Header -- Queen Anne's Lace Abstract

Saturday, March 5, 2011

WOMEN TAKE OVER THE FARM WORK

MARCH IS WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
FEMALE FARM WORKER WEARING THE OFFICIAL KHAKI UNIFORM
PROVIDED BY THE WOMAN'S LAND ARMY  MOVEMENT -- 1918
Library of Congress
Many young men in 1914 to 1918 left the farm to fight in WWI. These young males were recruited from farms where an estimated 38 percent of our population worked at that time. 

Folks in the states began to question how our country would fill the labor gap to produce our food. They were worried that it would probably result in food scarcity and rising food prices. 

Well,  the woman associated with the women's suffrage movement had an idea. Leaders from this movement stepped forward with a plan to recruit woman to fill the gaps on the farms. It would show the strength and discipline of women. 

WOMAN'S LAND ARMY RECRUITING POSTER -- 1918
Library of Congress
Farmers and politicians  were scornful of the idea. They characterized women as too weak to do the work. Eventually they came around to the idea. The women who worked the farms were dubbed the "farmerettes." The whole movement was called, The Woman's Land Army.

WOMAN'S LAND ARMY TRAINING ANNOUNCEMENT POSTER -- 1918
Library of congress
Leaders of the Woman's Land Army were from all walks of life --  the suffrage movement, labor movement, garden clubs, universities -- all helping  raise money to recruit volunteers. They bargained with farmers and won an 8 hour day with pay for the volunteer farmerettes. Thousand of women from all walks of economic lifestyles volunteered to work on the farms.


This movement displayed the strength, courage, and creativity of women. It also set the pattern that women could step in and fill the male labor gap. In WWII  woman workers performed male tasks in manufacturing plants. Their nickname was, "Rosie the Riveter."

 Below is a fine video about Women's History Month -- produced by the National Women's History Museum. 



Below are some resources that provide more information on the Woman's Land Army and Women's History Month.




BOOK RESOURCE




RESOURCE ORGANIZATION

National Women's History Museum



27 comments:

  1. And that's what my novel is about! Your post added a lot of information, Barbara, that I did not have! Thanks much!

    Love it!
    Elora

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  2. Elora -- your novel will be most interesting. Glad that I could provide some info. You are a multi-dimensional woman. -- barbara

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  3. Fantastic post! We owe so much to those women! Thanks for all the insight I am much more familiar with Rosie from WWII and did not know about the Women's Land Army. I learned a lot here!

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  4. Many gals were the main farm worker, due to a plethora of reasons, they just suddenly had a bajillion sisters right along side of them ;)

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  5. Great post -- the top picture is fabulous!

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  6. Daphne -- This Woman's Land Army has not gotten much notice which I find is as-usual for woman's achievements. However, we are slowly gaining our equal place in many ways. Thanks -- barbara

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  7. Jayne -- Women as a group have taken the reins for promoting equality for themselves. -- barbara

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  8. June -- I found it interesting that not only did women gather the women to work the farms they provided a uniform. I wonder if any museum has one of these uniforms. -- barbara

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  9. What a great post and video! Women have more than carried their share of the work load through out history. We're alot stronger than alot of men give us credit for, physically and mentally.

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  10. Mama-Bug -- Thanks for the comments. I think we have made many great strides in this century toward being treated equally. However, many of the contributions that women have made have gone unnoticed -- but this will change with more research. -- barbara

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  11. In the country, women have always worked hard outside and on the farm. My grandmother's wedding ring was worn so thin that it broke into. I asked how this happened and was told it was from chopping wood.

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  12. Janet -- What a story about your grandmother's wedding ring. To wear one's ring thin takes s lot of work! You must be proud of your grandmother. Thanks for the story and the comment -- barbara

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  13. I didn't know there was an official uniform for the 'land army'! In places like sub-saharan Africa, women continue to contribute 60 to 80% of the labour used to produce food both for household consumption and for sale and yet most land is owned by men and lost if a woman divorces or is widowed.
    The video is interesting too. What a debt we owe to the women who fought for the vote.

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  14. Wow!! What a great post. I love history, especially women's history. I knew there were land girls in England, but was unaware of the land girls here in the US. Thanks for the info.

    Dianne

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  15. Like the commenter above, I knew about the British Land Army but not the US version. What wonderful old posters and illustrations! Many thanks for the informative post, Barbara.

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  16. Thanks Vicki for the nice comments. I myself was not aware about the U.S. Woman's Land Army until about two years ago. It sure is an interesting subject. -- barbara

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  17. I'd never heard of the "farmerettes" nor the Women's Land Army either. Very interesting history! Those women deserve a lot more credit than they've been given. (And those poor horses being made to pull the plows deserve plenty of props, too!)

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  18. Dianne -- Me too. I love women's history. I did learn, while working on this post, that the National Women's History Museum is trying to establish a Women's Museum in Washington, DC which would be a great addition to the other museums in that area. Thanks -- barbara

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  19. Sheri -- Sub-Saharan Africa is an example of the inequities of women's place in their culture. International Women's Day is also celebrated in March -- perhaps, internationally someday, women will be on par with men. Thanks -- barbara

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  20. Laloofah -- It is rather strange that the "farmerettes" were not publicized like "Rosie the Riveter" was during WWII. I found it very interesting when I first ran across the information. Yes, I agree, the women and the plow horses need some recognition. Thanks -- barbara

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  21. Happy International Women's Day Barbara. Great post.

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  22. Thanks Sheri -- I wish you the same -- barbara

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  23. Wonderful and interesting post. I shared a link to this post at my blog. Great images too!

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  24. Witch of Stitches -- Thanks for the kind gesture of mentioning the Woman's Land Army post on your blog.

    I mentioned that the figures on your Max Dashu link were of a fertility goddess. I assumed they were the palm sized ones but afterward I realized you titled the post monumental women which hints at being human size? I still believe though that you might find out more about them if you search fertility goddess. -- barbara

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  25. Thanks Barbara, will do. Not sure about the size of the figurines, that was the title Max used.

    I think the parenthesis are interfering with that link for Suppressed Hx Archives. Try copying and pasting this:

    http://www.suppressedhistories.net/

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  26. Wonderful post. I get lost looking through all those fabulous Library of Congress photos. Aren't they amazing?

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  27. Tess -- the archives are great for pulling material like I have on my Woman's Land Army post. I find it amazing that they have retained so many images over decades. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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