Gender Stereotypes

The above image from historical period highlights the role of women in America when their male counterparts were sent to several fronts in the Pacific and Atlantic theatres. Media reinforces and creates gender roles in our society through generations. In 1942, hired by Westinghouse Electric's internal War Production Coordinating Committee, Miller developed several advertisements to demonstrate a series of posters about firm’s workforce. The selected image that states “We can do it” demonstrates how culture in America had witnessed women power which was against the stereotype gender roles through popular media.

However, the poster did not gain much popularity during World War II since it was against the stereotype relationship between male and female in society but it gained much attraction of people in the early years of 1980s. Women workers were not accepted or rather it can be stated that companies had seldom hired women workers as male workers were thought to be superior to female workers. The current image can be analysed based on the documentary “the codes of gender” which demonstrates how culture in recent time segregates and creates gender roles through popular media. In order to highlight this societal norm, the documentary has shown a section of popular movie that the “lady has male hands” or a woman has been enquired whether he is a man or a woman because of his masculine physique and attire.

Furthermore, the current image also shows that since male counterparts were dispatched to the warfront, society started seeing women workers in different areas. The depicted advertisement has displayed the women workforce of the company. The image was designed to promote feminism or women empowerment and therefore supported Feminist theory. Feminist theory proposes equality and justice in every place, especially women. Previously it was thought that advertisement was only designed to promote to sell things but later it became an icon to display women empowerment in the American society during the World War II (Lim & Furnham, 2016).

In addition to this the headline of the image “We can do it” was used to promote feminism and it was used in the cover page of Smithsonian magazine in 1994. The poster was used to inspire women to join workforce post and its rediscovery in the early years of 1980. In the year 1943 when the image was designed it was not used for recruiting women candidates but to motivate female workforce who were already hired. Miller had created the image to demonstrate ability or competence of the female workforce and to show that they can perform well as compared to their male counterparts.

Target audience of the image is the female workforce to motivate them to work at their level best. Media has indispensable role in reinforcing gender roles. The magazine thus has played a significant role in promoting feminism or women power, which was against the stereotype gender role that the culture and society of the historical period had reinforced.

People of the society, particularly the women are the target audience that is for whom the poster has been developed to make them aware about the female empowerment.

Nevertheless, the purpose and the function of the piece of work is to make common people especially the women aware about the justice and equality that society had been ensuring in 1980s. The advertisements can be associated with feminist theory promoting justice and equality. Feminist theory supports inclusive rather than gender differentiation in the society. Feminist theory further says that in most of the society women have been oppressed and men are historically dominant (Modleski, 2015).

Therefore, the limitations and gender differentiation that the advertisements have been portrayed can be defended by the application of Feminist theory so that equal distribution of power can be practiced among men and women. Previously female workforce was not allowed to join workforce, which had however been changed since the World War 11. The society of the then period used to reinforce masculinity over femininity and equal rights and remuneration were not offered to women in the patriarchal society. Male counterparts used to dominate the society where men were the major workforce of any organization, since women were not depended upon for their performance and competence.


The current image benefits in understanding the changing role of women in the society in America since World War II. Previously society used to support male candidates in the workforce of a firm and this stereotype belief and culture had been shattered by the specific image. Media since ages has been reinforcing gender roles into our society through various advertisements. During the historical period, America used to promote male dominance in the workforce as female were not considered to be dependable and competent. In the selected image stereotype gender role has been refuted with the tagline “We can do it” that promotes justice and equality among women. Although, initially when the image was created by Miller it had only been used for company’s internal purpose to encourage women but later on it had been used universally to promote justice and equality.

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