Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Anti-Feminists Struggle to Remain Rich in Vietnam

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Anti-Feminists Struggle to Remain Rich in Vietnam

Article excerpt

Anti-Feminists Struggle to Remain Rich in Vietnam Jessica M. Frazier. Women's Antiwar Diplomacy During the Vietnam War Era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, March 20, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-4696-3179-0. $29.95. 236pp. 6.125X9.25". 8 illustrations.

The back cover foretells my chief criticism against this type of narrative: American women went to Vietnam to propagandize to Vietnamese women in an attempt to win the war through cultural domination when military means were failing. Frazier is aware of this likely criticism, and explains that unlike other attempts at convincing foreign women of an American agenda, in this case the women had an anti- Cold War message, and were not "cultural imperialists." The assertion is that they "solicited" the Vietnamese women's advice and "viewed them as paragons of a new womanhood" amidst America's ongoing "feminist agitation." What does this mean? Does it mean that American women involved in this exchange of ideas decided to regress to the norms that were held by women in Vietnam, where fewer women worked, and more stayed at home to care for the family? The first chapter is called, "Mothers as Experts, 1965-1967," so this pro-motherly and anti-work take seems to be the direction she went in. In conclusion, the summary claims that the book shows how the Vietnam war actually improved cooperation between the two countries, or was an uplifting moment in history. It's true that nobody else has attempted this before... but I doubt Frazier can pull this offwithout some unbelievably. …

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