Whenever Kara Dixon Vuic comes through Carlisle, we are sure to bring her into the War Room for a conversation that never disappoints. She joins host Ron Granieri for a wide-ranging discussion about sex, gender, the military and society. They touch on everything from the different experiences of American Red Cross “Donut Dollies” and commissioned professionals in the Nurse Corps to the military leadership’s complicated attitudes towards the “commodification of companionship.” It’s a great conversation that touches on the impact of human nature, societal norms, and the ever-changing conception of gender, and attitudes towards equality of the sexes.
Here you have really professional, trained nurses who outrank the majority of the men they are treating, and yet you’ve got William Westmoreland still saying, “I want nurses to be pretty, have their hair fixed, and wear lipstick and do all these things.” Never mind we’re in a war.
Kara Dixon Vuic is the Lance Corporal Benjamin W. Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in 20th-Century America at Texas Christian University.
Ron Granieri is Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE.
The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.
Photo Description: Army Nurses in Vietnam, Cu Chi, 1968
Photo Credit: Bobcat Alpha via flickr