"I don’t think I’m bad, although I do things she would probably frown upon": Tensions between a Mother and Daughter in the Transformative Society of the 1960s

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Rachel Fulk


While the feminist movement of the 1960s resulted in the United States moving towards a more progressive view of women, female nurses were frequently forced to deal with the stereotypes of “traditional” womanhood, even though the Army was becoming increasingly progressive, especially regarding career, marriage, and abortion.  Karren Mundell, a nurse in the Army Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War, reveals the tightrope that nurses were forced to walk between tradition and progressiveness.  Her correspondence with her mother demonstrates how the women of the 1960s differed from the women of previous generations and reveals the Army’s gradual reevaluation of ingrained gender beliefs.


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