Gender War: Shaun Gladwell and Ben Quilty in Afghanistan

Australia’s official First World War historian Charles Bean remarked that ‘‘the big thing in the war for Australia was the discovery of the character of Australian men’’; since then the figure of the Anzac soldier has stood as the principal allegory for Australian nationhood and manhood. In the Anzac myth, the physical characterisation of the Anzac is bound to a psychological identity that accentuates his masculinity. The Anzac is brave, loyal and egalitarian, not fearful, cowardly or uncertain.

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