We Can Do It! Rosie the Riveter

Description

This poster, produced by Westinghouse during World War II for the War Production Co-Ordinating Committee, was part of the national campaign in the United States to enlist women in the workforce. In the face of acute wartime labor shortages, women were needed in the defense industries, the civilian service, and even the armed forces. Publicity campaigns were aimed at encouraging those women who had never before held jobs to join the workforce. Poster and film images glorified and glamorized the roles of working women and suggested that a woman’s femininity need not be sacrificed. Women were portrayed as attractive, confident, and resolved to do their part to win the war. Of all the images of working women during World War II, the image of women in factories predominates. Rosie the Riveter--the strong, competent woman dressed in overalls and bandanna--was introduced as a symbol of patriotic womanhood. The accoutrements of war work--uniforms, tools, and lunch pails--were incorporated into the revised image of the feminine ideal.

Last updated: September 22, 2014