Margaret Anne O’Callaghan Life Magazine Jan-June 1943
History of Women in the United States Paper #1
The date 1943 conjures up many images from History. Swastikas, Adolph Hitler, war aircraft, and tanks are only a few of the many things that one may envision when mentioning that year. But what was life like at home for those who were left behind when the men went off to fight? One may visualize the image of Rosie the Riveter. This image is just one of the many that are ingrained in the heads of children when they first study the home front in WWII. They portray women during this time as taking over the roles normally assigned to men and gaining a newfound sense of freedom. Are the history books telling us the whole truth about what everyday life was like during this time period for the women left behind? Was everything as equal as it seemed? One way to discover the answers to these questions is to do some research into popular culture by way of documents, magazines and newspapers of the era. By 1943, the United States had been involved in the War for two years and the women’s working movement was in full swing. Surely, a very popular magazine like LIFE magazine would have great examples of those industrious, hard working, and independent women in its pages. This assumption will be questioned once the bound volumes of the past are opened. One will be shocked when faced with the image of Susie Homemaker standing hand in hand with this new industrious woman.
LIFE Magazine is a weekly magazine put out by TIME Inc. From January 4th-June 28th, 1943, eight of the twenty-five covers featured women. When taking into consideration the fact that there was a war going on, one can see that many of the cover stories would be about men. There was one major difference between the stories on men and women, however. The covers that featured men were...