‘The Cushy Number’: Civilian Men in British Post-war Representations of the Second World War
Using a broad range of filmic and televisual representations this chapter argues that the civilian man has been much maligned in post-war culture. Instead the often necessary roles played by millions of civilian men have been effectively written out of Britain’s wartime story despite their centrality to both victory and survival. It is often emphasised that a military uniform was the only acceptable way to be a man in this period. Those out of uniform are left open to jibes and scorn, often shown to be army-dodging crooks and would-be wife stealers rather than vital cogs in pursuing a course of total warfare. Moreover, the civilian man is often a focus of ridicule, the butt of the joke and, therefore, far from a masculine figure.