Sunday, November 27, 2005

Homefront Propaganda: Jenny on the Job







5 comments:

  1. Man sized meals?

    Shouldn't she be conserving food for the war effort?

    Say, what did the Allies do with all that bacon grease Grammy Bull contributed, anyway?

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  2. They just stored it in old coffee cans under stoves.

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  3. Okay, a lot of this seems good, if rather obvious advice, but I don't get the "man-size meals" one, either.

    Was there some kind of problem with women not eating enough and fainting or something? I mean it's not like there was a great pressure in the '40's to look anorexicly thin, where anyone who wore a size higher than 0 would be considered bloated.

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  4. Due to severe rationing there may have been peer pressure not to flaunt that you have more food than a neighbor. The Jenny poster may have 'granted permission' to workers to bring and eat a full meal. Victory Gardens were very important to supplement a diet that was considered weakened due to resources being diverted to the war.

    Also, there may very well have been concerns among the Men of Industry that 'frail girls' would indeed faint or become careless when operating dangerous machinery because they felt the need to remain lady-like in all things. While being stick thin was not the finger-in-the-throat concern that it is presented as today, the appearence of being a lady was. An obvious parallel would be the popular image of the corporate lunchroom of today, where the men wolf down burgers and garbage while the women nibble celery, eat Yoplait and worry about their weight.

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  5. I suspect that a "man sized" meal was to make sure that those women working for the war effort had enough energy to make it through the long workday. Not so much due to "fainting spells," but to make sure that everyone remained in top working form, energy wise.

    Oh, and all that bacon grease was used in the manufacture of explosives, specifically nitroglycerine ("Every skillet-full of grease is a tiny munitions factory!"). Some other period propaganda also sells it as being used to render soap.

    Cheers,
    Gwen Smith

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