In 2. This icon who influenced America’s society

In this essay, I will be talking about the American cultural icon Rosie
the Riveter. An icon which represented the women who in a time of need, got out
of their comfort zone and took jobs that once belonged to men who were now deployed
to fight in World War 2. This icon who influenced America’s society and economy
has been around for about 70 decades, remains remarkably important today,
therefore I will be explaining why does she remain so. World War 2 opened the
path for women; broke gender stereotypes and gave women a sense of freedom like
never before.

            On December 7th,
1941, known as the “Day of Infamy” Pearl Harbor was attacked by the military
forces of the Empire of Japan. Franklin Roosevelt who had been avoiding the entrance
of the United States in world war in its first 2 years due to lack of a quality
army and war machinery saw himself forced to do so after such a direct attack. Therefore,
on the next day, December 8th, 1941 the United States of American
declared war on the Empire of Japan which consequently led to Germany declaring
war on the US. Over 10 million men served in the military during World War II, leaving
behind their jobs and families. Leaving also behind them a shortage of labor in
factories and other sectors that were pillars to the American economy. That’s
when the American Home Front takes its important role in the war effort. A
heavy propaganda, directed at housewives, was created in order to influence
women to work in factories, and fill the vacant jobs left by men, since ammunition;
war supplies; airplanes; ships; machinery and much more were needed for the US
to be successful in a war of such dimension. The icon Rosie the Riveter was a
product of this propaganda. This Rosie was not a specific woman but instead a
representation of the millions of women who participated in the war effort. It
first started with a song titled “Rosie the Riveter” by Redd Evans and John
Jacob Loeb in 1942. The lyrics go “All the day long, whether rain or shine/ She’s
a part of the assembly line/ She’s making history, working for victory”. The
song was created as a part of the propaganda, and as we can read on the lyrics
they are describing a woman who is working tirelessly in the war effort in
order to contribute to the victory of the United States in World War II. Many propaganda
posters are produced in the following years including the famous posters by J. Howard
Miller and Norman Rockwell. Both posters portray a strong looking young woman
who is ready to work and show her patriotism. This propaganda was successful and
during the next five years about six million women entered the workforce. The
workforce was mainly composed of white middle class women and minority women
and they were distributed by the many sectors in need such as the aviation
industry; armed services; defence industry and so on. The work conditions weren’t
appropriate because there wasn’t safety equipment designed from female workers.
The salary wasn’t equal, because the male works gained almost twice as much as
the women for the same job, but nevertheless women felt pride in being “Rosie’s”,
they knew the importance of their roles and did so willingly. It was a way of
them showing their patriotism while at the same time gaining a sense of
economic independence that they hadn’t felt before. And soon the outcome of
these efforts done by the American Home Front were visible, the American
economy grew and the war production increased to the point that war supplies
were not only enough for the Americans but also for their allies. The entry of
women in the work industry changed American society and broke gender
stereotypes that had been rooted for centuries and gave them unique opportunities. 

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