Milicianas: Women in Combat in the Spanish Civil War
Lexington Books, 2012 - 213 páginas
During the first few days of the Spanish Civil War, women played an integral role in the spontaneous uprising that prevented the immediate success of the Nationalist coup. Around one thousand of these women went on to join the militias who fought at the front. Women also played an important role in the defense of cities, with another several thousand forming sections of the armed rearguard. Indeed, women's participation in the anti-fascist resistance constituted one of the greatest mass political mobilizations of women in Spain's history. Milicianas provides a comprehensive picture of what life was like for the women who fought during the first year of the civil war, focusing on how the women themselves viewed this experience. It demonstrates that the significance of the miliciana phenomenon lies in the fact that these women took up arms in relatively large numbers, were self-motivated, participated in combat equally with their male comrades, and played an extensive and sophisticated military role. By late 1936, attitudes towards women in combat began to change drastically, and by March 1937, the majority of milicianas had been removed from their combat positions. Though there existed a consensus around this issue among the male leadership of both the Republican government and left-wing political groups, female combatants viewed this turn of events differently. The majority of the milicianas had deep reservations about their recall from the front, and saw it as a retreat from the gains women had made during the war and revolution. Indeed, while the political leadership within the Republic presented numerous arguments for why it was necessary to remove women from combat, this book argues that the reason it was initially considered acceptable for women to fight, and then seen as undesirable eight months later, was connected to the course of the social revolution.
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Women in Spain 18001936
Women and the Social Revolution in the Republican Zone
The Initial Reaction Street Fighting and Formation of the Militias
Milicianas in Combat
Changing Attitudes and the Decision to Remove Milicianas from Combat
Representations of Milicianas
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Ahora anarchist anti-fascist Antony Beevor August Barcelona battle Borkenau chapter combat positions communist comrades Concha Pérez Crónica December demonstrated equality Estampa Etchebéhère fascism female combatants Fernández de Velasco fighting fought front lines gender roles Guerra historians home front Ibárruri images independent press July left-wing political left-wing political groups Libertarias Low and Breà Madrid male Mangini Marín Mary Nash Memories of Resistance mili miliciana phenomenon milicianas military role military training militia militiawomen Mora Mujeres Libres Mundo Obrero Nash Nationalists newspaper Notebook number of women October Odena organized participated in combat Partisanas Pérez Collado photographs POUM Prison of Women propaganda prostitutes PSOE rearguard Republic Republican zone revolutionary rifle Sánchez September 1936 significant social revolution socialist Spain Spanish Civil Spanish Civil War Spanish women Strobl Teresa Pàmies tion took Velasco Pérez volunteered for combat weapons woman women from combat women in combat women’s battalions women’s liberation women’s rights