Faculty Publications

Title

The male Madonna and the feminine Uncle Sam: Visual argument, icons, and ideographs in 1909 anti-woman suffrage postcards

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Icon, Postcards, Visual Argument, Visual Ideograph, Woman Suffrage

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Quarterly Journal of Speech

Volume

91

Issue

4

First Page

365

Last Page

394

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 and .

Original Publication Date

11-1-2005

DOI of published version

10.1080/00335630500488325

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