In wartime Britain and Australia, women worked, often alongside men, to meet the urgent need for production. They worked to make munitions, aircrafts, and gas masks—anything to support the Allied war effort. They learned how to operate heavy machinery and work on assembly lines, and, like their iconic American counterpart, how to rivet sheet metal.
Though factory work in the metropole and dominion was similar, British and Australian propaganda films present it much differently. British film allows female factory workers to display masculine characteristics, celebrating their transformations from very feminine, incompetent workers to more masculine, capable ones. In contrast, Australian film shows factory work to be a highly masculine profession that excludes women entirely.
How do these different depictions reflect societal attitudes toward gender and factory work in both countries?