Research Repository

'Playing at being soldiers'?: British women and military uniform in the First World War

Noakes, L (2008) ''Playing at being soldiers'?: British women and military uniform in the First World War.' In: Meyer, J, (ed.) British Popular Culture and the First World War. Brill, 123 - 145. ISBN 9789004166585

Full text not available from this repository.


The woman in military uniform threatens to destabilise both the femininity of the women who wear it and the naturalised linkage between soldiering and masculinity. As Marjorie Garber has argued, the ?sight of women wearing medals or ?orders? attached to their chests? suggests that ?such orders can be unpinned, detached, from men.? Attempts to ?manage? this problem have involved a close attention to the minutiae of women?s appearance when they don military uniform in an attempt to mediate the challenge that their presence in uniform poses to the gendered status quo. This chapter builds on the work undertaken by Susan Grayzel to examine both this challenge, and the attempts to mediate it, in the increasingly militarised society that was Britain during the First World War. It traces the relationship of femininity to fashion and to uniform during the war, a relationship which was neither straightforward nor singular.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 12:40
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 12:40

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item