“She’s not so dumb”

Well, thanks. 

The poster below is one of 200 WWII posters prints which have just been found in a pristine, unused condition, according to the Sunday Mail:

Mr Slocombe [senior curator at the imperial war museum] explained: ‘They had a very contradictory approach to women, and lurched from one stereotype to another depending on the needs of the day.

‘At the beginning of the war they were shown to be helpless females in need of male protection.

‘Then from 1941 when women were called to do war work, the images became much more positive.

‘But in the anti-gossip, anti-spying campaigns, women were often portrayed as femme fatales, or as being unreliable, and vaguely untrustworthy.’

One that was never used seems very familiar:


A useful poster indeed, and, oddly, a recurring motto of Tim Gunn’s on Project Runway.

4 thoughts on ““She’s not so dumb”

  1. I think that it is interesting when thinking about the place of women in war propaganda to consider the poems by Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. There is a strong connection between the ways in which women were portrayed in first world war propaganda and the ways in which anti-war poets treated them in their poems. See, for example, Sassoon’s ‘The Glory of Women’ http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/4266/ . Here Sassoon seems to blame women for reinforcing propaganda (such as the ‘Women of Britain say -“Go”‘) poster while at the same time acknowledging women as victims of the very same campaign.

Comments are closed.