From Pearl Harbor, to a Lack of Federal Voting Reform in Canada

Enter Rosie the Riveter

We Can Do It / Rosie The Riveter

We Can Do It / Rosie The Riveter

The American solution to this quandry was what I will arguee was the largest and most swift rearrangement of social norms that this continent has ever seen. That solution was a massed homeland propaganda campaign to get women out of the kitchens of the nation and into the factories.  The secondary aim was to make it the patriotic duty of men to accept this change.

” … “Rosie the Riveter” inspired a social movement that increased the number of working American women from 12 million to 20 million by 1944, a 57% increase from 1940. By 1944 only 1.7 million unmarried men between the ages of 20 and 34 worked in the defense industry, while 4.1 million unmarried women between those ages did so.” — Wikipedia (7)

The social fabric of the USA is still feeling the after-effects of this choice to this very day. By association of proximity, so is Canada.

There was a polite mythology that once the Axis powers were beaten and “Johnny Came Marching Home” that white women and non-whites of any geneder would leave the factories, the afforementioned men would go back to the factories and things would go “back to normal”. However, once the genie was out of that partiular bottle, there was no getting it back in.

“Although the image of “Rosie the Riveter” reflected the industrial work of welders and riveters during World War II, the majority of working women filled non-factory positions in every sector of the economy. What unified the experiences of these women was that they proved to themselves (and the country) that they could do a “man’s job” and could do it well.

“In 1942, just between the months of January and July, the estimates of the proportion of jobs that would be “acceptable” for women was raised by employers from 29 to 85%.

“African American women were some of those most affected by the need for women workers. It has been said that it was the process of whites working along blacks during the time that encouraged a breaking down of social barriers and a healthy recognition of diversity.” — Wikipedia (7)

The social identity of America has been in question ever since. To me, the social divide represented by “Deep Red” states in the USA as the central plains and rural expanses of the nation, and conversely the “Deep Blue” states as “costal elites” is missing the crux of the issue. Most urban areas, those factory cities where “Rosie the Riveter” moved in and took over, vote Democrat. Those areas not directly affected by the “Rosie” campaign, vote Republican. (8)

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