"Militarisation of motherhood": the female "natural calling" and the great war Cover Image

"Militarizacija materinstva" - ženski "naravni poklic" in vélika vojna
"Militarisation of motherhood": the female "natural calling" and the great war

Author(s): Ana Cergol Paradiž
Subject(s): Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919)
Published by: Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino
Keywords: world war I;1914–1918;motherhood;women;fertility;children;education;

Summary/Abstract: With the help of publications, legislation, memoranda and promotional materials, this article explores how various protagonists in the Slovenian-speaking territory during World War I addressed mothers, and whether the phenomenon of the »militarisation of motherhood«, typical of other European countries, was also apparent in their case. In the context of the »militarisation of motherhood« discourse, the article analyses the ways of how the female (national) identity was formed. It attempts to answer the question of what (patriotic) duties were imposed on women as mothers – for example, whether as a result of the declining birth rates at that time pronatalist incentives took place in Slovenia as well, especially the ones advocating the social and health protection of (illegitimate) mothers and children. The article also analyses the views on upbringing at the time when this task was, due to the absence of fathers, irregular school education and difficult war situation, even more challenging. At the same time the article studies the representation of women as mothers mourning the deaths of their sons-soldiers. In this context it establishes that during the war the motif of a mourning, but brave and proud mother was frequent also in the Slovenian press. A separate chapter presents the views of female authors on the topic of motherhood.

  • Issue Year: 55/2015
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 71-89
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Slovenian