Then I saw this photo in the Times this morning and I got cranky all over again. What’s that line from “The Godfather III”? Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in….
The sloganeering posters in this photograph are another reason why access to Photoshop should be regulated: here yet again is la belle sarah, but this time instead of the guns-and-gals image, her head has been superimposed on Rosie the Riveter.
What’s wrong with this picture?
First a few facts:
Rosie the Riveter started as a promotional campaign that encouraged women to enter the work force during World War II, mostly by tackling the manufacturing and industrial jobs that had been vacated by men fighting overseas.
Women were told it was their patriotic duty to sacrifice the comforts of home for the rigors of work and they answered that call in droves: over six million women went to work outside the home during this period, an unprecedented rise in female employment. The work they did wasn’t glamorous, “feminine,” or domestic, but it was absolutely necessary: these Rosies kept the wheels of US manufacturing moving during the war years. Many of them worked in factories that produced the necessities of war for soldiers: bombers, tanks, weaponry.
Here is a less glamorous picture of women welders, by Margaret Bourke-White:
It’s a slightly different image than pretty Rosie with her bulging bicep, but equally at odds with Pretty Palin, who probably HAS gotten dirty in her life (hard to field-dress a moose and stay moussed), but who always has a weather eye out for the best camera angles.
What does Sarah Palin have to do with Rosie the Riveter? As mayor, governor, and now veep candidate, she presents herself as a woman who can have it all, but she has never worked for any of the necessities that working women need: health insurance, pre-natal care, affordable safe child-care, flexible work schedules. Call me crazy but I’d say that even stay-at-home-moms need those things, too.
I know that Palin had a full-time nanny when her kids were younger, and I find myself wondering who scrubs her toilets, washes her clothes, cleans her house? Does she do it, perhaps on one of those days when she’s at home in
What do Palin and McCain have to do with Rosie the Riveter? McC & P carry forward the policies of an administration that encouraged people to SHOP in support of the war effort. Never once have we been asked to make any sacrifices to support the soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistant.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a big fan of sacrifice but it does seem we’re asking a relatively small percentage of families to support the war at the cost of the flesh, blood, and mental health of their children, shouldn’t the rest of us do SOMETHING? Maybe, oh, I don’t know, try to become more fuel efficient?
What do Palin and McCain have to do with Rosie the Riveter? Rosie’s image and her “we can do it” slogan have been linchpins of the feminist movement for as long as I can remember. I have seen Rosie’s face bobbing up and down at pro-choice rallies, at
I can think of only one way to connect Sarah and Rosie: when women worked in the manufacturing plants, they earned roughly half what a man did for the same job. Men earned about $55 per hour, women about $32. Would Sarah have settled for the
Sarah may be riveting her right-wing supporters but to the rest of us? She’s just a pretty face pasted on a poster. Pure P.R. intended to assuage Republican moderates that McCain is, in fact, a with-it maverick, who “gets” women and knows what they need. But if his examples are Cindy on the one hand and Sarah on the other, then what McCain “gets” about women wouldn’t fill Rosie’s upraised fist.