Women may not have fought on the front lines in World War I, but as more and more men joined up, they were needed in the defense industries and military support jobs. For Every Fighter a Woman Worker (1918) depicts a female munitions worker with the symmetrical poise and beauty of a classical statue; she bears a miniature war–plane in one hand and a bomb–shell in the other. In reality the work she advertised was dirty, dangerous, physically demanding, and attended by frequent explosions and instances of chemical poisoning. Such injuries and fatalities did not come with medals and war pensions. The poster emphasizes the need to "Care for Her Through the YWCA," but ultimately the concern seems to be as much about her moral as physical welfare. The classical beauty of the figure helped to reassure women that their femininity would not be compromised by such work.
Gallery label from Designing Modern Women 1890-1990, October 5, 2013–October 19, 2014.