Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Diseased Women: Vintage WPA anti-VD art

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | July 07, 2010 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living, The Movement
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Interesting to consider that the spread of venereal disease was, until modern times, largely blamed on women (and specifically on prostitutes). Somewhere perhaps some scholar has drawn the comparison between the misogyny that historically attached to VD and the intense homophobia that attached to AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s. If not, it should be made. Infectious diseases, particularly of the sexual kind, seem to inspire scapegoating of epic proportions.

In the posters produced by the WPA women were always the culprits. (Uhhhh... and how did they catch it? From toilet seats?)

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The top poster is precious. We have the wink and the other two ladies are exchanging what appear to be very intimate non-verbal communication. I'd say that picture was very loaded.

Thanks again for the images of yesteryear.

Man, I always fall for the booby trap. Isn't that how you get syphilis and gonorrhea? When you're at war and the white woman with big boobs smiles at you as she serves you a beer?

Damn it. No more warm beer and war for me now.

Paige Listerud | July 7, 2010 4:12 PM

As someone who has been treated like a diseased woman from time to time, thanks for this.

The connection between this and HIV seems obvious - both gay sex and women's genitalia produce a disgust reaction for lots of people. This is just trying to get people to think about that more generally so that they stop sleeping with women so much.

What I don't get is why misogynistic straight men want to have sex with someone they hate. But I once saw a Jerry Springer show about a klansman who was dating a black woman, so I guess anything's possible.

friday jones | July 7, 2010 8:56 PM

Some straight men think of sex as something that they do TO women that degrades them somehow. After all, if they somehow switched places with women they would find those acts repulsive and degrading. To that type of straight man, having coital intercourse is sort of like taking a big refreshing dump on "some bitch's" face.

And you know what? Having sex with men like that IS a degrading experience. Too bad they don't wear some kind of uniform so we can avoid having sex with them....