Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS)
Date of Last Revision
Number of Credits
Bachelor of Arts
Date of Expected Graduation
During World War II women joined the workforce in droves due to propaganda such as Rosie the Riveter. When Soldiers began returning from the war they wanted stability and normalcy. They wanted to return to the America they left where women ran the household and men went to work. Women, however, experienced a new sense of freedom from working and wanted to continue their liberation. It was during this time that femme fatales, the sultry women of film noir became popular. They represented the liberated women of the 1940s. The film industry saw an opportunity to use these women found in detective fiction novels such as The Big Sleep to their advantage. The film industry took The Big Sleep which is filled with patriarchal values and turned it into a film. The film worked as propaganda to tell women of the 1940s that their newfound liberation would not be tolerated.
Honors Faculty Advisor
Bishop, Leann, "Show Her It's a Man's World: How the Femme Fatale Became a Vehicle for Propaganda" (2019). Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects. 1001.