Women and Children: The Secret Weapons of World War I Propaganda Posters

In preparation for Armistice Day/Remembrance Day/Veterans Day, Collectors Weekly has a collection of posters from World War I. Some of them went straight for a man's pride, featuring women who were sacrificing for the war effort or children who were suffering because of it.

Looking back on the recruiting posters from that war, it’s interesting to note how portrayals of women and children, as well as the comforts of home, were used to essentially guilt-trip able-bodied men into enlisting for a tour of duty in the trenches. In the United States, women were generally depicted as the ones who’d keep the home fires burning while their sons and husbands were fighting the good fight “over there.” Less passive were the depictions of women in France, whose sacrifices were often used to literally shame men into doing their duty.

The implication was that a real man would enlist, or buy bonds, or donate to support war relief efforts. See 24 such posters at Collectors Weekly.


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