By Maureen Honey
Creating Rosie the Riveter examines ads and fiction released within the Saturday night Post and True Story so one can exhibit how propaganda used to be used to motivate girls to go into the workforce.
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Additional resources for Creating Rosie the Riveter: class, gender, and propaganda during World War II
This overriding propaganda goal subsumed the campaign to recruit women and largely shaped its direction; this was a goal, moreover, for which traditional ideas about women were well suited. For a variety of reasons, war workers served as a symbol of the ideal home-front spirit, standing for national unity, dedication to the cause, and stoic pursuit of victory. This image both idealized woman as a strong, capable fighter infused with a holy spirit and undercut the notion that women deserved and wanted a larger role in public life.
11 Rupp sharply contradicts Friedan's belief that the war's end precipitated an abrupt change in women's images. She concludes that, although the media's attention to working women was unprecedented in scope during World War II, fundamental changes in attitudes toward women did not occur as a result of the emergency: "Rosie the Riveter, like the flapper, was exotic in appearance, even perhaps in lifestyle. But the new image did not mean that the ideal American woman had changed beyond recognition.
Scholars disagree over the long-term impact of World War II on women's role in American life and over whether the war period should be characterized as a time of continuity or of dramatic change in definitions of woman's place. 2 Karen Anderson agrees with Chafe that the war was an important turning point in that it began to make acceptable the notion that women could combine home roles and paid employment. 3 Susan Hartmann believes that the war not only paved the way for homemakers to take on outside jobs but laid down important bases for emergence of the second wave of feminism.
Creating Rosie the Riveter: class, gender, and propaganda during World War II by Maureen Honey