Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Rosie The Riveter and Women's Roles in WWII

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rosie The Riveter and Women's Roles in WWII

It was in World War II when women started to gain a much larger role as human beings. They became more than housewives. They became workers as well. As the men were going off to fight the war, people were needed to take their jobs and help with the war effort in producing weapons and making sure that production didn't sufferr because of the lack of men. This is where women came in. They began to work. They began to feel needed. They liked this. They liked being out of the house and working in factories, having a real job and punching in and out of work everyday. They felt a sense of pride and need for the first times in their lifes and it felt good to them. But it was all gone with a snap of the fingers. The war was over and the women went back to being housewives while the men were given their jobs back.

It was this that upset the women. They were shown the idea of Rosie the Riveter. They were shown the idea of being a working and able women who didn't have to be a housewife and they liked that. They wanted to work and be equal with men but once the men came back, Rosie the Riveter was out the door and the housewives came walking right back in. It was a case of everything going back to normal and for the women, going back to normal was the one thing they didn't want to do, and, if they were doing a good enough job, nor they shouldn't have had to either. This is what eventually led to the beginning of the Feminine Mystique.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

Working class women have always worked inside and outside the home. It is important to realize that while some middle class women housewives did move from the home to the factory during WWII. The majority of the rosie the riveters worked outside the home before during and after the war. The question is where they were working and what kind of jobs were they filling before the war: lower skilled, lower paid, pink collar and domestic work for the most part. How strong did the propaganda have to be to convince working women to move to higher skilled well paid jobs and out of the pink collar ghetto?

How did the media prepare women and society for women moving into male roles? How was that justified? And how after the war were they convinced to move back to the lower paying jobs and house work that awaited them after the war?

4/11/2007 8:55 PM  

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