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Victory Girls, Khaki-Wackies, And Patriotutes

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Overview

Victory Girls, Khaki-Wackies, and Patriotutes offers a counter-narrative to the story of Rosie the Riveter, the icon of female patriotism during World War II. With her fist defiantly raised and her shirtsleeves rolled up, Rosie was an asexual warrior on the homefront. But thousands of women supported the war effort not by working in heavy war industries, but by providing morale-boosting services to soldiers, ranging from dances at officers' clubs to more blatant forms of sexual services, such as prostitution.

While the de-sexualized Rosie was celebrated, women who used their sexuality - either intentionally or inadvertently - to serve their country encountered a contradictory morals campaign launched by government and social agencies, which shunned female sexuality while valorizing masculine sexuality. This double-standard was accurately summed up by a government official who dubbed these women patriotutes: part patriot, part prostitute.

Marilyn E. Hegarty explores the dual discourse on female sexual mobilization that emerged during the war, in which agencies of the state both required and feared women's support for, and participation in, wartime services. The equation of female desire with deviance simultaneously over-sexualized and desexualized many women, who nonetheless made choices that not only challenged gender ideology but defended their right to remain in public spaces.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Hegarty has succeeded in writing a very engaging and readable account of an important, and troubling, aspect of the history of the "good war."" -Nancy K. Bristow,Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth

“Hegarty . . . uncover[s] a complex picture. . . . This study . . . significantly enhances our understanding of the World War II period in the United States.”
-Journal of American History

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’Offers a fresh perspective on the construction of gender roles during wartime by examining the experience of women who performed moral-maintaining, or as she terms the, ’sexualized services’ during World War II.”
-Military Review

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“Hegarty conducted excellent research in Social Protection Division archives, popular magazines, professional journals, and numerous other wartime materials.”
-Choice

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“The strength of Victory Girls, Khaki-Wackies, and Patriotutes is [Hegarty’s] delving deep into bureaucratic files, piecing together the Federal and state U.S. officials’ steps toward, and thinking behind, mobilizing and controlling American women’s sexuality.”
-Cynthia Enloe,author of The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814737040
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 0.75 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marilyn (Lyn) E. Hegarty teaches American History, Women's History, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University.

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Table of Contents

1 The Long Arm of the State 12

2 Prelude to War 42

3 "Reservoirs of Infection": Science, Medicine, and Contagious Bodies 61

4 "A Buffer of Whores": Military and Social Ambivalence about Sexuality and Gender 85

5 "Spell 'IT' to the Marines": The Contradictory Messages of Popular Culture 110

6 Behind the Lines: The War against Women 128

7 Conclusion 156

App. 1 The Eight Point Agreement 165

App. 2 The May Act 167

App. 3 Federal Agencies: The Social Protection Division 169

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