Women of War
S2E8: Death, Danger, and Nursing - Clara Barton in the American Civil War, Part 1

S2E8: Death, Danger, and Nursing - Clara Barton in the American Civil War, Part 1

August 18, 2021

When Confederate forces attacked the American Army at Fort Sumter on April 12th, 1861, no-one could have predicted the scale of tragedy and devastation that followed in the American Civil War. Certainly not the American Government, who struggled to find the food and clothing necessary to supply the Union forces. Enter women like Clara Barton, a former teacher and clerk at the US Patent Office who had trouble sitting by doing nothing when there were people who needed her help. First she collected supplies, then she traveled to the battlefield, and then....listen now to find out. 

Women of War is recorded on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded.

This episode contains references to war casualties, amputation, nineteenth century medical procedures, illness, corporal punishment, depression, and suicidal thoughts. It may not be suitable for all listeners. This episode was recorded over Zoom. We apologise for any audio issues.

Our immense gratitude to our excellent actor, Vanessa, for her voicing of Clara for this episode.

All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies. 

To learn more about the American Civil War, check out Uncivil, which brings you stories that were left out of the official history of the Civil War, ransacks America's past, and takes on the history you grew up with: https://bit.ly/2W2blXa

For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Sign up to our newsletter at womenofwarpod.com/subscribe to get notified of the newest episodes plus all the cool things we couldn’t fit into the episode.

Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com

S2E7: Fame at any price: The horrifying indifference of Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl

S2E7: Fame at any price: The horrifying indifference of Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl

August 4, 2021

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

-Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 

“If you play at being an apolitical artist in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If you make films about the oppressor holding him as a hero, then spend the rest of your life complaining about people calling you a Nazi, cry me a river, sunshine.”

-Nicola.

 

This week on Women of War we finally step over the Maginot Line and examine possibly the most famous Nazi woman, propagandist (though she said she wasn’t), auteur and artist Leni Riefenstahl. Leni Riefenstahl felt herself destined for stardom, first as a(n average) dancer, then a (bad) actress and eventually as a director. She’d stop at nothing to get her way, just as Hitler would stop at nothing to control Germany and destroy the democratic world. And Leni saw nothing wrong with that. She would be the greatest director in the world and not even the collapse of the Third Reich would slow her down.

This episode contains references to atrocities committed by the Nazi regime in WWII, rape, racism, anti-Semitism, attempted suicide, self harm, mental anguish, gendered pejorative language, and drug use. It also contains bad language. 

Check out Lindsay Ellis’ video on the Hunchback of Notre Dame, providing extra context on the Cannes and Venice film festivals in the 1930s. Also check out her video “Mel Brooks, the Producers and the ethics of satire about Nazis” here, if you would like to hear some discussion about the theatrics of fascism present in some of Riefenstahl’s work.

If you need a chuckle, click here to see “General Adolph takes a walk,” proof that people have always been people no matter when in history they were from. That's the Lambeth Walk you can hear playing about a third of the way into the episode, which we do not have permission to use. It's for an educational purpose, okay?

If you need a snooze, check out Riefenstahl’s Olympia on YouTube. You can also find Triumph of the Will without much looking online, but instead we’re going to link to Roger Ebert’s review that Nicola quoted. If you’ve seen the medal scene in Star Wars: A New Hope, and Be Prepared from the Lion King, you’ve basically got the gist of Triumph of the Will. Think massed formations. Think marching. Think a lot of trumpets.

For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Sign up to our newsletter at womenofwarpod.com/subscribe to get notified of the newest episodes plus all the cool things we couldn’t fit into the episode.

 

Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com

S2E6: A Family Affair: Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian Revolution, and the Iran-Iraq War.

S2E6: A Family Affair: Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian Revolution, and the Iran-Iraq War.

July 21, 2021

Please note, as this episode was recorded in isolation during Melbourne's fifth lockdown, there are a few audio issues. Thank you for your understanding.

Born at the close of the 60s, Marjane Satrapi grew up in a changing world. A child of upper middle class, left-wing Iranian parents Marjane came of age during the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the violence of the Iran-Iraq war. Her unique perspective on the revolution and war gives us a child- and teenager- eye view of a violent, complex and turbulent period in a beautiful part of the world.

Good news everyone! As of 19th July, 2021, Stan has the film version of “Persepolis” available to stream. If you’re in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia or home isolation in another state or territory due to the federal government’s extreme failure in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and their abysmal vaccine rollout, do yourself a favour and check it out! What else are you going to do?

Thanks to Mr Grayson Brown for lending us his voice acting talents as our newsreader. You the real MVP.

Thanks to the ABC for not suing us for using Charles William’s “Majestic Fanfare.” Due to its use in jest and the shortness of the snippet, it probably counts under “fair dealing.” You don’t have the money to sue us and we don’t have the money to fight it. Let’s just chill. 

Women of War is recorded on Wurundjeri land. We pay our respects to their elders past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded.

This episode contains references to civilian deaths, brainwashing, bombing, torture, immolation, gas poisoning and other atrocities of war, child soldiers, drug addiction, forced marriage, sexual assault and rape. And swearing. 

All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies.

For further reading -- read the book! It should be at your local library, or support your local bookshop. Marjane's other works include "Chicken with Plums" and "Embroideries."

Emma Watson’s interview with Marjane Satrapi can be found here.

If you’re here because you’re studying Persepolis in VCE, nice work on looking for extra resources! Send this to three friends to gain luck from the Gods of VCAA, and good luck on the GAT.

For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Sign up to our newsletter at womenofwarpod.com/subscribe to get notified of the newest episodes plus all the cool things we couldn’t fit into the episode.

Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com

S2E5: A Banana Skirt and a Gold Piano - How Josephine Baker Seduced Secrets from the Nazis

S2E5: A Banana Skirt and a Gold Piano - How Josephine Baker Seduced Secrets from the Nazis

July 7, 2021

She made her name dancing in a banana skirt, some pearls, and nothing else, but it was her actions as a spy for the French Resistance during WWII that earned Josephine Baker full military honours on her death. The Harlem Renaissance, the Années folles, WWII, the Civil Rights Movement...if it was a key period of the 20th century, chances are Josephine Baker was in the middle of it. A life of incredible achievements but also some questionable decisions, listen to Hannah and Nicola as they discuss the incomparable Josephine Baker. Who else could make a troupe of monkeys appear in an episode on the French Secret Service?

Women of War is recorded on Wurundjeri land. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded.

This episode contains references to physical and sexual abuse, miscarriage, medical procedures, hysterectomies, racism, war crimes, slavery and Nazi ideologies. It also contains some naughty language. It may not be suitable for all listeners.
All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies. 

For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Sign up to our newsletter at womenofwarpod.com/subscribe to get notified of the newest episodes plus all the cool things we couldn’t fit into the episode.

Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com

S2E4: The Last Empress of Russia - Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer

S2E4: The Last Empress of Russia - Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer

June 23, 2021

A loving mother, World War I nurse and devoted wife, Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer probably would have been a lot better off in life if she’d stayed a Princess of a minor German Duchy. She however fell in love with a young man named Nicholas and became the Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. One of the most infamous female rulers in modern history, Alexandra has become known as a tragic and selfish figure who contributed to the downfall of the 300-year-old Romanov dynasty due to the influence of the manipulative mad monk, Rasputin. Eventually she and her family would meet their death at the hands of Red Army soldiers. Why was Alexandra such a problematic figure in the eyes of so many Russians? Yes, it’s because she was German. But there’s far more to it than that.

 

Women of War is recorded on Wurundjeri land. We pay our respects to their elders past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded.

 

This episode contains references to rape, sexual threats towards children and sexual assault, haemophilia, the murder of children, war crimes, interference with and the defilement of corpses, miscarriage, birth trauma, infertility, civilian deaths, starvation, fire, child death, pedophilia and bleeding. It also contains some naughty language.

All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies. Opinions presented about Orlando Figes are in jest and do not represent the speaker’s actual views.

For more information on the Russian Revolution, check out Orlando Figes’ A People’s Tragedy or, for a less backbreaking tome, Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991. For more information on the Romanov dynasty, see The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore. Or just go to your local library, there’ll be something. Not as many books as on World War II, but is there ever?

If you want to check out books on the Australians in the Russian Civil War check out Anzacs in Arkangel by Michael Challinger, or the Diggers Who Signed on For More by Bruce Muirden. 

If you’re here because you’re doing Revolutions in VCE, nice work on looking for extra resources! Send this to three friends to gain luck from the Gods of VCAA. 

For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Sign up to our newsletter at womenofwarpod.com/subscribe to get notified of the newest episodes plus all the cool things we couldn’t fit into the episode.

Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com

S2E3: A Most Famous Feminine Sea Captain - Gráinne O’Malley, Irish Pirate, Rebel, Chieftain

S2E3: A Most Famous Feminine Sea Captain - Gráinne O’Malley, Irish Pirate, Rebel, Chieftain

June 9, 2021

NOTE: This episode suffers from bad audio quality due to COVID lockdown and technical issues. It has been re-recorded and released as a bonus episode. 


What do you do with a female sailor, what do you do with a female sailor, what do you do with a female sailor, in the sixteenth century? Give her some castles, a fleet of ships, the blessing of the Queen and let her take to the seas as a fearless pirate. Join Hannah and Nicola this week as we fall in love with Gráinne O’Malley, the Irish Pirate Queen who spent decades pissing off the British in the Elizabethan Wars. There’s piracy, murder, treason, sex, court politics, English colonial wankers, and an Irish chieftain who did whatever it took to get what she wanted. 

This episode was recorded over Zoom during Melbourne’s 4th lockdown, thanks Scott Morrison. We thank you for your patience with any audio issues. 

This episode contains references to vomiting, murder, piracy and religious persecution. It also contains some rude language. It may not be suitable for all listeners.

Women of War is written and recorded on the lands of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nations. We pay our respect to Elders past and present, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners. Sovereignty was never ceded.

All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies. 

For more information on Gráinne (yes, there’s more, we were shocked too), read Anne Chambers’ biography, Granuaile: Grace O’Malley--Ireland’s Pirate Queen, C. 1530-1603. 

For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Sign up to our newsletter at womenofwarpod.com/subscribe to get notified of the newest episodes plus all the cool things we couldn’t fit into the episode.

 


Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com

S2E2 Pt 2: Planes, Trans and Automobiles - Roberta Cowell (The Dillon/Gillies Remix)

S2E2 Pt 2: Planes, Trans and Automobiles - Roberta Cowell (The Dillon/Gillies Remix)

May 26, 2021

(If you are here to find the timestamp to skip over the definitions section, skip from 6.20 to 9.54.)   

Some historical figures are riddles wrapped in enigmas wrapped in a vest, with a great manicure. Roberta Cowell is one of them. Raised as a boy, Roberta Cowell was a racing car driver, nearly an accidental assassin, and a World War II fighter pilot and a race car driver again before realising she was a transgender woman. Thus began her next grand plan to have her true sex (her words) realised, and her body match her mind. 

Thanks to Erin for providing the voice of Roberta Cowell. Erin is a transgender actress, musician and historian based in Victoria. Thanks also to Ben MacEllen for providing the voice of Michael Dillon. Ben is a transgender actor and LGBTIQA+ activist based in Victoria and his website is benmacellen.com. 

This podcast contains discussion of intersexuality, transgender issues, transphobia, gender reassignment surgery, outdated language with regards to transgender and intersex people, brief cruelty to animals, facial injuries, surgery and medical experimentation, war injuries, Nazi atrocities, cruelty to prisoners of war, war rape, attempted sexual assault, and some bad language. 

We have elected to use male pronouns for Roberta before she began her transition, as she herself did in her autobiography. Discussion of Roberta after she began her transition will then use female pronouns. In the same vein, we use female pronouns for Michael Dillon before he began his transition, and male pronouns thereafter. We have however avoided using their deadnames. 

All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies. The fallible nature of human memory must also be considered and is a point of discussion in this episode. Nicola also misstated the year Roberta and her wife divorced, and it was in actuality, 1952. Wales is also part of the UK, she meant to say "Welsh people moved across the border to England." Should Wales be part of the UK? That's a question for another time.

 

--

 

For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. 

Donate to Minus18, an Aussie charity that seeks to educate, empower and support queer youth, here: https://www.minus18.org.au/

Check out Intersex Australia, another Aussie charity that aims to empower intersex individuals and educate endosex individuals. Find them here: https://ihra.org.au/

If you’ve read down this far, you’re hot. Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and you’ll be even hotter.

For more information on Michael Dillon check out The First Man Made Man by Pagan Kennedy, just not from Amazon if you can. For more information on Dr Harold Gillies, read his Wikipedia page - and there’s a lot about him in Kennedy’s book also. For more information on Roberta Cowell, start with her autobiography, Roberta Cowell’s Story.  For more information about LGBTQ+ people and their experience of serving in the military, check out Serving in Silence by Noah Riseman, Shirleene Robinson, and  Graham Willett. 

Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com

S2E2 Pt 1: Planes, Trans and Automobiles - Roberta Cowell

S2E2 Pt 1: Planes, Trans and Automobiles - Roberta Cowell

May 12, 2021

Some historical figures are riddles wrapped in enigmas wrapped in a vest. Roberta Cowell is one of them. Raised as a boy, Roberta Cowell was a racing car driver, nearly an accidental assassin, and a World War II fighter pilot and a race car driver again before realising she was a transgender woman. Thus began her next grand plan to have her true sex (her words) realised, and her body match her mind. 

Thanks to Erin for providing the voice of Roberta Cowell. Erin is a transgender actress, musician and historian based in Victoria.

This episode contains discussion of intersexuality, transgender issues, transphobia, outdated language with regards to transgender and intersex people, facial injuries, war injuries, Nazi peacetime atrocities, Nazi wartime atrocities and some bad language. 

We have elected to use male pronouns for Roberta before she began her transition, as she herself did in her autobiography. Discussion of Roberta after she began her transition will then use female pronouns. 

 

All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies. 

The man Nicola references towards the end of the episode, John Cade, was an Australian doctor and former POW who discovered the use of lithium in treating people with bipolar disorder. Learn more about him in this ABC Conversations podcast:

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/conversations/7899396

You can also read the book (there’s only one) on Cade’s life, Finding Sanity, by Greg de Moore and Ann Westmore. 

 

For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. 

Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com

S2E1: Go-Go Dancing with Bombs - Australian Vietnam War Entertainers

S2E1: Go-Go Dancing with Bombs - Australian Vietnam War Entertainers

April 28, 2021

Sequins, go-go boots, fringe bikinis, evening gowns...bombs? Welcome to Season 2 of Women of War where we continue the discussion of the war entertainer, this time in the humidity and red dust of Vietnam. In the midst of the horrors of war, these mythologised women offered soldiers’ a fantasy and an escape from the frontline for an hour or two. Join Hannah and Nicola as they learn what life was like for the women beneath the sequins and bop along to some fun tunes. 

This episode contains references to murder, sexual assault, forced sex work and trafficking, racism and colonialism. It also contains some rude language. It may not be suitable for all listeners.

Women of War is written and recorded on Wurundjeri Land. We pay our respect to Elders past and present, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners. Sovereignty was never ceded. 

All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies. 

An incredible thank you to Lorrae Desmond for her permission to use recordings of her tour rehearsals in this episode and a thank you to her good friend Gael Ballantyne for acting as our correspondent with Ms Desmond. We would also like to thank the National Film and Sound Archive and Angus Johnstone for providing us a copy of the recording itself. 

 

Audio clips from: 

Lorrae Desmond, Lorrae Desmond: Rehearsal Sessions for Tour of Vietnam, Sound Recording, Unpublished, 1965, 390710, National Film and Sound Archive.

David Reginald Combe, Lorrae Desmond Concert Party DPR/TV/1174, 16mm/b&w/sound (Phuoc Tuy Province, Nui Dat, Vietnam, 19 September 1969), https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C273758.

Byron Charles Campbell, 7th Government Concert Party to Vietnam DPR/TV/636, 16mm/b&w/sound and silent (Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Nui Dat, 16 June 1967), www.awm.gov.au/collection/C256036.

ABC News, Australian Government’s Decision to Send Troops to Vietnam, videorecording/b&w/sound, 30 April 1965, https://abcspla.sh/m/153694.

 

Key resources used:

Siobhan McHugh, Minefields and Miniskirts: Australian Women and the Vietnam War (Sydney: Doubleday, 1993).

Ann-Mari Jordens, ‘Not “Apocalypse Now”: Government-Sponsored Australian Entertainers in Vietnam 1965-71’, Labour History, no. 58 (1990): 65–75, https://doi.org/10.2307/27508983.

Lynne McCormack, ‘Civilian Women at War: Psychological Impact Decades After the Vietnam War’, Journal of Loss and Trauma 14, no. 6 (2009): 447–58, https://doi.org/10.1080/15325020902925209.

John Murphy, A Harvest of Fear: A History of Australia’s Vietnam War (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1993).

Mitchell K Hall, The Vietnam War, (New York, NY: Routledge, 2018).

 

For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Sign up to our newsletter at womenofwarpod.com/subscribe to get notified of the newest episodes plus all the cool things we couldn’t fit into the episode.

S1E10 : The Last of the Samurai - Nakano Takeko and the Jōshitai

S1E10 : The Last of the Samurai - Nakano Takeko and the Jōshitai

March 17, 2021

Episode ten! Thanks to everyone who has listened so far! We will be back in the week of Anzac Day (the week of April 25th for our international friends). Keep up with us on our social medias - twitter, insta and facebook @womenofwarpod, or check out our website womenofwarpod.com. 

This week on Women of War we’re back in Japan during the Boshin War (aka the Japanese Civil War), 1868 - 1869, and the last fight of the samurai in an ultimately doomed attempt to protect their way of life. Meet Nakano Takeko, onna-bugeisha (female samurai) and the squad of women warriors she led, the Jōshitai. Just don’t lose your head over the ending.

Featuring cameos from everyone’s least favourite Imperial powers - the French, the Americans, the British and the Dutch. The gang’s all here. 

This episode contains references to disembowelment, decapitation, suicide and interfering with corpses. It may not be suitable for all listeners.

All efforts were made to correctly pronounce Japanese words and phrases. We apologise for any mispronunciations. All efforts have also been made to ensure historical accuracy, but as is the nature of historical research, mistakes may have been made. 

This podcast is recorded on Wurundjeri Land and we pay our respects to elders past and present, the guardians and caretakers of the land and waters. Sovereignty was never ceded.

Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com

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