The Life And Times Of Rosie The Riveer: Analysis

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Women have historically been pushed out of the labor market, regardless of their low cost to employers. As Ruth Milkman cites in her work “How Women Were Purged from the War Plants,” the reconstruction of the pre-World War II workforce after the war was the most severe instance of sexual division of labor. According to Milkman, women workers were excluded from heavy industries because there was minimal resistance from the union or women workers and because the Fordist revolution changed the way management appropriated labor. The narrators of “The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter,” however, would more likely agree with Ngai’s ideas about labor policy in Impossible Subjects. According to Ngai and “The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter,”…show more content…
These “heavy” production jobs were streamlined and organized into mass assembly line production. With this new manufacturing structure the pay structure for employees also changed, so it no longer was advantageous to hire women as cheaper labor. Although during this transformation, the justification of automotive work being too heavy and women not being physically capable became invalid, employers still did not favor female workers. Ngai would argue that these employers did not favor female employees during this time because they wished to create a workforce of desired composition. Some of the ways they did this was by making job specifications so specific that women could not fill the credentials, even if they were already in working those exact jobs during the war. The Fordist Revolution laid the foundation for automobile manufacturing to “develop as a high-wage, capital intensive industry; thus, employers had little incentive to substitute female labor for its more expensive male equivalent,” and therefore, the greatest convenience for hiring female labor was abolished. Additionally, it was only during World War II, when male workers went over seas to fight that these employers were pressured to hire black and female workers. Women workers were easily replaceable and what employers ultimately wanted was a strong male
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