Women have always struggled for a ‘place’ in life. From the dawn of civilization, we have clawed for scrapes of power. Is it possible that the idea of the femme fatale is a push back to the struggle for feminism?
YES! YES, it is! From the time of the war, women were turned back from the place they were allowed to be part of and returned with force to the home. Before WWII, the idealized Leave it to Beaver type environment was ‘standard’. The ‘little woman in the kitchen’ image is something that was almost as common as apple pie, but during the war, the aprons got hung up and women went to work.
If you have seen the series Bomb Girls or Call The Midwife, the life of women was still fairly ‘domestic’ the idea of the woman in a garage-style jumpsuit didn’t evoke sexuality but instead was kind of seen as almost monstrous. She was no longer Betty Crocker and had gotten the most dangerous of things…she got to see what it was like to be free. Free from the stoggy homelife of ovens and children, free of laundry and free of demands. Of course, many women also served in the war, and many died, but the women that stayed here to help at home were propped up.
There are a lot of propaganda type films of gorgeous looking women bent over bombs in sexualized poses because this was also propaganda to keep them ‘feminine’ we were still supposed to look hot even covered in grease. There were posters and commercials and even little features with an introspective on how to keep up your curls after a hot day at the factory. It’s weird to think this is what people thought about. By the time the war was over, there was one problem…
They didn’t want to go back to the home.