Women in Vietnam
Scholars have been sparse in their study of women during the Vietnam War. Their writings on the service of women becomes even more scarce, and downright nonexistent, when other minority aspects, like race, are factored into the equation. This makes it all the more necessary to read those works available to the public (published books rather than dissertations or articles in scholarly journals), applaud what has received deserved attention, and ask questions where gaps exist. The following books examine the role of women who served in different capacities in Vietnam.
- Beyond Combat: Women and Gender in the Vietnam War Era by Heather Marie Stur – (Cambridge University Press, 2011) It is not only the sharing of women’s experiences in Vietnam that must occur, but the study of their roles within the war from varied angles. Stur provides this insight by studying not only the jobs performed by women, but what was expected of them in terms of their gender.
- Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War by Kara Dixon Vuic – (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) The main focus of Vuic’s work is to examine the effects of the “cultural climate of the era” on the Army Nursing Corps. The Army, and individual soldiers, sought to exploit the ideas of traditional feminine gender roles, even as nurses meaningfully expanded their medical experiences. Vuic utilizes official records along with interviews conducted with nurses.
- Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam by Elizabeth Norman – (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990) A result of her doctoral dissertation, Norman interviewed 50 military nurses in 1983-84 and from those interviews highlighted the common threads in their experiences. She also highlights common themes between female and male service members, and between experiences in Vietnam with earlier wars.