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Love and Sex in Wartime

Controlling Women’s Sexuality in the Ukrainian Nationalist Underground

Marta Havryshko

Abstract

This article examines how the constructions of gender, female sexuality, nation, and war by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army influenced their attitudes to intimate fraternization between women (both members of the nationalist underground and civilians) and enemy men between 1939 and the mid-1950s. Conclusions are based on the analysis of a wide range of sources. The article highlights various forms and methods of repressive measures against women who transgressed sexual norms. The article argues that the violent practices against women were not standardized, and largely depended on subjective decisions of the local leaders and commanders, as well as on the level of women’s engagement in the underground activities. Violence against women represented a tool of preservation of patriarchal power and traditional gender roles but became one of the means of constructing power relations among the nationalist men, as well as their relations with enemy men.

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Militarizing Women in the Ukrainian Nationalist Movement from the 1930s to the 1950s

Olesya Khromeychuk

Abstract

Much historiography focusing on women in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army consists of describing, rediscovering, and celebrating the participation of women in the nationalist underground. This article rejects the celebratory approach to the inclusion of women in the narrative of the nationalist struggle. Instead, it focuses on the ways in which militarization of women was carried out by the nationalists from the 1930s to the 1950s. The article argues that the nationalist leadership was able to militarize a large number of women because no viable alternative to the nationalist state-building project was offered at the time, and because the nationalists propagated a conservative type of femininity that did not threaten traditional gender norms. By exploring the movement’s construction, control, and use of femininity, the article argues that deviations from traditional gender roles occurred only within the limits of, and for the benefit of, nationalist militarization.

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Modern Women in a Modern State

Public Discourse in Interwar Yugoslavia on the Status of Women in Turkey (1923–1939)

Anđelko Vlašić

Abstract

After the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Turkish women gained numerous political, social, and educational rights. Their rapidly improving status was a frequent topic in the public discourse of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (SHS)/Yugoslavia during the interwar years. One can find numerous comments in Yugoslav newspapers and journal articles, monographs, diaries, travel accounts, and other texts of the period on the contrast between the status of women in the “traditional,” “conservative,” theocratic Ottoman Empire and the status of women in the “modern,” “liberal,” secular Republic of Turkey. The Yugoslav media compared the status of Turkish women with the position of women’s rights in Yugoslavia. Through the analysis of interwar Yugoslav public discourse on the status of women in contemporary Turkey, this article aims to reveal the Yugoslav public’s perception of women’s issues through the prism of Turkey as Europe’s “Other” and their self-perception.

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New Feminist Contributions to Serbian Herstory

Željka Janković and Svetlana Stefanović

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New Perspectives on Modernity, Nationalism, and Muslim Women in the Late Ottoman Period

Selin Çağatay

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Book Reviews

Selin Çağatay, Olesya Khromeychuk, Stanimir Panayotov, Zlatina Bogdanova, Margarita Karamihova, and Angelina Vacheva

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“Comrades in Battle”

Women Workers and the 1906 Finnish Suffrage Victory

Eric Blanc

Abstract

This article examines how working-class women helped transform Finland in 1906 into the world’s first nation to grant full women’s suffrage. Activists organized into the League of Working Women fought for full suffrage in the context of an anti-imperial upsurge in Finland and a revolution across the tsarist empire. These women workers simultaneously allied with their male peers and took autonomous action to prevent their exclusion from the vote during the political upheaval of late 1905 and early 1906.In the process they challenged traditional gender norms and articulated a political perspective that tied together the fight against class, gender, and national domination.

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Crossing Boundaries

The Case of Wanda Wasilewska and Polish Communism

Agnieszka Mrozik

Abstract

The article sketches “a personal genealogy” of Wanda Wasilewska (1905-1964): a writer, a devoted communist, and head of Związek Patriotów Polskich (Union of Polish Patriots) in the USSR during World War II. Referring to Michel Foucault’s lectures on “revolution which becomes an existential project,” the author frames Wasilewska neither as a communist icon nor as a symbol of national betrayal, but instead as a living human being, a social actor, a person strongly embedded in the historical and geopolitical context of her era. The author reconstructs the process of shaping the communist identity in prewar Poland, points to the moments of transgressing subsequent boundaries—gender, national, and class—and uncovers a gradual exploring of the limits of the communist transgression by the protagonist.

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Editorial

Raili Marling

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Gendered Images and Soviet Subjects

How the Komsomol Archive Enriched My Understanding of Gender in Soviet War Culture

Adrienne M. Harris

Abstract

In this article, I detail how archival finds helped me develop questions on World War II martyr heroes and their role in Soviet culture and Russian collective memory. I consider how one might approach silences, read discrepancies in archival holdings, and extrapolate meaning from various kinds of documents. Considering that the Russian State Archive of Sociopolitical History Komsomol archive allows one to study the evolution of gender via the continuous reshaping of feminine and masculine ideals for Soviet youth, I discuss how the archive might open up new research areas and prompt additional questions for gender historians, and lead one to reconsider power and authority in the Soviet past.