By Maureen Honey
Creating Rosie the Riveter examines ads and fiction released within the Saturday night Post and True Story to be able to exhibit how propaganda was once used to motivate ladies to go into the workforce.
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Extra resources for Creating Rosie the Riveter: class, gender, and propaganda during World War II
This overriding propaganda goal subsumed the campaign to recruit women and largely shaped its direction; this was a goal, moreover, for which traditional ideas about women were well suited. For a variety of reasons, war workers served as a symbol of the ideal home-front spirit, standing for national unity, dedication to the cause, and stoic pursuit of victory. This image both idealized woman as a strong, capable fighter infused with a holy spirit and undercut the notion that women deserved and wanted a larger role in public life.
Chapter 1 outlines the social and political context of the recruitment campaign and describes the propaganda groups that were most directly concerned with the magazine industry. The strategies used in the drive to mobilize women are discussed in some detail and are related to the major features of propaganda addressed to the population as a whole. In chapter 2 I focus on the Saturday Evening Post to investigate the response of writers, editors, and advertisers to government requests for assistance in the mobilization effort.
Rather, I wish to focus attention on the complex dimensions of home-front propaganda and its significance for images of women. It is my contention that the picture we find of women during World War II cannot be fully understood without reference to the larger campaign that tried to solidify and mobilize the home front into an efficient production Page 6 unit. The campaign to attract women into war production was part of a drive to weld the home front into an economic army, well disciplined, highly motivated by patriotism, and willing to make sacrifices for the good of American soldiers.