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Soldier and woman 1943

by Sidney Simon (1917–97)

The arrival of one million American servicemen in Australia during the Second World War (1939–45). stimulated much excitement. Wooing local women with nylon pantyhose and chocolates, the ‘Yanks’ were considered better dressed and mannered than their Australian counterparts and represented wealth, glamour and modernity for many Australian women.

A ‘moral panic’ arose among more traditionally minded Australians regarding women’s sexual agency and their enthusiasm for the Americans, prompting numerous op-eds including an Albany Advertiser article: ‘Now girls, go easy!’ (30 May 1942). Western Australian women were warned that they could be left ‘holding the baby’ and to ‘…look before you take the fatal leap’. 

ON LOAN COURTESY OF THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL ART29393


 

Reviewed 01 December 2021