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"Rosie the Riveter" by Connie Field

Most of the 11.5 million women then working did so from economic necessity. Many worked outside the home before marriage and not after, though there had been an increase in the number of women working outside the home because of the higher standards of living established in the 1920s and because of the economic troubles of the 1930s. There was considerable resistance among both men and women to any changing of the traditional role for women. As the war started, industrial expansion took place to meet the demands of the growing war machine. People were attracted from rural regions to the cities to work in the new factories, and for a time, "the pool of urban unemployed, supplemented by the first trickle of migrants, was sufficiently large to accommodate the expanded war economy" (Gluck 10).

However, it was soon evident that old prejudices and practices had to be changed, for as most white males of a certain age were taken into the military, women and minorities had to be hired to take their place. Efforts were made to attract women who normally would not go into the work force, or to attract women who might normally seek clerical jobs instead to take jobs in industry. The role of industrial worker was sold by means of appeals to patriotism and glamour, and the image of "Rosie the Riveter," derived from a popular song, embodied in a poster, and reiterated in movies, became the symbol of the patriotic glamour of the era (Gluck 11-12).

During the war, Rosie the Riveter was praised; when the war ended, she was thanked and sent home, whether she wanted to go home or not. The slogan used during the war was that Rosie was doing "The Job He Left Behind," but "he" came back in high numbers when the war ended and took back that job. It may have been thought by government and industry that these women would be happy to return to their traditional roles and that that would be the end of it, but in fact, many were not happy to retur...

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"Rosie the Riveter" by Connie Field. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:31, August 17, 2017, from
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