Title Women!
Creator R.H. Porteus
Date 1917
Format 19.25 x 29.50
Description R.H. Porteus’s propaganda poster, “Women! Help America’s Sons Win the War,” combines the images of a reassuring mother figure and two dangerous battlefields to implore female viewers to purchase government bonds. With a thin smile and outstretched arms, an elderly women dressed in pristine white clothing calls on “WOMEN!” to “HELP AMERICA’S SONS WIN THE WAR.” Representations of women are used in propaganda posters in a variety of ways to persuade audiences. Unlike posters targeting young, heterosexual men in which women are often scantily clad and sexually alluring, this poster aimed at women uses the archetype of a supportive mother seeking to protect America’s men fighting overseas. Behind this symbol of motherly affection is an American flag dividing two dangerous scenes. To the right we see soldiers charging down a hillside with smoke in the distance, and to the left, a sinking ship in turbulent waves with small boats attempting to rescue drowning sailors. Through a sense of patriotic duty and motherly love, this poster draws upon the mothers and potential future mothers of America to buy U.S. government bonds provide support for their sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers fighting in the war.
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