Making War, Making Women Femininity and Duty on the American Home Front, 1941-1945

ISBN-10: 0820329053

ISBN-13: 9780820329055

Edition: 2011

Authors: Melissa A. McEuen

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Description:

Drawing on war propaganda, popular advertising, voluminous government records, and hundreds of letters and other accounts written by women in the 1940s, Melissa A. McEuen examines how extensively womenrs"s bodies and minds became "battlegrounds" in the U.S. fight for victory in World War II. Women were led to believe that the nationrs"s success depended on their efforts-not just on factory floors, but at their dressing tables, bathroom sinks, and laundry rooms. They were to fill their arsenals with lipstick, nail polish, creams, and cleansers in their battles to meet the standards of ideal womanhood touted in magazines, newspapers, billboards, posters, pamphlets and in the rapidly expanding pinup genre. Scrutinized and sexualized in new ways, women understood that their faces, clothes, and comportment would indicate how seriously they took their responsibilities as citizens. McEuen also shows that the wartime rhetoric of freedom, democracy, and postwar opportunity coexisted uneasily with the realities of a racially stratified society. The context of war created and reinforced whiteness, and McEuen explores how African Americans grappled with whiteness as representing the true American identity. Using perspectives of cultural studies and feminist theory,Making War, Making Womenoffers a broad look at how women on the American home front grappled with a political culture that used their bodies in service of the war effort.
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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 2/15/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 344
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

List of Abbreviations
Preface
Introduction
All-American Masks: Creaming and Coloring the Wartime Face
Tender Hands and Average Legs: Shaping Disparate Extremities
Pleasant Aromas and Good Scents: Cleansing the Body Politic
Proper Attire and Streamlined Silhouettes: Clothing the Home Front Figure
Sacrifice and Agreeability: Cultivating Right Minds
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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