International Women’s Day 2016

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Ladies and gentlemen! Today is a pretty awesome day for all the sexes. Today is a day where we appreciate women, where we strive for equality, talk feminism, and basically tell the world why ladies are kick ass and why our issues matter. Each IWD has a different focus and this years is to focus on the Planet 50-50 by 2030 which is a United Nations backed scheme to help see women gain better equality and prospects by the Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development comes around in 2030.

56c4be02e74370e73f0f7876e318fa63As you’ve probably seen a lot of the British (and worldwide) press and media organisations are really taking to the subject of today and Twitter and other social networks are all aflutter with you lovely people joining in. We’re seeing the Guardian have a live blog and asking people ‘What does equality mean to you?’ The Independent have a pretty cool 10 ways you can make a difference article that takes into account the likes of donating to rape charities and looking at everyday chores in the household and see who does them most. I really like Google’s doodle for the day and the hashtag they’ve created #OneDayIWill It really gets us involved and they’ve also got some videos of women from all over the world doing things we might not necessarily see as feminine just drilling in what International really means!

We at Well Did You Evah thought we’d try something a bit different. We could talk about equality and feminism till the cows come home. I could tell you how it’s going to take about 118 years for the gender pay gap to become level or how women in some countries still don’t have their basic rights and needs met. I could tell you about how in this country a lot of careers still have a large ratio of male to women staff and don’t get me started on the top jobs.

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The ratio of women in political power compared to men

After seeing what others have been writing about today we thought we’d stick with actual women who have made a difference, are making a difference or are just so cool we’re proud to have them be the same sex as us. We’re going to pick figures from history, actresses, writers and artists and most definitely throw a few in their who you may not have thought of but we think deserve to be in the mix. This in no way means no one else should be on our list, we’re just picking the ones we shortlisted because to begin with we could have created an entire month.

 

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This will give us a few days worth of posts so, drum roll please, we’d like to introduce you to Well Did You Evah’s Ladies week!

The Crimson Field Review

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For the past six weeks the BBC have treated us to a fantastic war drama called The Crimson Field. This series was based in France and was set in a medical camp close to the front lines.

Throughout the six hours it’s been on our tv screens we’ve managed to see more of women’s lives in WWI than we’d possibly read in a book. It’s definitely bolstered the fact that women were indeed a crucial part of WWI

p01vbnlcThe main three ladies we get to know from the beginning are Kitty Trevelyan (Oona Chaplin), Flora Marshall (Alice St. Clair) and Rosalie Berwick (Marianne Oldham) all of them have their own secrets which we find out in the series. We get to watch them all grow in the short time we know them yet after the finale Sunday night it left me feeling like I’d known them forever. Suranne Jones plays another character who we know from the beginning, she plays Sister Joan Livesy. Sister Livesy is keeping a bigger secret than the rest of the ladies which makes her very interesting to watch.

One part I have to applaud the BBC on tackling is the taboo subject of Germans residing in Britain after the sinking of the Lusitania. We find out early on that Sister Livesy’s fiancé is a German, living in Britain, who goes back to be a German soldier. We find out that Germans who lived in Britain were treat very badly throughout this time. It’s quite an eye opener to see how different nationalities were so strictly divided but then we see this same division between the sexes and particularly ranks within the army.

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Each week we saw a different mix of soldiers come through the doors. This gave quite a visual of how the army, doctors and nurses dealt with different scenarios. A few that cropped up were desertion, keeping homophobia on the quiet, shell shock and mental health problems caused by the war and trust issues between the staff. Put in the time era of WWI and the punishments in place made these serious issues.

In some ways this series has been different to many you’ve seen before. I know when I first heard about it being commissioned I fell in love with the fact that thesuranne-jones-and-hermione-norris-in-the-crimson-field-136389032614410401-140404164356
main characters were female nurses from an everyday background. I loved that the actors were fairly unknown but you had the guiding light of experience such as Hermione Norris, Kevin Doyle and Adam James to keep it all in check so to speak. Everything else you learn about the war is an added bonus. The characters are obviously different to films you may have watched about both WWI and WWII, they feel a lot more gritty and strict. The nurses are also strict and stick with the rules, but you sometimes see the newer nurses facades crack a little reminding you they’re only human and they’re still only young.

In Sunday nights finale, which was a corker, the news comes in about Edith Cavell being executed which ties in with the storyline at that point. Everything within the series works well especially with the writers managing to weave real life stories into the scripts.

tumblr_n4d382JUTh1si51pco1_500The Crimson Field is really a series that needs to be watched. In my opinion it wouldn’t have worked as well for any other war. WWII sticks with women being Land Girls, Lumber Jills and Donut Dollies. WWI only seemed to depict women as nurses, there doesn’t appear to be many other roles for the fairer sex. The series manages to fit all the good, bad, ugly and forbidden of a year in WWI into six hours. Yes some questions don’t seem properly answered but this may leave room for another series… Just remember there’s still a lot of the war left at this point.

Watch The Crimson Field on BBC iPlayer here

Learn more about the series here

TV’s Bomb Girls bids us farewell

This isn’t a post about actual real life Bomb Girls, I’ll do that some other time. Bomb Girls is a Canadian TV show that appeases us vintage and war lovers while teaching those young whipper snappers about what women actually … Continue reading

Pin-Up Girls VS Land Girls

Let’s not imagine these two types of women in a wrestling ring. Although I will admit it would be a fairly interesting match; the seducing poses and bodies of the Pin-Up Girls against the hard working determined attitudes of the Land Girls who aren’t afraid to get dirty… I think we all know what side a large slice of the male population would take. But this isn’t a beauty pageant.

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Land Girls were one of the reasons society stayed afloat, with men going out to war in WWI and WWII, there was hardly anyone back home to look after the agriculture. The women looked after the farms, without this staples such as bread, milk and vegetables wouldn’t have been about. This was a huge chance for women to show what they could do, before their main jobs were to stay at home and look after the house, kids and husband. Ok, that attitude was still there in the 1950’s, but this could be said to have given women a bit more confidence, breaking out of the traditional feminine role. Women got to get dirty, roll up their sleeves and dress up in overalls, dungarees, wellies, ok most still wore the norm of skirts and dresses but there was some freedom, and go out to work. Not a sewing machine in sight (unless you made parachutes)! Women got to use machinery such as tractors and even learnt to fix them.

This wasn’t just a British thing. The USA has their own Land Girl society, slowly the western culture began to see the industrial use of women. This wasn’t like Victorian times where women were forced to work in factories just to survive. These modern day women VOLUNTEERED to be of use to their country

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The world was in a war, the men weren’t the only ones who were wanting to fight for their country. Women weren’t allowed to join the army in those days so, ways for women to fight from home were made available.

Land Girls were just one battle station a woman could take up. For the more qualified lady strategic stations were available through the Forces. Anyone who has seen a war time film, must have seen the women doing jobs like answering the phones and pushing boats across the big maps to show where our boats are.

Overall, the Land Girls had a hard task, hate to admit it but most women, especially in those days due to the rationed diet plus most being mothers who would have given up food to feed her family, aren’t as strong as men. They went out to do a mans job digging, farming and mechanical work and they succeeded.

HONESTLY, They did a bloody good job. Women today should look back and be proud and use them as inspiration for the strength we have.

Pin-Up Girls. Compared to the Land Girls this role would seem like luxury. However, taking into account Pin-Up Girls were popular in the war, there was hardly any luxury (except for the famous). These girls were supposed to smile, put on a show, make others happy or at least feel like there was hope. Most Drawn Pin up girls were seen having the desired, ‘Hour Glass,’ Figure. Today loads of women either aim to be stick thin, or have a curvy hour glass figure. Back then the only figure which was desired was the hour glass. World War one plunged Great Britain into a world of rationed food, people lost weight, and the risk of transport for bringing goods over seas didn’t just damage food supply. Cotton was imported so clothing had to be hand made, the term, “Make Do and Mend,” became popular- A.K.A if you had a hole in your sock you fixed it and kept wearing the sock, most people couldn’t afford to go out and buy new clothing, they made it.

In Pin Up Photo shoots, legs became popular. Betty_Grable_20th_Century_FoxActress Betty Grable was known for her legs, her legs were insured for 1 million dollars. If you have a look at some pin up pictures from that era the

Pin Up 1legs are the main focus. Even today parts of the pin up figure remain, hour glass bodies are still provocative and “Sexy,” due to the big bust and curvy hips. And long legs are also a trait that are seen attractive. The world is still in a pin up state.

Pin-Up Girls did good from a point of view. Some men saw them as, “Good Luck,” Charms. The point of them were so men could visualise the woman- Pin-Up Girls became a sort of pornography… Just with out the boobs showing like most cases of picture porn these days.

They motivated men, men could think they were fighting for a woman like that- I feel I should be including that Disney Mulan song, “A Girl Worth Fighting for ,” In this post. The other point of view looks at the other females who had to look at these women.

It gave (in some cases) an unrealistic image of the female body. Ok, all females could be as pretty as a pin up, but realistically the figure and the clothes were not achievable in a war. Pin up’s made expectations for men higher, but that expectation for majority of females couldn’t reach that.

Overall, Pin-Up Girls had their part to play. They gave men overseas hope. Just as women back home gave others hope and cared for them. It’s almost as if Pin-Up Girls stepped in being the wives of the men overseas when women couldn’t be their for them as they couldn’t reach them and had other responsibilities to up hold.