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Journal Article

Author
Reekie, Gail
Title
War, Sexuality and Feminism: Perth's Women's Organisations 1938-1945
In
Historical Studies
Imprint
vol. 21, no. 85, 1985, pp. 576-591
Abstract

An examination of women's campaigns during World War II in Perth to protect women from sexual exploitation. The seven organizations examined are the Women's Service Guilds, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the Women Justices' Association, the National Council of Women, the Labor Women's Organisation, the Communist Party women and the Modern Women's Club. They were concerned with public sexual behavior, prostitution, contraception, and venereal disease. Most of those involved were upper- and middle-class women who had a "bourgeois ideology of womenhood" and found it hard to come to terms with working-class women's sexuality and willingness to take advantage of wartime permissiveness. Seen in the context of feminism the campaigns appear as specific responses to a situation "unrelated to any cohesive theory of women's position in society."

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