Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Women at home and at work
Both of the images i have chosen for this blog task typically come from the same era which is during and post second world war. this first image i believe was used during the second world war when women were encouraged to take the places of men at work who had gone to war in order to aid the war effort on the home front. This pro feminist image is significant in representing women in the work place, the image shows that women are equal to men and to some could suggest that "we can do it" is in itself sugesting that women can obtain equality to men in the work place and are as physically equal to men, something which at the time was not common belief. Although the iconic poster was released after women had obtained the right to vote in the USA women were still expected to be house wives and not work.
The image itself is significant as the woman on the poster is not depicted in a way women were often depicted at the time. the woman is very masculine in both the pose she is striking and the way she is dressed. However because of this the image would seem to suggest that women cannot be women in the work place but instead the only way a woman could do a mans job would be to physically adopt masculine characteristics.
Despite this the 'we can do it' poster could be seen as a symbolic image for the begining of women's struggle to find equality in the work place.
This second image is of a typical 1950's house wife serving dinner to what is presumably her husband as he arrives home from work and the image contains the caption "Life can be wonderful"
There are two striking things about this image and theey are what is happening in the image itself and the tag line. to start this image of a male being served by his wife almost as if he were in a diner is what was expected of women during that particular era. it would seem most imagery from the era would typically depict women in the home cleaning or cooking something which would have suggested to women that is what they were meant to be doing and that's what everyone else is doing. This is then supported by the tag line which can be read in 2 different ways first off it can be read from a male perspective simply suggesting that on perfect occasion when you arrive home and dinner is already waiting for you "life can be wonderful". however the same tag line can be read from a femal perspective as "life can be wonderful" as long as you work hard at it like this woman and accomodate your man with a made table and dinner when he arrives home, as there is nothing in the image which suggests life is wonderful for the woman, she is simply fulfilling a subserviant role. This line which can be read from two perspectives may have been included to combat the idea of the desperate housewife, unsatisfied and unhappy with life by sugesting everyone else is happy, you just need to work harder at it. turning the lack of purpose in the womans life into something that is her own fault.