We Can Do It Says Rosie The Riverter
Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of the United States, representing the American women who worked in factories during World War II, many of whom worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and war supplies. These women sometimes took entirely new jobs replacing the male workers who were in the military. The character is considered a feminist icon in the U.S.
The term "Rosie the Riveter" was first used in 1942 in a song of the same name written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb. The song was recorded by numerous artists, including the popular big band leader Kay Kyser, and became a national hit. The song portrays "Rosie" as a tireless assembly line worker, doing her part to help the American war effort.
All the day long,
Whether rain or shine
She’s part of the assembly line.
She’s making history,
Working for victory
Rosie the Riveter
Although real-life Rosie the Riveters took on male dominated trades during World War II, women were expected to return to their everyday housework once men returned from the war. Government campaigns targeting women were addressed solely at housewives, perhaps because already employed women would move to the higher-paid "essential" jobs on their own. Propaganda was also directed at their husbands, many of whom were unwilling to support such jobs. Most women opted to do this. Later many women returned to traditional work such as clerical or administration positions. However, some of these women continued working in the factories.