They Were Everywhere – They Got Everything Done: The Cultural Construction of the Heroines of the New Age (1945-1951)

  • Danijela Velimirović Department of Ethnology and Anthropology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Keywords:
femininity, womaness, ideology, socialism, FNRY

Abstract

The post war period posed a demand for the reshaping of society, people and their habits, and thus also necessitating a plan of transformation for the female spirit. The old codes of femininity had to be forgotten. This paper is concerned with the construction of the "new woman" shaped according to the model of Nietzsche’s Ubermensch. The socialist heroine was a fierce warrioress, a devoted worker, an unparalleled shock-worker, a selfless volunteer, a loving Mother, an eager homemaker, an educator, a member of the Sports movement and a self-confident politician. The radical shift in discourse as a sign of Revolutionary victory over the disenfranchised bourgeoisie was caused by the need to rebuild the devastated country and to meet the deadline of the ambitious five year plan. The androgynous woman worked aggressively and diligently alongside the men, building Socialism and a better Future. Still, these radical changes went hand in hand with keeping certain traditional gender roles. The marked absence of men from the domestic sphere (housework, raising the children) indicates that the revolutionary references weren’t entirely as emancipatory as they seemed at first glance.

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Published
2012-02-23

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