Describe Gender Roles In Ww1

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World War One Europe was a time and place that was riddled with strict and imposing gender roles. Once these gender roles clashed with the Great War, in 1939 many of them simply took on greater strength within the new wartime society. They proved to be both a strength and a weakness for the combatants of the war--providing fearsome armies at half the size they could feasibly be. These gender roles are now easily deciphered from examining various forms of propaganda from that World War One Europe, as this essay will do. This propaganda depicts three distinctive gender roles which men and women were expected to conform to--the Lover, the Soldier, and the Sister. Each of these roles played a part within the war, just as each of them had their…show more content…
The first gender role to be explored is that of the Lover. This role is one played by a beautiful young woman, a person who every girl wants to be and every man wants to have. This beautiful women is seen in propaganda within appendices A and B. These propaganda postcards differ in intended message and style of art, however they both hold depictions of this same gender role. Appendix A it is clearly a call to arms for the men of Britain, yet it holds within a strong archetype for women to conform to. This is portrayed, firstly, and most obvious is through the writing, reading “Women of Britain say ‘GO!’”. By having soloy women wanting the men to ‘Go!’ it points towards the belief at the time within Europe that women were unfit for combat, and must stay at home while their men went to war. The second way this gender role of the lover is depicted in this postcard is within the picture itself. By having the women facing away from the viewer of the poster, clinging to each other and a child it forces them to look, “vulnerable and in need of protection”, according to historian Fox. This vulnerability was most likely created to show that the soldiers were needed to protect these women and by extent all british women. Appendix B sends a slightly different message that still enforces this
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