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Breaking ProtocolAmerica's First Female Ambassadors, 1933-1964$
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Philip Nash

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178394

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178394.001.0001

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The Patriarchs

The Patriarchs

American Diplomats in the Early Twentieth Century

(p.5) 1 The Patriarchs
Breaking Protocol

Philip Nash

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter explores the male-dominated US diplomatic world in the early twentieth century. US diplomats and ambassadors formed an exclusive and insular elite, sticklers for protocol and sensitive to the stereotype of the delicate, effeminate, even gay “striped-pants boys.” They excluded women from their world for a variety of reasons; only secretaries and diplomatic spouses, who played vital if unsung roles, were admitted. The first female ambassadors are introduced (appointed by Hungary and the USSR), as is the first female US Foreign Service Officer, Lucile Atcherson, appointed in 1922. She and her tiny cohort of female diplomats faced discrimination and limited opportunity. In 1933, male diplomats had no reason to expect the appointment of a female ambassador.

Keywords:   Male diplomats, Female diplomats, Diplomatic Spouses, Lucile Atcherson, US Foreign Service

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