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.

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:

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
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

Keep Reading Show less

Believe it or not, there has been a lot of controversy lately about how people cook rice. According to CNN, the "outrage" was a reaction to a clip Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng posted as one of his personas known as Uncle Roger.

It was a hilarious (and harmless) satire about the method chef Hersha Patel used to cook rice on the show BBC Food.


Keep Reading Show less