The stories told by the women in the film "Rosie the Riveter" and the book Rosie the Riveter Revisited show how women who had been accustomed to remaining in the home found themselves part of the war effort. For some of these women, this was a lateral shift--they had been working anyway to support their families during the Great Depression and now were able to get away from the secretary-waitress-sales jobs they had had to take before. For other women, this was a new experience entirely, either because they were young and only beginning their work lives or because they had been housewives with no outside work experience. For nearly all, the experience of working in an industrial setting was new.
It is hard to shake the nagging feeling that women colluded in the perpetuation of traditional values at war's end. But I have to remind myself how difficult it would have been to challenge the full weight of the culture in that period. What advocates there were for women, particularly working-class women, were but voices in the wilderness (Gluck 53).
Susan Laughlin, who was a counselor for women in industry, expresses the attitude that prevailed as the war ended and a new change was about to take place: