Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Women of America: Your Country Needs You

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Women of America: Your Country Needs You

Rosie the Riveter is an icon, representing American women who worked in war factories during World War II, these women took new jobs and sometimes the places of the male workers who were in the military. Conditions were sometimes harsh and pay was not always equal. Rosie the Riveter was a classic hero who helped set in motion the popular image of women in the work force during World War II. The surfacing of women doing a “man's” jobs led ultimately to the Women's Movement. There were huge campaigns of propaganda posters and flyers that went around supporting the idea of women entering the work place while men were away in the war.

The United States government initiated a nationwide propaganda campaign to assist in persuading people at home to do anything they could to help in the war effort; from buying war bonds to actually joining the military. The propaganda material included songs, films, flyers, and many posters. All these things gave emphasis to the importance to be nationalistic being positive towards the war. People developed hate toward the enemy; while the government was conveying messages of patriotism as well as suspicion, they were also transferring messages to women to take the place of the men who had left to help fight the war.

This image gave incite to so much interest in the women's labor force, that about six million women joined the work force and military while the war was going on. Even though there were many women in the work force, many jobs were chosen as "women jobs" such as secretaries’ clerks and teaching. The government then launched a campaign that, stressed the need for women to leave the work force and go back and tend to the home when the men returned. This was so the men could regain their jobs to avoid a depression. Although women were encouraged to give their jobs up they now knew and had the confidence to pursue careers outside the home.



Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good discussion of the material.

A couple of questions: How much persuasion was actually necessary to move working class women into war work that offered much higher pay than the traditional female jobs such as domestic service and restaurant work? Second, how were the appeals tailored to move women back out of those jobs to make space for the returning vets?

3/29/2009 11:28 AM  
Blogger EFleurival said...

From what I've read many women were excited to move out of the home and make money for their families. It gave many women a sence of purpose, they were part of the war effort. They used the same tatics to make women believe that there duty is to return to the home, this was widely publicized in the media. Women felt that by returning home they were also serving the country.

4/09/2009 3:06 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good response, many Americans were happy to serve their country during WWII, it was a popular war.

4/20/2009 10:37 PM  

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