Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Creating Rosie the Riveter

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Creating Rosie the Riveter

"The campaign to attract women into war production was part of a drive to weld the home front into an economic army, well disciplined, highly motivated by patriotism, and willing to make sacrifices for the good of American soldiers... War work became a vehicle for women to shoulder their civic and moral responsibilities as good citizens rather than as a way to
become more independent and powerful" (Honey. 8).

Maureen Honey is discussing the altered role of women during wartime. as able-bodied women were drawn out of their homes and thrown into the factories and into all spheres of the American economy. Though this movement into the work world shook up all notions of women's traditional gender roles, it was a shift born out of the necessity of the times. Women were simply "shouldering their civic and moral responsibilities" as they headed out to do their work shifts.

Though women certainly proved they were capable of the tasks handed over to them, women were asked to hand the jobs back over to men when they returned from war, and go back to their domestic domain. Rather than. long-lastingly. shaking up traditional views of gender roles, the demands of a wartime economy only temporarily moved women into the "front-lines" of the American economy.

By the late 1940s and 1950s, women were handed back their aprons and vacuum cleaners, and Rosie the Riveter had, for the most part, handed over her pants and replaced it with a well-starched and ironed dress. The "feminine mystique" was reborn.


Blogger s dym said...

Great picture.

3/05/2007 3:49 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

A great post.

This is a key point: Traditional gender roles were used to sell women on non-traditional occupations for the duration. Those same traditional gender roles could then be used to move women back into the home or lower paying subordinate pink-collar jobs.

4/09/2007 11:25 PM  

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