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6 Women at War

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Chapter Summary

The short but raw Civil War in Finland in 1918 engaged women as well as men. Women on both sides worked in maintenance troops. This chapter examines women's different roles in the Finnish Civil War and explains why some of those roles were seen as so unpalatable. It also seeks to address the following questions: what was the ideal image of woman maintained by the Whites on the eve of the Civil War; and how did the Red women fit into this image? what were the consequences? how did the Reds themselves react to the arming of women? And, finally, women's military activity will be compared to women's participation in revolts in other European countries during and after World War I. The chapter argues that Finnish Red women had very much in common with their sisters in Russia, Germany, Hungary, and Spain.

Keywords: Finland; Finnish Civil War; military activity; Red women; Russia



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