|OWI/Office of Censorship created propaganda that prevented damaging war-related information from getting to the enemy.|
Information subject to censorship included military craft, fortifications and installations, weapons production, scientific experiments, Japanese balloon bombs, military intelligence, Soviet-Japanese relations, war prisoners, travel of government officials, weather, photographs of defense installations and potential strategic vulnerabilities, such as harbors. In June of 1942, the Office of War Information (OWI) was created in order to inform the public and encourage support for the war effort. The combined efforts of the Office of Censorship and the OWI could be considered an American 'Ministry of Propaganda' of sorts.
A propaganda campaign to warn people not to discuss sensitive military information labeled those who spoke about such matters as "murderers." It employed slogans such as "SOMEONE TALKED!" and made an emotional connection with striking images that made the point that if "someone talked" Americans would die.
When the battlefields of World War II were populated with American men, their wives, girlfriends, sisters and daughters had to help boost the soldiers’ morale--and do jobs that they normally would not do. And it was propaganda that inspired, cajoled, warned, applauded, and motivated them. "Bad" women were also shown in propaganda as “pick-ups,” prostitutes, "good time" girls, and "loose" women that may give an unsuspecting serviceman venereal diseases.
|Propaganda warned servicemen about "pickups" who may give them VD.|
|"Rosie the Riveter"|
The most famous woman in WWII propaganda was ‘Rosie the Riveter’ with her serious expression and red bandanna tied in her hair. She pulls her blue work shirt up and flexes her muscle as she says, “We Can Do It!” The model for the poster was Michigan factory worker named Geraldine Doyle, who didn’t even know she was on the poster until 1982, when she saw it in a magazine. A picture taken of Doyle was used by J. Howard Miller, a graphic artist at Westinghouse, for the poster which was aimed at deterring strikes and absenteeism.
|Propaganda showed women how important they were to the war effort.|
World War II saw millions of women taking jobs outside of the home. They took jobs in war-related industries that were dirty, noisy and more dangerous than anything they had every experienced. The propaganda promoted the idea of women helping win the war and preserve American freedom, and thus they would work harder and better and not call in sick or complain about working conditions.
|Propaganda applauded women who "waited" for their men while they served overseas.|
Copyright (C) Eric Brothers 2011
Do you like this post? Then share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. The links are in the right-hand column.
|Propaganda told women they were patriotic if they put up with hardships and shortages caused by the war.|
Watch a short video about "Rosie the Riveter."