Edited: I wanted to make this more clear. I am aware that the “man-hating” types of feminists are not true feminists. There is bad in every group. It wasn’t my intention to say those were real feminists. That being said, I am not a feminist. This isn’t a debate on abortion or gay marriages. It’s about the misuse of Rosie.
Oh my, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a post like this. If you’re an old follower and read some of my posts on my other blog which is now…ahem…retired, you’ll remember that I’m a pretty huge history nut. I love any time period, and I’m especially interested in the wars, and military. World War I and World War II interest me the most, by far. I love everything about the early 1900’s through the 60’s. How so many countries went haywire, how so many places and people changed. I’ve spent night after night staying up late to study on my own, dying to know more. I’ve read books, watched documentaries, even talked to a few folks who actually served in WWII and did studying on my own family’s history and their part during the war. One of my favorite parts of the World Wars is the women, and the part that they took on for their country, and for their families. And quite frankly, it does bug me when feminists use the “We Can Do it!” and stamp Rosie the Riveter on it, as if she would be okay with modern day feminism. Now, this isn’t going to be an anti-feminism post, because here’s the deal – I know a few feminists. Do I agree with everything they say? Nope. Would this blog post change their minds? Nope. This is about historical accuracy, because I want you all to know the amazing story of the riveters, of the women of the war. Because I love women. I love being a woman, and I believe that God has a very important job for women everywhere. I believe in women feeling confident, and knowing their strength. And to me, this is a great picture of womanhood. Just as Esther rose up to save her people, so did these riveters for their country, for their men, for their families.
During WWII, around 350,000 women served in the U.S. Armed Forces, at home and abroad. By 1945, nearly 1 out of 4 married women worked outside of home. It was at the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt and women’s groups, and impressed by the British use of women in service, General George Marshall supported the idea of introducing a women’s service branch into the Army. In May 1942, Congress instituted the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps, later changed to the Women’s Army Corps, which had full military status. Its members, known as WACs, worked in more than 200 non-combatant jobs stateside and in every theater of the war. By 1945, there were more than 100,000 WACs and 6,000 female officers. In the Navy, members of Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) held the same status as naval reservists and provided support stateside. The Coast Guard and Marine Corps soon followed suit, though in smaller numbers.
While women worked in a variety of positions previously closed to them, the aviation industry saw the greatest increase in female workers. More than 310,000 women worked in the U.S. aircraft industry in 1943, representing 65 percent of the industry’s total workforce (compared to just 1 percent in the pre-war years). The munitions industry also heavily recruited women workers, as represented by the U.S. government’s “Rosie the Riveter” propaganda campaign. Based in small part on a real-life munitions worker, but primarily a fictitious character, the strong, bandanna-clad Rosie became one of the most successful recruitment tools in American history, and the most iconic image of working women during World War II.
So…why did they join? Did they do it for a feminist movement? Did they do it so they could be equal to men, or forsake their womanhood, families and husbands? To be the primary caretaker and breadwinner of the home? Most feminists now use the Rosie symbol to show that they are equals to men, but they’re forgetting the context of Rosie, and why women in this time fought for the right to work and help their country.
Women in uniform took office and clerical jobs in the armed forces in order to free men to fight. They also drove trucks, repaired airplanes, worked as laboratory technicians, rigged parachutes, served as radio operators, analyzed photographs, flew military aircraft across the country, test-flew newly repaired planes, and even trained anti-aircraft artillery gunners by acting as flying targets. Some women served near the front lines in the Army Nurse Corps, where 16 were killed as a result of direct enemy fire. Sixty-eight American service women were captured as POWs in the Philippines. More than 1,600 nurses were decorated for bravery under fire and meritorious service, and 565 WACs in the Pacific Theater won combat decorations. Nurses were in Normandy on D-plus-four.
They did this for their men, to provide for their families and give them the ability to go fight for their country. They did not do it because of the reason many feminists now claim. They didn’t happily toss out their dresses and shove on slacks and work hard day and night to be like men, they did it for the men. These women began providing for their families not because they felt above the men, or even equal (many women from this time period were very willing to step down from this job when the war was over.) it was so their husbands and other men in their lives could provide for their country.
Feminism started taking this world by storm in the late 1930’s-early 1940’s. Back then, we saw a very different type of feminism. We saw Rosie the Riveter’s, women who fought for the right to go to work so they could support their husbands and loved ones as they fought in the war. They did not scream for women’s rights by burning their bra’s, they did it in a classy manner. Not to say that there weren’t women that were…well, the opposite of classy. There are always bad people in the world. The type of “feminist” (not to say that these are true feminists, because they aren’t) that we have now are women who fight for the right to have kill their children, the ones who fight for “equality” while they call men stupid, arrogant pigs who only want one thing – sex. When you hear the word “feminist” what comes to mind? In all honesty, a classy woman does not come to mind, not anymore. I do not think of “Rosie’s” anymore. I think of women prancing around topless because, if men can go shirtless, they can too. I think of women who wear clothes-hanger jewelry because taking a child’s life is apparently a choice nowadays. And I’m not saying all feminists are like that, there are good women out there who believe in feminism. But they don’t believe in classy feminism, or biblical feminism. These are simply the ones that are getting the most attention, but they do exist.
These women were the true feminists. They fought for the lives of their loved ones during a terrifying war. Many of them died for this. They didn’t go to work for abortions, for the right to dress like men, or to be above men. They did it for their families, for their country, and for their lives.