I can’t figure out why these photographs are suddenly showing up in my internet lap this week, but I’m not mad they’re here. Alfred T. Palmer was a photographer most famous for his WWII portraits, including these fabulous color prints of Rosies riveting:
Related Post: The whole Rosie in the News archive
My piece this week for Role/Reboot is about my dad. I’ve written about him before, but this is the first time I ever directly asked him if he had intended to have a feminist daughter.
The conversation started because I found a postcard he had sent from a business trip in 1998. On the front, Rosie the Riveter (You see? It all started so young!) with Hillary Clinton’s face, and on the back, well, just look right →
Here’s the essay:
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30 Rosies gather in Phoenix, AZ (via yourwestvalley.com)
This article on the recent Rosie the Riveter convention in Phoenix, AZ is a gem. So many excellent facts:
1. There exists an American Rosie the Riveter Association.
2. Daughters of Rosies are called Rosebuds
3. Sons and husbands of Rosies are called Rivets
4. Jan Brewer, the horribly offensive governor of Arizona (do you look illegal?) declared May 28th, 2012 Rosie the Riveter Day.
5. There is such a thing as the Female Cowboy Poet Society.
In seriousness, Rosies, like any group of people from that era, are a dwindling bunch and opportunities to hear their stories are consequently dwindling.
A few years ago, I worked on a documentary about women at the University of Chicago (which opened as a co-ed institution in 1892). I interviewed female alums from every decade since the 40s, and there’s something pretty inspiring about the bonds that people form when they are, for whatever reason, the “other” in a larger community.
Oh to be a fly on the wall of the Rosie the Riveter convention! Maybe next year!
Related Post: The whole Rosie in the News archive
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Last weekend, the National Park Service opened a brand new visitor center at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Homefront National Historic Park. Why there is slash in the name, I’m not entirely sure. Bad case of indecision?
The new visitor’s center
The event kicked off with a Native American blessing, and two dozen original Rosies were present and accounted for, including Betty Reid Soskin. Now 91-years-old, Ms. Soskin is a park ranger (Side note: I hope I’m that cool when I’m 91). At the opening ceremony, she spoke about working in the shipyards and belonging to a segregated union.
Speaking of unions, look at this promotional Rosie gimmick from the AFL-CIO, “After all, we wouldn’t have paid vacations without unions!”
Related Post: The Rosie in the News archive
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I’d present this edition of Rosie in the News without comment, but I feel like it needs a pretty big WTF:
Found at Death by a Thousand Papercuts
Can’t find the original artist, but I found it at this site. As a counterpoint, see someecards:
I still feel like the strongest counterpoint at the moment is the Viagra argument. How can you be in favor of Viagra being covered by health insurance but not birth control? If God had wanted you to have an erection, he would have given you a fucking erection, not an insurance-provided pill, right? Isn’t that the argument?
Or at the very least, if women need notes from their doctors (!!!) promising their birth control is for a medical condition and not slutty slutty non-marital sex, shouldn’t men need a note from their priests or something promising the Viagra their insurance paid for will only be used for babymaking? Or maybe Viagra shouldn’t be covered by insurance for gay men, since they are not using it for God-sanctioned intercourse. And if your wife is past child-bearing age, no Viagra for you, since sex is only for procreation!
I don’t actually think Viagra shouldn’t be covered by insurance, for the record. I’m all in favor of enabling people to have happily functioning genitalia. I just want the idea of happy, healthy sex and happy, healthy family planning to be part of the equation.
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Filed under Gender, Politics
Well goddamn if this isn’t the coolest. New York University’s Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives just launched an oral history collection called The Real Rosie the Riveter Project. The archive is a collaboration between filmmakers Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly and playwright Elizabeth Hemmerdinger.
The names alone are excellent: Bonnie, Lucretia, Mildred, Dorice, Maizie, and Idamae.
Anyone with grandparents is familiar with the rambling, tangent-driven storytelling style of those in their 80s and 90s, and these Rosies are no different; Mazie Mullins takes a long detour through molasses making, for example. Pick one and listent to it tonight. Think of it as a really slow, really jumbled TED Talk, without all the slick powerpoint pizazz or snazzy acronyms.
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Filed under Education, Media
Rockwell's "Rosie the Riveter"
New game, clap your hands! Today begins a new series of posts we’re calling Rosie in the News. Rosie holds a special place in my heart for its ability to symbolize the intersection of lots of things I like to think about (labor, gender, media, history, advertising, art, etc.) Last week, I bought a used puzzle, probably missing half its pieces, of the famous Norman Rockwell painting, and for Christmas, my stepdad had a set of Rosie Says mugs made for me and my mom.
Every now and then you fine folks send me examples of the unusual ways that the Rosie icon has been used and manipulated to promote a particular product or agenda. Keep it up! I’m happy to link to you if you provide content. Here’s our first example, from Sociological Images:
You can make a lot of arguments about the historical intent of the Rosie icon, but I’m willing to bet big money that it was not originally intended to sell Lasik surgery.
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Filed under Advertising, Art
People ask me why I call this blog Rosie Says, and I don’t really have a good 10-word answer. You can read variations on my long-winded explanation, but the truth is that I just really loved being Rosie for Halloween. I wanted to capture that feeling–of history, strength, feminism, wit, relevance, boldness, simplicity and beauty–in my blog. Now you know what I aspire to (on a good day).
So I was very pleased with myself when I resurrected my Rosie costume (sans pants) for Chicago’s Pride Parade. The “We can do it!” slogan felt apropos of the celebratory nature of the day (just three weeks after Illinois starting issuing civil union licenses and only two days after New York ended marriage discrimination). If there is a civil rights issue of our generation, this is it, and I’m confident that Rosie would be on board.
Some faces from Pride:
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