Secondary Source

The Male Madonna and the Feminine Uncle Sam: Visual Argument, Icons, and Ideographs in 1909 Anti-Woman Suffrage Postcards

"The Male Madonna and the Feminine Uncle Sam: Visual Argument, Icons, and Ideographs in 1909 Anti-Woman Suffrage Postcards." Catherine H. Palczewski. Quarterly Journal of Speech, Vol. 91, Issue 4, 2005.

Era: Post-Suffrage Era | Media: Academic Paper, Postcards

Abstract:

In 1909, at the height of the woman suffrage controversy and during the golden age of postcards, the Dunston-Weiler Lithograph Company of New York produced a twelve-card set of full-color lithographic cartoon postcards opposing woman suffrage. The postcard images reflect, and depart from, verbal arguments concerning woman suffrage prevalent during this period. They reflect arguments against suffrage that highlighted the coarsening effect the vote would have on women. The postcards also present an argument that was absent in the verbal discourse surrounding suffrage: that men (and the nation) would become feminized by woman suffrage. Accordingly, these postcards offer a productive location in which to explore how the icons of the Madonna and Uncle Sam, as well as non-iconic images of women, were deployed to reiterate the disciplinary norms of the ideographs of <woman> and <man>.

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