about certain areas of experience, particularly sexual experience."

p. 265 "separate but equal" friendships between American men and women; double standard for men, though.

p. 276 "These women, so strongly impelled in the war by the ideal of service and sustained by the intensity of wartime life, so greatly daring, so accustomed to responsibility, returned to a country still ruled by the concept of woman as nurturant homemaker."

p. 277 "Stateside folks after World War I had little to guide them in relating to their returning veterans. They hailed the conquering heroes, but faltered in ignorance and dismay before the traumatized and disillusioned."

"Whatever their reasons, the women wrote, in Carrie May Hall's phrase, only about the "edges of things." The differences between the articles and books published during the war and those of a decade later are dramatic. So are the differences between the letters women wrote home during the war and the evaluations of their experiences they wrote from the late twenties on."

p. 278 women veterans weren't allowed to be treated in VA Hospitals; eventually army nurses made it in. They received no benefits until the Signal Corps telephone operators and WASPS won status of "veterans" in 1977 [!].

p. 280 postwar suicide rates were high, especially on the way back to the States. "a mixture of sadness, horror, and joy," Viola May Burleson.

p. 281 "When convention and affection silenced them to others, they could confide in those who had seen what they had seen."

Women's Overseas Service League founded 1921.

Appendix A: Statistics of (American) women overseas 1914-1918.
Red Cross: 10,000 nurses; 4,610 relief workers. YWCA: 433 relief workers. Salvation Army: 109 relief workers. YMCA: 3,480 relief workers.
658 Entertainers, of which ~593 were YMCA.
Quakers: 40 in France as of November, 1918; 6 in Russia and probably some in England.
Thousands of other women served with about 50 other American organizations and some 45 other foreign organizations.
The Army
Signal Corps: 230, mostly switchboard operators. Quartermaster: 120.
Lab assistants and bacteriologists: ~135. Physical and occupational therapists: 150.
450 women doctors were registered, but records are unclear.
Uncounted: American expatriates, missionaries, individuals.
Conservative total: 25,000.

Tags: wwi research
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