Monday, September 6, 2010

WW II Posters Warning US Servicemen against Venereal Diseases

Pubic Domain World War II Poster #1: ‘She May Look Clean -- But pick-ups, good-time girls and prostitutes’ carry infections, poster featuring a warning to all American servicemen that even the perfect girl-next-door could be a possible carrier of infection, appealing to the soldiers’ sense of patriotism and urging them to protect themselves for the sake of the country suggesting, "You can't beat the Axis if you get VD."

Pubic Domain World War II Poster #2: Venereal Disease Covers the Earth (1940), a warning to American soldiers against venereal diseases across the world. It shows a glamorous woman posing in a low-cut red dress (red-terror, communists?) set against a shadowed globe in the background. The headline warns, "Venereal disease covers the earth," and the bottom caption reiterates another message: “the responsibility of the soldier in protecting himself”.

Pubic Domain World War II Poster #3: Easy to get, both the woman and the diseases syphilis and gonorrhea, 1940 Charles Casa illustration of a prostitute leaning against a brick wall on a deserted street corner. The poster uses boldly contrasting colors to accent its message - the yellow on red background and the suggestiveness are used to catch the attention of the viewer, ultimately challenging the soldiers' correlation between sexually available women and good times.

Pubic Domain World War II Poster #4: She May Be A Bag of Trouble - this 1940 poster features the heavily made-up, cigarette-smoking woman as venereal disease carrier, and appealing to the soldiers’ interest in the eye-catching woman, the poster warns against venereal diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea.

Pubic Domain World War II Poster #5: Juke Joint Sniper, a 1942 poster by Feree - a striking blonde woman lights up a cigarette in front of a bar. The headline makes it clear that this is a warning-this is not just any woman, she is a dangerous threat, indicated by the military-inspired epithet ‘Juke Joint Sniper’.

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