In Kozol’s article, Madonnas of the field, she covers Gender and its different problems during the Dust bowl. She makes a great argument about the way Photographs can skew and change the perspective on the person or place in the photo for the purpose of propaganda. In this case Photographs of women and families who lived on farms were taken to show case the well being of these people who were greatly affected during the Dust bowl and Great Depression in order to show how social programs were helping these people out. The Resettlement Administration (RA) and the Farm Security Administration (FSA) turned these photos into a propaganda machine to sell the idea of reform to the American farmers. These people were photographed in a way to make their current situations seem better than they may actually have been. Photographing women to show their maternal side and being able to care for their baby showed to the rest of America that these programs were working. By skewing and showing only one side to the story with the photos, it pictured these women living on farms as being in a family financially stable enough to take care of the family instead of finding work which was most of the case. These photos limited the women’s model to being a strictly maternal figure and leaving out a lot of other feminist qualities.
This applies to the theme of Gender theory in History because of its ability to skew gender identity and its ability to construct certain expectations and norms about women and families of the time. This relates to what cluna3 had wrote about when discussing Joan Scott’s article about Gender and how the whole study of Gender in History is about finding the constructs placed upon people due to their sex and why there is a inequality when it comes to women being portrayed in the public’s eye. Here we see just that happening with the medium of photography to portray the women who were struggling in the dust bowl to be able to sell an idea of revival.