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I. INTRODUCTION The role of women in American history has evolved a great deal over the past few centuries. In less than a hundred years, the role of women has moved from housewife to highly paid corporate executive to political leader. As events in history have shaped the present world, one can find hidden in such moments, pivotal points that catapult destiny into an unforeseen direction. This paper will examine one such pivotal moment, fashioned from the fictitious character known as ‘Rosie the Riveter’ who represented the powerful working class women during World War II and how her personification has helped shape the future lives of women.
Women’s jobs included: seamstresses, secretaries, nurses, phone operators, and a majority were housewives. World War II gave middle class women an opportunity to show what they could do. This War changed the social status and working lives of women. World War II helped grow opportunities and confidence among women. It sharpened their skills as they worked in industries that supplied and supported the war.
“We can do it!” is what the famous Rosie the Riveter poster exclaimed. Rosie the Riveter was the icon of American women helping with the war effort. It was 1941 and the United States finally entered World War II. Most propaganda of the United States encouraged average women to join the workforce and help with the war efforts. With men fighting abroad, it was only necessary for women to start working and leave there normal lives of being a housewife.
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.
Women, Work and Protest: A Century of U.S. Women's Labor History. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985. Maggard, Sally Ward. "Women's Participation in the Brookside Coal Strike: Militance, Class, and Gender in Appalachia." Frontiers 3 (1987): 16-21.
Because women generally worked at the bottom of the pay scale, the theory was that they depressed the overall pay scale for all workers (Kessler-Harris 98). Many solutions were suggested at this time that all revolved around the idea of these women getting marriedóthe idea being that a married woman would not work for wages. Although this idea seems ludicrous from a modern perspective, it should be noted that t... ... middle of paper ... ...Times (1913): 12 January, p. 7. Connell, Eileen. "Edith Wharton joins the working classes : 'The House of Mirth' and The New York City Working Girls' Clubs," Women's Studies, v26 n6 (1997): November, pp.