“More of your women characters should drink,” a friend told me as we were discussing the World War II research I’ve done for my next book. “After all…those harried women were keeping up the homefront, raising a pack of kids and waiting for their men to return—if they made it. Surely those gals were drinking?”
Well…that stumped me. For the past 6 months I’ve done research
- Interviewing a”Rosie the Riveter”(yes, a few are still alive).
- Reading over 200 “Rosie” memoirs
- Reading 5 non-fiction books on women at war and on the homefront
- Interviews with 27 people who lived through the times.
There have been only a couple of references to”party girls” (Young women who got jobs then boozed and danced away their newly earned riches. Most of the women talked about the challenges, the confidence they gained, and how tired they were.
Maybe the boozy party girls didn’t leave diaries or documentaries to later be found by their families? Perhaps they don’t remember what they were drinking (What happens at the USO Club, stays at the USO Club.)
Is it possible that only the sober, hard-working gals have left testimonies to the times?
Advertising archives have few clues. There are hardly any alcohol ads targeting women. Cigarettes?…Sure, lot’s of encouragement to smoke.
So…Do you know?
I’m wondering…does anyone have a Granny or Aunt who remembers what women were drinking during the WWII?
And just for fun…
I included an ad from my favorite local wine campaign:
Mad House Wife Wines from the state of Washington.
Advertising toward women has changed a bit, hasn’t it?