The Blood of Our Sons: Men, Women and the Renegotiation of British Citizenship During the Great War

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In this ground-breaking study of the complex relationship between war, gender, and citizenship in Great Britain during World War I, Nicoletta Gullace shows how the assault on civilian masculinity led directly to women's suffrage. Through recruiting activities such as handing out white feathers to reputed 'cowards' and offering petticoats to unenlisted 'shirkers', female war enthusiasts drew national attention to the fact that manhood alone was an inadequate marker of civic responsibility. Proclaiming women's exemplary service to the nation, feminist organizations tapped into a public culture that celebrated military service while denigrating those who opposed the war. Drawing on the vast range of popular and official sources, Gullace reveals that the war had revolutionary implications for women who wished to vote and for men who were expected to fight.