History behind the image and the war The back story into why the images were named “Rosie”, is unknown even today, but there is more than one image that was used with the first being the most famous. During
ROSIE 6 World War II, women entering the workforce due to the male population heading off to war. Between 1940 and 1945, female percentage into the U.S. labor force jumped 10 percent from 27 to 37. “Rosie the Riveter,” was the star government campaign aimed to recruit women workers into munitions industry (History A&E, 2017). Women now joined those position that once were closed off to women being too dangerous, but due to the iconic image primarily of a fictitious character that was inspirational and successful as a recruitment tool. Not only was it used to recruit into factories, but also Armed Service positions on the home front, in 1942 the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps was instituted, later to be called the Women’s Army Corps (History A&E, 2017). This drove for more involvement in the other branches, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots were the first women to fly for American military aircraft. The aviation industry saw an increase in female workers with more than 310,000 women working in the U.S. aircraft industry in 1943, being at a 65 percent standing 64 percent higher than that of pre-war years (History A&E, 2017). The image of “Rosie the Riveter”, stressed the patriotic need for women to enter the workforce filling the spots where men once were. The Saturday Evening Post published a cover image of a Rosie done by the artist Norman Rockwell, showing Rosie as a masculine, muscle-bound women on her lunch break, a flag in the background and a copy of Adolf Hitler’s racist tract “Mein Kampf” under her feet (History A&E, 2017). This image happened on May 29, 1943 after the prototype image with the famous words stamped as the headline, “We Can Do It!” (History A&E, 2017). This image encouraged women that they could do the same jobs that a man could, yet it may not be of the most famous image known in history. But was still an inspiration showing the bold new image of a women working hard and doing the jobs that society believed or didn’t think that they could manage to do. It is of an image that most do not realize was a part of that same time as the famous iconic image created by J. Howard Miller.
ROSIE 7 By the need to mobilize the work force since it’s male depletion, the author of the book Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II, Penny Colman depicts the lifestyle of the 1930s and 1940s from a youth perspective. She showed women in traditional male dominated occupations, which were made available due to the war. Once the war was over those same women were reassigned back to their lives that they once came from, Colman concludes that, “that they will never forget that there was a time in America when women were told that they could do anything and they did so.” (M.M.B, 1995). These powerful images gave hope to the equality that most women felt needed to happen even after the war ended and the
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