Print. Gluck, Sherna B. Rosie The Riveter Revisited. Boston: Twayne, 1987. Print. Gregory, Chester W. Women in Defense Work during World War II; an Analysis of the Labor Problem and Women's Rights.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, women in the United States were thought of as inferior. Men did anything they possibly could do, to prevent women from entering certain parts of the industry. They supported their actions with ideas such as "Men are stronger than women". The majority of fighter planes were built by men and it was also men who worked in most of the factories that produced cars and other transportation vehicles, thus implying that technology was a man's job. Women’s jobs included: seamstresses, secretaries, nurses, phone operators, and a majority were housewives.
That being said, Rosie the Riveter became the most important advertisement for the production of materials for the war materials (A&E Television Networks). As more women joined the working class, the press strived to persuade them that they could do the work typically regarded as a man’s job and still be considered feminine(A&E Television Networks). It may seem like a silly idea, but women were still overall regarded as the weaker sex. Until World War II, they had not yet had the chance to prove themselves to society. Not only did the United States Government draft a Rosie the Riveter poster, though.
2005 Sorensen, Aja, Rosie the Riveter: Women Working during World War II. Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/pwro/collection/website/rosie.htm, (n.d.) Triche, Warren, 'Rosie the Riveter' reminder of women's history. Retrieved from http://www.dm.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123248522, 2011. U.S. Supreme Court Center, Bradwell v. State of Illinois. Retrieved from http://supreme.justia.com/us/83/130/case.html, Justia.com, 2011.
Although there are several similarities and differences in how World War I and World War II impacted women in the workplace throughout the 20th century, both world wars played a role in challenging the accepted role of women in society. In order to understand how the world wars had such a significant change in how women were viewed in the workplace, we must first understand their experience in the workplace before the wars even started. Contrary to popular belief, women did in fact play a role in the workforce before World War I. In the early 1900s, the number of women in the workforce greatly increased. During this time, it is estimated that approximately one in five workers were women.
Magazines in 1943 provided articles of women hard at work during war. They were also written as an attempt to pull in other women to work, and help with the wartime efforts. In the scholarly article Rosie the Riveter Remembers, they touched base on these wartime women workers, and interviewed some of the women that had worked as “Rosies”. The article explained that during the war the media, as well as the government both set in motion a movement to help inspire women to back the war effort by taking a war job. The same women that at the time of the Great Depression were advised that they should not seize jobs from men.
Before 1939, women were looked at as weak, incompetent and incapable of doing a man’s job. However, when World War II broke out, women were called to maintain the jobs that the men once occupied and t became evident that America’s best chance for success in World War II would have to include the efforts of American females. Women played a key role during World War II in the U.S. More than six million women took wartime jobs in factories, three million volunteered with the Red Cross, and over 200,000 served in the military. Through these jobs women were able to show society that they were capable of doing bigger and better things. Women also realized that they enjoyed this taste of freedom and wanted to continue this lifestyle even after the war.