More

Remember the 'Rosie the Riveter' image pretty much everybody knows? It's not what you might think.

There are icons of our culture that sometimes aren't what they seem to be. Or maybe they evolve over time to become something else.

Remember the 'Rosie the Riveter' image pretty much everybody knows? It's not what you might think.
True
AFL Labor Mini Series

Rosie the Riveter was somebody who made it into a popular song, the cover of a Saturday Evening Post, and the modern feminist movement. But like many things in our culture, her actual appearance was different from what the media portrayed. In researching this, I was rather amazed at the number of women who were supposedly the real Rosie.


Rosie the Riveter was not really just one person. She was a composite of all of the women who went to work, many for the first time, during World War II. These were the jobs that men used to do — factories, assembly lines, welding, taxicab drivers, business managers, and much more. 6 million women became Rosies all over the country. From 1940 to 1945, the female workforce grew by 50%. The phenomenon even created a secondary need that wasn't very much in demand before that: child care workers.

By 1944, the movement increased the number of working American women to 20 million. Some were African-American, Latina, and other backgrounds who were previously underrepresented in the workforce.

Rosie the Riveter first came into our nation's consciousness via a popular song. Our country was already experiencing women in the workforce, and the effort to recruit women was being spun up. In 1942, Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb penned a song, “Rosie the Riveter," about these women who were going to work in massive numbers.

It was later recorded by several different people and made famous by James Kern “Kay" Kyser.

Then, Norman Rockwell painted this famous cover for the May 29, 1943, edition of the Saturday Evening Post. The model he used, Mary Doyle Keefe, died in 2015. Note how muscular and rugged she looks; it's a pretty stark difference between that and what has more recently become the popular image of Rosie the Riveter:

In 1942, J. Howard Miller created this now-famous poster for Westinghouse Co. that actually wasn't meant to be Rosie the Riveter, though it was meant to help the war effort as a morale booster.

It was in the early 1980s that this image became what most of us now think of as Rosie the Riveter. It was more or less adopted by the feminist movement as a symbol of women's power, and it remains that way today.

The fact that women entered the workforce in record numbers didn't change the sexist attitudes of the times, however. The average pay for a man working in a wartime plant was $54.65 a week. For women? $31.21.

Even though the war eventually ended and many of those servicemen got their old jobs back, that was the turning point for women proving themselves in the workforce. One thing was for sure: After the war was over, they were not all going back to being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

Here's a pretty concise video about Rosie the Riveter if you prefer your history in video form:

Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
True

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

Keep Reading Show less
via Amelia J / Twitter

Election Day is a special occasion where Americans of all walks of life come together to collectively make important decisions about the country's future. Although we do it together as a community, it's usually a pretty formal affair.

People tend to stand quietly in line, clutching their voter guides. Politics can be a touchy subject, so most usually stand in line like they're waiting to have their number called at the DMV.

However, a group of voters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received a lot of love on social media on Sunday for bringing a newfound sense of joy to the voting process.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Jody Danielle Fisher / Facebook

Breast milk is an incredibly magical food. The wonderful thing is that it's produced by a collaboration between mother and baby.

British mother Jody Danielle Fisher shared the miracle of this collaboration on Facebook recently after having her 13-month-old child vaccinated.

In the post, she compared the color of her breast milk before and after the vaccination, to show how a baby's reaction to the vaccine has a direct effect on her mother's milk production.

Keep Reading Show less

Ah, the awkward joy of school picture day. Most of us had to endure the unnatural positioning, the bright light shining in our face, and the oddly ethereal backgrounds that mark the annual ritual. Some of us even have painfully humorous memories to go along with our photos.

While entertaining school picture day stories are common, one mom's tale of her daughter's not-picture-perfect school photo is winning people's hearts for a funny—but also inspiring—reason.

Jenny Albers of A Beautifully Burdened Life shared a photo of her daughter on her Facebook page, which shows her looking just off camera with a very serious look on her face. No smile. Not even a twinkle in her eye. Her teacher was apologetic and reassured Albers that she could retake the photo, but Albers took one look and said no way.

Keep Reading Show less