Who is Rosie the Riveter?
Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon in the United States. This is Norman Rockwell's "Saturday Evening Post" cover of what Rosie is depicted of. Rosie was created through propaganda during World War Two. The original "We Can Do It!"poster of Rosie was commissioned by J. Howard Miller. "From government-created propaganda to material produced by companies intent on inspiring their workers to greater productivity to advertisements capitalizing on war-time gender role changes...women and their societal roles in Wartime America." From "Beyond Rosie the Riveter, Women of the World War Two in American Popular Graphic Art" by Donna B. Knaff. Therefore, Rosie was created to help/ inspire women to the jobs of what men left in order to go to war. Media such as this was shaped history to what is it today, it "[served] as catalyst for social movements as well as landmark events that have defined this country's past." According to "Mightier than the Sword; How News Media Shaped American History" by Rodger Streitmatter. Women during the 1940's "...before America became involved in the war, at least 30,000 women were employed in shell loading, small arms ammunition, and fuse plants" quoted in "American Women And World War 2" by Doris Weatherford. Once the war in Europe increased Women entered more areas such as munitions, aircraft, ship yard, and factory workers/manufactures. Women were also working the front line as nurses, telephone operators, and vehicle drivers. This short video from "History" gives a good extended detail on where, when, and how Rosie became to be Rosie the Riveter.
Rosie the Riveter also became a song during World War Two. The song was written and the music was by Redd Evens and Jacob John Loeb. It was produced by Paramount Music Corporation in New York City in 1942. The song become well known because of the swing bandleader James Kern "Kay" Kyser it also inspired the Rockwell's image of Rosie. This image is the cover art for the song and the next video is the Rosie the Riveter Song.
What are challenges that women faced during and after World War Two?
This photograph was taken in 1943 and the women in the photograph are Peggy Bridgeman, Ruth Harris, and Lee Fiscus. These women are working at Gary Plant Tubular Steel Corporation. Like most women during this time they worked in a factory. When starting in the factory though, they had very little training with equipment. Therefore, women were more likely to hurt themselves around heavy, dangerous machinery. "As war demands increased, more enlightened plants also began to cut back training; some formerly held "corn colleges" where new employees practiced with corn instead of actual explosives, but, under contract pressure, more and more sent women straight to the line without such training" from "American Women and World War Two". Although, working conditions were difficult for women, there was no attempt to pay women equal wages as men.
This photograph was taken in 1943, this women is working on a A-31 Vengeance bomber in Nashville, Tennessee. Another challenge that women faced was "These portrayals of female "masculinity" and gender-role upheaval during World War Two" quoted from "Beyond Rosie the Riveter" by Donna B. Knaff. Society during this time believed that women working in "manly" jobs that they would become lesbian, want to keep working in factories, and definitely would not want to be house wives anymore. For during this time women were seen as delicate and not very smart. In fact, the Rosie the Riveter movement broke down barriers for women, such as social change in the work force between blacks and whites. It also proved to the nation that women are way more capable of what they actually seem they can do. Women of any cultural, background, and race have the right to work for themselves, have the right to be educated, and have the right to be whoever they want to be. This movement started a chain reaction to where women in 2017 still fight for equal rights. "Yet, in 1944 survey of women workers, half of the former full-time homemakers said they wanted to continue working after the war. Many of them did continue; others returned home only to rejoin the work force later; still others permanently returned to exclusively homemaking roles." From "Rosie the Riveter Revised, Women The War, and Social Change" by Sherna B. Gluck. Just because women wanted to go back home and be house wives again doesn't mean that the movement didn't change anything because it did. This quote shows that they had the choice to go back to work or not to. Women have their own voice and opinions on what they want to do with their lives.
Women in today's society
Scripps College was founded in 1926, it is a womens liberal arts college in Claremont, California. This image is from a magazine cover from their school in 2011. This image is suppose to help it's women students to believe in themselves. It is to empower, inspire, and promote their college image. This image is also to sent out confident, courage and hope to the students at Scripps. They chose this image because they have so many students who don't look a like but, can be unified as being women with one image. "The Scripps Rosie is tough, but not hardened; ready to take on the world on her own terms, yet willing to be apart of a team."According from the editor, from Scripps, Mary Shipp Bartlett.
This is a photograph from a student at University of Southern California named Ilana Spiegel. She created this set of photos with her friends because she felt inspired by the Rosie the Riveter poster she had in her room from January of this year. Spiegel had an assignment to do in class on new media. For her assignment she took ten of her friends and created a new look to Rosie the Riveter. These Rosie have different backgrounds, cultures, race, and religions. Spiegel shows that labels don't matter, and women should be proud of who they are in today's society. Although, they are all different, they all are unified by one thing; by being a woman. By showing that they can do it by putting their own twist on Rosie shows the world that anyone can do it.