Tantalizing Tuesday – Domestic Duties and 1950s Irish Housewives

As women returned from their war duties in the late 1940s many once again subsumed the role of wives and mothers that they had prior to 1939. Others did not and went onto lead professional, independent lives fueled by their sense of ‘freedom’ that serving in various armed forces gave them. Indeed, women leaving the various Allied auxiliary services were even offered ‘Housewife Classes’ if they were to be married soon after been demobbed alongside such practical classes as typewriting, secretarial skills, and options for going to University. Read on to see how a return to domesticity, and in some cases women never left the domestic sphere, affected Irish women in the early 1950s.

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Forces Friday – 1940s Irish Women – The Women’s Voluntary Service in Ulster

The Women’s Voluntary Services was publicly launched on 16th June 1938 with the aim to recruit women who could help in the eventuality of war. These women would eventually between 1939 and 1945 assist ARP wardens, escort evacuees, provide mobile canteens, organize fundraising drives, manage clothing depots, and assist the local authorities in any manner needed. The WVS members quickly became recognizable with their distinctive teal green uniform consisting of a dress, beret, great coat, scarf, overalls, and skirt suit on more formal business. Read on to find out how the WVS was set up in Ulster and how the uniform was a key part of a woman’s role as a member of the WVS.

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Women and the Irish Home Front of World War Two

This week my blog posts will concentrate on the lives of Irish women during World War Two. This is a particular area of interest as I have a long time interest of the roles of women during World War Two; particularly the lives of ordinary women on the British or Irish Home Front. This blog post looks at what effect rationing had on the lives of Irish women and how they managed to continue as ‘normal’ despite shortages and stress over loved ones away at war.

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Modernism, Motherhood, and Misgivings – 1930s Ireland

The image of a traditional Irish woman; a home-maker, mother, traditionalist, and industrious provider for her family in times of need. Although if you look carefully enough this woman (we do not know if she was ever a mother; as like a lot of Irish women she is an anonymous woman from history)she appears to have the remnants of a permanent wave and is wearing silk stockings. This image sits somewhat at the intersection of traditionalism and modernism; this Irish woman is working at a traditional industry, spinning wool,  but is sporting a modern hairstyle and silk stockings. Read on to find out how women in 1930s Ireland grappled with and experienced both traditional and modern modes of femininity.

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International Women’s Day 2022 – Irish Flappers in 1920s Ireland

Think of 1920s Ireland and images of war and brutality come to mind. With upheavals from 1920 to 1925 it’s hard to think or believe that life did go on albeit at a perhaps more fractious pace. Ordinary life did prevail around bullets and bombs; people got married, went to work and school, shopped for clothing, and went on holidays. And surprise surprise Irish women did bob their hair, shorten their hemlines, and danced the Charleston and shock horror where just as much a Flapper as their British counterpart! View Post