“GIRLS SAY YES to boys who say NO” (1968) tries to undermine mainstream American culture’s association of manhood with military action. The three women pictured are all wearing hats, a method of glamorizing the women. The poster features Joan Baez and her sisters Pauline and Mimi. Baez was a musician in the 1960’s, and encouraged resistance to the draft during her concerts. She suggested that women who were against violence should be more interested in men who resisted the military draft. This poster was created by Larry Gates and was sold to raise funds for the Draft Resistance movement.
The poster’s meaning is simple. Baez wanted to encourage women to be with men who did not want to fight unjustly for their country. The poster is directed at men, promising them that women will find them attractive even if they do not go into the military. The “yes” meant an agreement to sex, not just a night out with a man. So these women, in dating the draft resisters, would be supporting the anti-war movement.
Feminism and women protesters were important pieces of the anti-war movement. Women Strike for Peace, the Women’s Peace Society, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Women’s Peace Union, and the National Committee of the Causes and Cure of War allowed for large numbers of women to get together and protest against the war and link it to women’s issues such as birth control, nuclear testing, and government policies.
DeBenedetti, Charles, and Charles Chatfield. An American Ordeal: The Anti War Movement of the Vietnam Era. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1990.