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September 11, 2008

Palin As Rosie The Riveter Makes Sense, But Not The Way You Think

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When I posted my Women Against Sarah Palin post yesterday, I went to Photobucket to find a picture of Palin or McCain/Palin with a circle/slash through it. I didn't find that, but I did find something that horrified me.

I found pictures of the famous Rosie The Riveter poster with Sarah Palin's face superimposed over Rosie's face. I also found pictures of crowds of excited white women smiling and holding up posters with the Palin/Rosie picture on them.

And I thought, "What the...???!!?"

Then I realized it actually made some Freudian sense. Originally, Rosie The Riveter was U. S. war propaganda designed to excite American women into working in factories, making little to no pay, all to support the boys overseas - but the moment those boys in uniform returned to U. S. soil, the women were to immediately stop working and return home to get back to the important, real, God-ordained women's work of baking cookies, serving men drinks after work, and making babies.

The outcome was a bit different. Women who found for the first time that they liked having economic independence and real power in their lives were reluctant to give all that up to return to the old ways. American women have never been the same.

John McCain and Sarah Palin want to turn back the clock on women's progress, all the while sugar-coating their distasteful message with saccharine faux feminist bullshit. Don't let them!

Rosie The Riveter since the war has been reworked into a feminist icon - "You Can Do It!" - that women have the right to bodily autonomy, economic independence, and power in many realms in their lives. That feminist message is being bastardized now in the Palin/Rosie posters. While she is being presented as the new feminist icon by people who have never had a good thing to say about women's rights, her beliefs are actually anathema to what real feminists in the U. S. have been working on for over 100 years.

So, if you want to go back to a 1950s that never was, Palin's version of Rosie The Riveter is for you. Hopefully most women won't be fooled by the right wing's false presentation of what it means to be a feminist and a woman.

Posted on September 11, 2008 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

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