My extremely talented friend Meg is doing this fascinating project called “The American Woman.” You can see her artist statement and other photos from the series here, but it’s exploring what it means to be an American and a feminist in our generation. She asked friends to choose one American woman who has shaped their views of what this all means an portray them in a series of photographs.
I chose Rosie the Riveter. I find depictions of Rosie to be inspiring due to the “masculine” nature of her clothing, work, and demeanor. Growing up, I was repeatedly told by my parents that I could do anything I wanted but the truth is, there are still some glass ceilings that have yet to be broken. In these drawings from the 40s, Rosie is welding airplanes, wearing overalls, and generally being a badass. We can all learn something from her.
I also think Rosie is an interesting character for this project because of her intense sense of “patriotism” during World War 2. Real life Rosies went to work in factories not because women were finally deemed equal and fit to work outside the home, but because all the men were at war and someone had to do these jobs. Rosies across the country stepped up to answer their country’s call for help and droves of women went to work in producing war supplies on assembly lines. These women were expected to return to the home once men came back from war.
Here is my favorite shot of the series. You can see more of these photos and more of Meg’s fabulous work on her site, which is also on my blogroll to the right.