This essay focuses on the way Italian women interpreted the disabilities caused by the First World War. Considering short tales or novels written by women and addressed to a female reading public, this article shows the presence of a strong gender stereotype, which was essential for the acceptance of the disabled soldiers among women in the post-war society. The way this stereotype influenced women’s reaction to the presence of different kinds of mutilations has been researched through the letters many of these women wrote to the Italian Prime Minister and, after 1922, to Mussolini himself, in order to have their rights respected. These two very different kinds of sources show us the difference between the way the war and its consequences were conceived and the reality, but they also make clear one of the reasons why the transition from war to peace was usually more peaceful than expected.
Keywords: War aftermath, War Disabilities, Women writing, Female reading public, Gender; Stereotypes