Book by Nash, Mary
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Defying Male Civilization examines women's role and experiences in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). It addresses the significant contributions made by anonymous women at the homefront as well as the heroic accomplishments of female political leaders and women who fought at the war fronts.
When the war erupted, women's lives were dramatically transformed. Amid the harsh conditions of war, women organized themselves on a vast scale to fight against fascism, published antifascist journals and newspapers, took up arms, and provided services to help others survive.
For many women, being actively involved in such a struggle was a liberating experience after having been isolated from political and public life. As they gained confidence in their own capabilities, these women began questioning their traditional role in society and the restrictions that had been imposed on them because of their gender.
Based on Dr. Nash's extensive research and her interviews with women activists from the Spanish Civil War, Defying Male Civilization assesses the significance of women's involvement in the antifascist struggle against Franco. It introduces readers to the complex reality of war and revolution from a gender perspective, focusing not only on women's heroic achievements but on the limitations of change.From the Back Cover:
Women became involved in the struggle against fascism and broke with their accustomed isolation from political and public life. They built barricades, nursed the wounded, and organized relief work and child welfare. They sewed uniforms and knitted sweaters and, through their unpaid labor, provided the soldiers at the fronts with uniforms, other clothing, and necessary equipment. Women worked in public transportation, in munitions factories, and on farms. Some women also broke completely with conventional gender roles by undertaking an active part in warfare as milicianas. They took up arms and strove to be accepted on a par with soldiers at the front.
"...A compelling new series." -Feminist Bookstore News
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