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Who Symbolizes American Feminism?

For as long as I can remember I have interpreted the American feminist icon as Rosie the Riveter. I have to admit that out of all the female cartoons from that era, Rosie is definitely the coolest and most “bad ass.?

I don’t know of a wmoan who calls herself feminist that doesn’t know who Rosie is. You’ve probably seen the yellow poster with her phrase, “We can do it!? Howard Miller painted that image in 1942. I was surprised to find out that this poster does not show the real origional Rosie! Sometime in the 1970’s this image was labeled wrong and has since received credit for being Rosie.
Rosie started as a symbol during WWII as the working woman. When the men were off fighting about 6 million women worked in industrial plants, fighting the war at home, keeping the economy alive, and supplying the armies. Women in these jobs were still paid drastcally less than the men. After the war ended the women lost their jobs to the men who returned. That is the part of the story that has always bothered me. Yes, at the time, the men supported the families. But at the same time many men died in the war, so did this mean that the widows lost their jobs?
I think of Rosie much like the male version of Uncle Sam. While Uncle Sam was said to be the patriotic character behind the enlistment, I feel Rosie was the patriotic drive symbol behind women in industry. And patriotic symbol or not, I think she’s still pretty bad-ass!