Rosie the Riveter- Feminine Face of USA in WW II
During the World War II, the United States experienced a shortage of labor, because many men were enlisted for military service. As such, factories throughout the country did not have enough workers. A cultural icon called Rosie the Riveter was used to inspire women to join the workforce. Many women who believed that they could handle jobs that were traditionally done by men decided to seek employment in factories, including manufacturing plants that specialized in producing war supplies.
Who was Rosie the Riveter?
Rosie the Riveter was a feminist icon that represented American women who took up jobs in factories during WWII. It was an image that showed women getting involved in industrial work such as riveting and welding, but it generally represented all women who managed to prove that they could perform men’s work duties efficiently. It resulted in a social movement that brought about a 57% increase in the number of working women from 1940 to 1944.
How did the term originate?
“Rosie the Riveter” was the name of a song that was co-written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb in 1942. It was performed by many musicians, including Kay Kyser, and it became very popular in the US. The song relates the story of an industrious assembly line worker called Rosie, who did her part to contribute to her country’s war effort.
When and where did she first appear in advertising? Who created the images?
Rosie the Riveter was first introduced to the American public in 1942. She appeared in the “We Can Do It” poster created by J. Howard Miller for the War Production Coordinating Committee of the Westinghouse Company. The poster was used to encourage women to work in factories during WWII, and it is believed that the image of Rosie the Riveter was based on Geraldine Doyle, a factory worker from Michigan.
What does Norman Rockwell has to do with this icon?
Famous artist Norman Rockwell also created an image of Rosie the Riveter. This image appeared on the cover of widely-circulated Saturday Evening Post in the year 1943. It depicted a brawny woman with a riveting tool on her lap taking a lunch break.
What real life women inspired the icon?
The earlier portrayals of Rosie the Riveter were based on a number of hardworking American women. The “Rosie the Riveter” song was inspired by Rosalind P. Walter, a night-shift worker who helped build the F4U Corsair fighter. The icon was also closely associated with Rose Will Monroe, a riveter who worked at an aircraft factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Other women who inspired the icon included Shirley Karp Dick, Geraldine Doyle and Rose Hicker.
What posters became famous?
The most famous Rosie the Riveter posters were the “We Can Do It” poster by J. Howard Miller and “Rosie the Riveter” by Norman Rockwell. The US government also created many posters to recruit women workers, and these included “Victory Waits on Your Fingers”, “Get a War Job”, “From Now On It’s Your Job”, and others.
How did the posters influence women into entering the workforce?
The Rosie the Riveter posters portrayed women as strong and patriotic figures who could contribute to the nation’s war efforts. They emphasized the importance of women in the society and challenged them to take up responsibilities that traditionally belonged to men. Most American women were housewives prior to the distribution of Rosie the Riveter posters, and they saw joining the workforce as a good opportunity to prove their capabilities and patriotism.
What is the legacy of Rosie?
The Rosie the Riveter icon inspired one of the most successful national advertising campaigns in the United States, and it brought about a tremendous change in the role of women in the American society. Due to its great influence, Rosie the Riveter appeared in many movies, songs, comics, and video games after the 1940s. The most famous modern “takes” on the Rosie the Riveter image are “Rosie” poses by well-known female musicians Christina Aguilera, Beyonce Knowles, and Pink.