It was not uncommon for WWI poster artists to employ images of women in their work.  In contrast to many posters in Europe that presented imagery of women in order to shame men into military service, American artists used female imagery to symbolize American liberty and democracy, to represent women as caretakers of the nation and its ideals, and to induce women to actively participate in the nation’s war effort and understand their contribution as crucial to the successful end of the war.


Some posters appealed to women without representing them with female imagery.  In addition to helping the war effort by growing their own food, women were urged to rely less heavily on their cars for transport in order to conserve valuable fuel for soldiers in Europe, as seen in “Women, the Government Asks You”.   Whether visualized allegorically or concretely, acting in the private or public sphere, with frequent use of female imagery and simple textual reference to women, the government compelled the nation’s women to become active participants in the war effort, and in so doing, to see themselves as citizens of the nation.