2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Gee!! I Wish I Were a Man: The Masculinization of Women in World War I Patriotic and Recruitment Posters
Michele R. Kaminski
Dr. Julia DeLancey and Dr. Sara Orel, Faculty Mentors

During World War One illustrative posters such as, "Gee!! I Wish I Were A Man, I'd Join The Navy" (1917) and "If You want to Fight, Join the Marines" (1915) presented images of cross-dressed women designed to appeal not only to men but also women. The masculinization of women in these posters during World War One challenged female gender roles by altering contemporary illustrations of the "All-American Girl" and led women after World War One to a more influential position in American society. Using cross-dressed women in these posters allowed women to view themselves as an integral part of a male dominated society and laid the foundation for women after the war to speak out against the stereotypes created during the early twentieth century. By examining these posters we will gain a better understanding of how advertising has influenced the role of women through our history.

Keywords: World War I, Poster, Women, Cross-dress, Illustration

Topic(s):Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 28-2
Location: OP 2210
Time: 10:00

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