Propaganda appeal to manhood

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The concept of manhood was essential in the use of propaganda. Propaganda used in Ireland emphasized that to be a “true” man one must join the armed forces. It attempted to foster a sense of shame in those who didn’t join up.

This propaganda poster emphasizes the desire for “real” men in the armed forces. It suggests that if the viewer is a real man, this is their chance for glory.

Interestingly enough, there was even pressure put upon the women of Ireland to encourage their men to go fight as well. The poster below calls upon the women of Ireland to allow their men to go fight. This is reminiscent of the Irish play Cathleen Ni Houlihan where the future bride and mother beg their son/fiance to not go out and join the uprising against the British. Similarly in real life, women did not want their men going out to fight in WWI.  Therefore, propaganda like this came into existence to raise fears about the future of Ireland if men did not enlist and also raise the possibility for future shame.

A propaganda poster posing four questions to the women of Ireland in an attempt to raise fears about the war to persuade them to let their men go and fight.

There is also appeals to the classic desire of men and boys which is glory. Propaganda advertised the war as an opportunity for brave, courageous acts which would result in everlasting glory. Sergeant Michael O’Leary quickly became a poster boy for this sort of rhetoric after he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on the Western Front. This type of propaganda is seen below.

A propaganda poster praising the actions of Sergeant Michael O’Leary in an attempt to persuade other Irishmen to join up and follow in his footsteps.