Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Miss. Ogilvy

In the late 19th and 20th century, women's lives were so restricted by society’s ideas of gender roles. Many women, Miss. Ogilvy for example, have been courageous enough to rebel against the "norm." These women wanted to do more for them and not just get married and have children.

Before the war, Miss Ogilvy's identity was defined by being different and not belonging. She was not only an outsider in society, but she was excluded by all of her family members.

“She saw herself as a queer little girl, aggressive and awkward because of her shyness: a queer little girl who loathed sisters and dolls, preferring the stable-boys as companions, preferring to play with footballs and tops, and occasional catapults.”

“True enough in her youth she had gloried in her strength, lifting weights, swinging clubs and developing muscles…”

“She remembered insisting with tears and some temper that her real name was William and not Wilhelmina.”

Miss Ogilvy just couldn’t adapt to the world's stereotyped pattern. Even her mother called her a "very odd creature" and told her that "muscles looked so appalling in evening dress-a young girl ought not to have muscles.” Everyone around Miss Ogilvy emphasized the importance of finding a husband and marrying. Her sisters Sarah and Franny spent almost all of their energy in the matrimonial market. After the death of their father, the family became more dependent on Miss Ogilvy to take on the “masculine role” and deal with things they wouldn’t bare to be bothered with- such as finances.

At the beginning of the war, Miss Ogilvy realizes she now has a chance to try and do something a woman normally wouldn’t do. At age 56, she cuts her hair, goes to London and bothers authorities until they finally allow her to participate in the war, and form her own ambulance unit.

Everything changes when Miss Ogilvy enters the war. Not only does she find herself but she was finally doing something that made her happy. There were so many of “her kind” and she was mirrored by others just like her. The word “Queer” was now used in a different context. It became a word that unified a group with the same identity. Queer was used to describe their uniform- “Queer little forage-caps.” Miss Ogilvy became a very respected and had a glorious career as the Lieutenant Commander of a unit of female ambulance drivers. She faced death and carried many injured soldiers to her ambulances, and despite the gender roles, this is what she loved doing.

Returning home was hard for her, especially going back to her prejudice society and even worse her family. She often dreamed of being back in the trenches. Miss Ogilvy grown used to military commands and often used them at home when she was frustrated by her sisters. No one understood what was going on internally and how unhappy she had to deal with pre-war issues.

“Such a dreadful, violent old thing”

“Poor darling, its shell-shock you know”

After one of the more faithful women from her unit confessed she was going to marry, Miss Ogilvy couldn’t bear it any longer. She was hurt by this and became depressed. A member of her unit is now heterosexual—she is “normal”.

She packed her kit-bag announced abruptly one day “I’m off!”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Korean War

                                      The Korean War


Subtopic: The suspension of the war

Who is Bruce Cummings?
Bruce Cumings is an American academic historian and author. He is the Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor in History and the chair of the history department at the University of Chicago.
Born: September 5, 1943 (age 69)


Korea's place in the sun

North Korea

The critical issue was freedom of choice in regard to repatriation. North Korean Pows and chinese POWs did not want to return to communist control. Meanwhile South Korea refused to sign any armistice that would keep Korea divided.

"North Koreans had abused many Americans depriving them of food,sleep and subject many to political thought reform" (32).  
North Koreans were trying to brainwash Americans. At first they were trying to overthrow Americans in their country.
"In 1953 the communist side agreed to place POWs who refused repatriation under the control of the Neutral Nations' Supervisory Commission for three months" (33).   
 This was one of the way to change communist minds about repatriation. Americans believed in individual rights and human dignity. However, communist was against that.

"The fighting could have come to an end much earlier, but both Moscow and Washington had interests in keeping it going since Korea no longer threatened to erupt into general war" (34).
The war lasted so long because United States of America wanted to showed the world their high power weapons.

"Countries involved in the Three-year conflict suffered a total of more than 4 million casualties of which at least 2 million were civilians- a higher percentage than in World War II or vietnam"(35).

Why was this war a collective shrug of the shoulders?

Many Americans believed this was not a war because in Iowa court ruled that there had been no state of war in korea, since congress never declared one to exist. The tragedy was that the war solved nothing. Only a cease-fire held the peace.



Iran: The Overthrow of Mossadegh

In 1953 the United States as requested by the British would overthrow the elected Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mossadegh. Mohammad Mossadegh sought to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil company principally owned by the British. The Oil company extracted oil from Iran and gave most of the profits to the British and little back to Iran. Mossadegh wanted to nationalize it let Iranians benefit from their own land and help grow their economy instead of the British economy. Great Britain and the rest of the Western world's economy relied in large part to patroleum reserves. Mossadegh threatened their economic livelihood.

"A high standard of living depended largely on the oil it extracted from Iran... required it to pay Iran just 16 percent of the money it earned from selling the country's oil." (p. 117)

 John Dulles

John Dulles was the Secretary of State under President Eisenhower. In Kinzer's overthrow he is described as a man shaped by privileged upbringing, a career working with the worlds richest corporations and his religion. He was the number one corporate lawyer for big multinational corporations. He believed in the rights of corporations and the special obligation for those living the good way to bring it towards others and fight the evils of communism. He is described as being confrontational, stubborn, arrogant and hard to persuade. He would partly lead the way to the overthrow of Mossadegh.   

After WW2 nationalism and anti-colonialism was spreading in the world. Iran elected Mossadegh in 1951 who according to Kinzer sought to expel the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and nationalize the oil industry and use it to develop Iran. The parliament voted to nationalize the industry and it was celebrated in Iran. The British obviously were opposed. Mossadegh pointed out that the British recently nationalized their coal and steel industries and was just trying to do what his country what they did for themselves. The British took action to oppose it including sabotaging their own equipment to prove Iran needed them and eventually trying to overthrow him.                                                                                                         Zahedi
The British being unsuccessful proposed the U.S. under Eisenhower overthrow Mossadegh. The U.S. started taking action first by claiming Mossadegh was bringing communism to Iran. However this was not true. Dulles would enlist the CIA which had mainly been used for intelligence gathering to help overthrow the government. The US would bride officials to distance themselves from Mossadegh and pay journalists to create distrust of him and hire hugs to riot in the streets to crate disorder.

"The Americans would spend $150,000 to bribe journalists, editors Islamic preachers, and other opinion leaders to "create, extend and enhance public hostility and distrust and fear of Mossadegh and his government." (p. 123)

In Iran and the U.S. he would be referred to as a dictator and a communist and manufactured unrest came across Iran. The operation to overthrow him was called Operation Ajax. They would order the Shah of Iran to sign royal decrees known as firmans to dismiss him from office and appoint General Zahedi as Prime Minister.