"Feminists' View On World War II Propaganda"

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

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"Feminists' View on World War II Propaganda" There are numerous types of feminists and depending on their respective beliefs and mission each group interprets situations, such as propaganda, in their own unique manner. Janice A. Radway's "Reading is Not Eating," suggests that women readers of propaganda are not passive; women take action. Reading is eating means that readers of propaganda absorb what they read; they are like sponges that absorb what is being fed to them. I agree with Radway's idea of "reading is not eating." I believe that readers interpret propaganda differently. Interpretation is an individual determination based on one's own experiences, insights and beliefs. One can conclude how someone else will view the propaganda by knowing what feminist theories they believe in. For example a Radical feminist's view would be different from a Liberal or a Postmodernist feminist's view.

There are many different types of feminist theories, Liberal, Radical, Lesbian/ Queers, Marxist and Socialist, Postmodern, Psychoanalyst, Women of Color and Third World feminism.

All of these theories have different histories and some have been around for a long time, while others are somewhat new. With so many different types of feminist theories, it is not surprising that each feminist group would have a different viewpoint/interpretation. This concept can be compared to the various Christian church denominations; they all believe in God and Jesus, but each denomination has varying interpretations and explanations for their specific practice of religion.

Propaganda is one thing that feminists view differently, specifically during World War II when most of the propaganda during that time was aimed toward women. Although most of the feminist theories had not been identified at that time, many feminists are now analyzing such propaganda and are voicing their opinions on it. In the rest of this essay I will be...