The informational pamphlet, This is Ann, produced by Theodore Geisel, later known as Dr. Seuss, is loaded with vixenization of women and demonization of female sexuality. The WWII-era comic warned soldiers of the dangers of malaria through the use of a feminized mosquito named “Ann.” Although the decision to create a female mosquito rather than a male is natural - females carry blood and males do not - but the characterization of Ann in the text is highly misogynistic.
The comic puts out a clear, though unspoken, link between malaria carried by mosquitoes and venereal disease carried by women. The cover claims that Ann is “dying to meet you,” as she stands primping herself.[^] The next page advances the sexualized image of Ann, viewing her in the same pose, but this time through a keyhole, adding voyeurism to the imagery of feminization and sexualizaton.[^] Along with her apparent beckoning to the voyeuristic reader, the pamphlet emphasizes that she really is inviting – “Ann really gets around” – the caption reads.[^] Ann’s sexualized identity and loose morals are solidified by adding, “Ann moves around at night, anytime from dusk to sunrise (a real party gal), and she’s got a real thirst. No whiskey, gin, beer, or rum coke for Ann…she drinks blood.”[^]
By equating the spread of malaria with the spread of venereal disease, the comic demonizes female sexuality, and promotes the idea that women who are openly sexual are dangerous, or have hidden motives. Many anti-VD posters and pamphlets also put forth this narrative, but This is Ann stands out above the others for forcibly inserting female sexuality into non-sexual matters.