Monday, August 24, 2009

Women Then and Now: Guns

Several photographs of women "then" and now show how shockingly, women have changed over the years in maturity, values, and comportment. One of the great things about the Internet is the constant juxtaposition of things past and present, a reminder that history did not begin yesterday, or in 1968. The Black and White photographs (and a few in color) of the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information Collection are now digitized and available for online viewing and downloading. They provide a fascinating look at the dress, physiques, general living conditions, and more of average Americans in the 1930's through WWII. Several photographs, contrasted with America's first modern female celebrity, show how the change in American women have been, for both good and bad. Particularly as the change relates to "guns."

First, Madonna, age 51, on a Yacht in the Mediterranean:


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Note the customized basketball jersey and shorts. And well, the "guns' or very muscular arms (with no body fat) as Madonna tries vainly to remain 28 forever.

Now look at the images of the "Victory Corps" from 1942. The "Victory Corps" was a program, lasting from 1942-June 1944, that prepared High School students for the military, increasing fitness and specific skills (aviation, mechanic, marksmanship) but also included girls, as well as Blacks, and included other skills such as first aid, industrial or manufacturing training, radio repair and operation, and canning of food.

Here is a series of images of young women at Roosevelt High School (now almost entirely Latino-Mexican origin) in East Los Angeles:


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Now, bear in mind these girls are teen-agers when these pictures are taken. But their general manner of carriage, dress, and demeanor make them look like women in their twenties today. Part of it is hair-styles, teen girls do not wear their hair or dress in that fashion today, making them look "older" to today's eyes. But they also have a no-nonsense approach, in posing for the picture. Probably created by a childhood of chronic shortages and severe economic constraints, followed by war-time rationing and emergencies. At ages 16-17, they look more mature than Madonna at age 51.

Also note their guns. Not gym toned results of hyper-dieting with expensive prepared food and private trainers, but real guns that shoot bullets (they look like .22 LR training rifles based on the Springfield 1903 series). There's even, yes, a firing range at the school. Can you imagine real life girls at Roosevelt High School today practicing with rifles in a school shooting range today?

There is much good in the world of today. Women are independent, and don't need to worry about being their father's or husband's dependency, they have their economic destiny in their own hand. They have freedom of choice in all areas of their lives. Women today don't live in a segregated society with different drinking fountains for Whites and non-Whites. There is no threat of a gigantic, racist and murderous Japanese or Nazi empire intent on wiping out the Anglosphere. There is no long history of a brutal depression that caused bread riots and massive social strife, and internal migration. Women have, for the first time in their lives, total freedom to live and do as they please.

But in all that ... there has been a loss of seriousness and purpose in women's lives. I would not trade the world of 1942 for that of today. But the images of the past do teach us one thing. Women should be practicing with guns. Not developing them. And teen-agers of the past were more mature than the grotesque parodies of aging pop stars today. Those same girls practicing with rifles, likely went on to become mothers, wives, and had careers. Madonna, at age 51, is a professional pop tart who pathetically tries to keep time at bay. In that sense at least, the world of 1942 was wiser in America than we are today.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe you can determine whether civilization is rising or falling based on the way women dress. That puts civilization's peak in the 1950s. From there it was all downhill ...

anon4 said...

Shorpy has recently run an occasional photo of women migrating to California during the dust bowl. It's the same thing you suggest here: even those these women are the poorest of the poor, they have more class, style, femininity, and maturity than the whole of Newbury St.

http://www.shorpy.com/node/6654

I would marry that woman in an instant.

anon4 said...

ahem..

"even those these women are the poorest of the poor"

even though these women...

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

To mis-quote a delightful movie:
"Those without guns may still die from them."

I really, really, REALLY wish they'd take just one year of sex ed and turn it into basic gun safety.... Not even require a kid to touch a gun, but make sure they understand how they work, what the dangers are, that they don't have mind control....

bichsplitter said...

Wow, and I believe she's had a facelift too. YIKES!

And what happened to her tits? Where'd they go???

Andddd...isn't she too old and White to be dressing like a ghetto-hoochie?

ganttsquarry said...

I often notice in pictures of yesteryear that the women seem to have a look of purpose or duty on their face. Maybe its just modesty. Women of today look self absorbed and attention starved. Probably just the bias of living in the present talking though.

sutrostyle said...

@Anonymous 7:10pm
"I believe you can determine whether civilization is rising or falling based on the way women dress. That puts civilization's peak in the 1950s. From there it was all downhill"

The US jumped the shark around the summer of love of 1967:

1) introduction of birth control pill in 1964
2) oil peak in the continental 48 in 1970.

Elusive Wapiti said...

Re: Pix of Madonna. Yikes! She looks like a wanna be hoodlum-man. Or a pathetic version of Malcom McDowell.

"...don't need to worry about being their father's or husband's dependency,"

Therin lies part of the problem, I think. One, they are convinced they own their own sexuality, when a stable civilization places ownership/stewardship of their sexuality to their husbands and fathers, respectively. So instead of female sexuality being as kept in the box as male sexuality, it is poured out on the streets everywhere, and each of us is subjected--whether we want it or not--to a urinary olympics in which women try to out-peacock each other.

"There is no threat of a gigantic, racist and murderous Japanese or Nazi empire intent on wiping out the Anglosphere."

No, instead we have the threat of a gigantic, racist, and murderous empire intent on wiping out the Anglosphere staffed entirely by the women in our midst and their male enablers.

"teen-agers of the past were more mature than the grotesque parodies of aging pop stars today."

Can't argue with that. And this statement applies both to the girls and the boys of our culture.

ERM said...

Sweet pictures.

Rose said...

I know at least two females who know how to use guns. My uncle, a hunter who wasn't blessed with the son he desired, decided instead to pass on his knowledge to his two girls (my cousins). By ten they were both killing and gutting their own dinners.

Φ said...

There's even, yes, a firing range at the school.

Unless I'm missing something, this "range" was actually improvised in the hallway of the school building! Now that was a different era.

OneSTDV said...

Anyone else think Madonna has got to be juicing?

ironrailsironweights said...

As for the intense, serious look of the girls in the World War II photos, in part that's because it was a serious time, and in part it's also because these are obviously carefully staged photos. You can easily imagine the photographer saying "Look serious, girls!" None of them are candid snapshots like the one of Madonna.

ganttsquarry said...

Fair point iron. I wasn't only refering to the pictures Whiskey posted though.

Indomitable Thoughts said...

"I would not trade the world of 1942 for that of today."

I would.

Indomitable Thoughts said...

Also, Madonna has to be the ugliest woman I've seen recently. YUCK. She looks like a dood.

kurt9 said...

Madonna's looks seem to go up and down with correlation to age and cosmetic surgery. During much of the 90's, I thought she was looking more and more like Betty Davis with her eyes become more and more deep-set. Then, Madonna got cosmetic surgery around 1998 and she no longer had the aging Betty Davis look.

Now, she is starting to look ratty once again, a rattyness exacerbated by her excessive dieting. She really does need to put on a bit of weight.

I don't think she's "juicing". She's really not that buffed. Its her skinnyness that makes her look more buffed than she really is. I see women in my gym who are way more buffed than Madonna and I know they are not juicing.

This is really a bad picture of her. She looks like that woman who fools Jack Nickleson in the shower in "The Shining". This photo had to have been taken by a paparazzi with a telephoto lens from a nearby boat. No publicist in their right mind would ever let out such a photo of their client.

Kirk said...

I don't know about women being unserious, but some of the guys I met in college had no "grit" about them. One in particular seemed juvenile, texting his friends in class and spending nearly all his computer lab time on either myspace or Facebook.

What made him stand out is that I had thought him to be 18 or 19. No, he was 30. I couldn't believe it.

There were a couple of other guys too, who, while they had different mannerisms than the above fellow, all had the same trait, in that I literally couldn't tell within a decade of how old they were. They could have been anywhere from 18-35, and I couldn't tell the difference.

So, it isn't just women who are unserious. And really, isn't having "grit" a man's job?

Talleyrand said...

Kirk,

It is more a testiment that women are become more masculinized as the men become more feminized.

Both concern me, but the feminization of the men is the worst of the two. If the country was filled with rough and tumble men and women, it wouldn't be in the peril it is in.

HR Lincoln said...

Here's what stands out to me - not one fatty in the crowd. MUCH less obesity in the WWII era than today.

lupoleboucher said...

great post, man. You should show the fat ones too. Fat chicks of the past (who are rare in the photos) are equivalent to average chicks today.

Kirk said...

Tallyrand wrote:

"It is more a testiment that women are become more masculinized as the men become more feminized."

I didn't notice anything in college that suggested masculinized women and feminized men. Rather, many of the guys just seemed unserious. The women seemed normal, but then again I might not be the best judge of them.


"Both concern me, but the feminization of the men is the worst of the two. If the country was filled with rough and tumble men and women, it wouldn't be in the peril it is in."

I like the idea of people being a little more rough-and-tumble. That type of behavior is what kept flight 93 from hitting its target. However, I'm not entirely certain that our country is in (immediate) peril. Rather, easy living is slowly dulling our abilities to cope with tough events and difficult times. We're not as sharp as we used to be.

josh said...

Madonna is grotesque. Its funny how her stupid statemnets about the Roma backfired on her in Romania.She retreated to the bullshit that always wins her praise over here:"I believe in freedom and equality..." Thank God Ted Kennedy died before he could do any more damage;amid all these dumb-assed tributes(Roger Simon writes in the Chi Sun-Times of seeing "Hispanics waiting for hours in the baking sun" to hear Ted. One Hispanic father says to his little child--who of course is a girl--"Remember this day. Remember you saw this man." Gag me!)no one says that Teds biggest goal was legalization,and he was only stopped because "the people" rose up and wouldnt have it. Inconvenient truth re the Liberal Lyin'.No doubt Madonna has calculated that she loves Ted.If only he were a Latino...

BlackOrchid said...

Madonna is taking HGH no doubt about it. I know the look - have some peers starting to dabble in it - the cougars love HGH!

www.muebleslarioja.muebles.cn said...

The dude is completely just, and there is no suspicion.