Date Presented

Spring 4-12-2006

Document Type

Thesis

Access Type

1

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

Phillip Stump

Second Advisor

Nichole Sanders

Third Advisor

Barbara Rothermel

Abstract

Advertising had an overwhelming effect on women during World War II; many women were influenced by advertising in the media to behave a certain way, buy certain products, and also support the war effort in a variety of ways. In the 1940s while many American women’s husbands, fiances, boyfriends, brothers, and sons were going off to fight in the War abroad, many women were fighting a war of their own on the home front. While men could prove they were active patriotic citizens by fighting in the military and taking government positions, female’s roles were re-written to show what they could do to help the war effort. The government for the first time was telling women that they were to do their part, to demonstrate their citizenship in ways they had never been encouraged to demonstrate it before; women now had duties that the country expected them to fulfill and advertising was the way to convey this message. Through the influence of advertising and the media, many women felt that their efforts at home could save a soldier’s life and speed up the return of the men and sometimes women fighting far away from home. Advertisements were in the newspapers, in magazines, and on billboards, and women were heavily influenced by their graphic, seductive, and emotional nature. Women through the influence of advertising led fundraisers, organized charity drives and volunteered many hours of their time to support the many men and women abroad. Women felt that this was their patriotic duty as citizens of the United States.