By Allan Christopher
In the state of love, much can go on between a couple. A sweet kiss under the moon or in the tunnel. How about a summer afternoon photo under a tree? No one would stop to think that those things would be out of line. Yet, how about a woman kidnapping a man in the name of love? Or being ridiculed as being worth less than a dog? How could you consider this as love?
In short, love is sacrifice. Across the lot of cards that went into the David P. Campbell collection that I came by, some of these postcards show lovely couples doing romantic things, sure, but there are a handful more that poke and jest towards how the woman is either the sexual toy object or the maker of food. When either of those roles are not filled, they are made fun of as the cards above and below does.
Postcards even make clear what a lady should look like. In the card below, there is a woman putting peroxide in her hair to whiten it. So, even fashion is involved in reinforcing how women should look, not to mention how women should act with a lot of it also being in how they should ‘correctly’ behave since, you know, it is on most of the common cards how a woman is to act and be. And since it is common, doesn’t that mean it is correct? (Hopefully you can get, reader, it does not.)
While there is a considerable amount of portrayal of women wrongly, when looked upon at what these postcards actually said, it was more among mundane things. For example, upon examining the above postcard with ease, this “Clyde” needed to be told that “that is what he needs” from Edith. What could you think Clyde needed? What was so important (or unimportant for that matter) that an entire postcard needed to be sent to confirm simple questions? If we are to look to the back of this particular one, you should begin to easily notice (as shown below) that there is no message or stamp to begin with.
Again, it preposes the idea that it might not have ever been mailed, but as a form of quick communication to tell someone something lest the day be over and thus not being able to be reached again until tomorrow.
To see the work of love of other people in written form was in some sense rewarding – to meet up and go to school together, to try to see one another after a missed Sunday – especially when someone wrote in secret code. It made it worth it despite the reinforcement of bad stereotypes of women on most of these.