Secondary Source

Destructive Women and Little Men: Masculinity, the New Woman, and Power in 1910s Popular Media.

Carolyn Kitch, Journal of Magazine & New Media Research 1, no. 1 (Spring 1999)

Era: Post-Suffrage Era | Media: Commentary

During the 1910s, the final decade of the suffrage drive, women’s social, economic, and professional opportunities seemed to broaden dramatically at the same time that political leaders and psychologists decried the “feminization” of manhood. The spectre of a world in which domineering women emasculated powerless men inspired a visual motif that ran throughout popular culture: the pairing of large women and tiny men. Through humor, explosive notions were discussed but then dismissed. This rhetorical analysis, which draws on hegemony theory, explores the symbolic cultural work of such imagery in mass media, especially magazines, at a pivotal moment in American gender relations.

A PDF of the article is available at this url and in the download below.


Back to Browse