Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

We Can Do It! (Yes, we can?)

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-30-13 09:49 AM
Original message
We Can Do It! (Yes, we can?)
Politicians of all political hues have always loved to extol "the working man," now sometimes more egalitarianly referred to as "working families."

It's not difficult to grok why. First, working families, as opposed to those who live off investment income or inheritances, are the vast majority of the population of the U.S. That includes those who are eligible to register to vote.

Working families also pay a lot of the politicians's bills, while using relatively little of government benefits . That includes the salaries of politicians, and all their imperial benefits (security, drivers, Congressional gymnasium, posh offices, staff, etc.) No offshore bank accounts, no ability legally to pay no taxes while sucking the life out of the infrastructure, like General Electric, etc.


Not very long ago, I posted about Labor Day, a day that, in every country around the world, except the US, is observed on May 1, near the anniversay of May 4, 1886, when four American workers died in Chicago, Illinois in a fight for an 8 hour work day. But, in the US, was set up on the day the Knights of Columbus favored, for the express purpose of ensuring that Americans would NOT join the rest of the world in commemorating the Haymarket affair.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

During World War II, we still loved the working man, especially if he was 4F. Our greatest love, though, was for "our" troops. Also for the "folks back home" who provided support, like working in "defense" plants. Which brings me to our "working man" of World War II, namely our working woman.





The poster was seen very little during World War II. It was rediscovered in the early 1980s and widely reproduced in many forms, often called "We Can Do It!" but also called "Rosie the Riveter" after the iconic figure of a strong female war production worker. The "We Can Do It!" image was used to promote feminism and other political issues beginning in the 1980s.<1> The image made the cover of the Smithsonian magazine in 1994 and was fashioned into a US first-class mail stamp in 1999. It was incorporated in 2008 into campaign materials for several American politicians, and was reworked by an artist in 2010 to celebrate the first woman becoming prime minister of Australia. The poster is one of the ten most-requested images at the National Archives and Records Administration.<1>

After its rediscovery, observers often assumed that the image was always used as a call to inspire women workers to join the war effort. However, during the war the image was strictly internal to Westinghouse, displayed only during February 1943, and was not for recruitment but to exhort already-hired women to work harder.<2> Feminists and others have seized upon the uplifting attitude and apparent message to remake the image into many different forms, including self empowerment, campaign promotion, advertising, and parodies.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Can_Do_It !

It's ironic that the poster got used as a symbol of feminism (whatever that means) because, once the war ended, Rosie was expected to remove the cloth from her head, tie it around her waist as an apron and make dinner for the returning warriors who needed her job. And, if by chance, the warrior she had kissed goodbye was not among the returning warriors, and she had to work to support her orphaned children, she was, if lucky enough to get a job, expected to accept a fraction of the wages paid her male counterparts for the same work. So, yes, Rosie was an ironic symbol for feminists.

But, hey, what 1950 housewife didn't know how to make lemonade from lemons?





Refresh | +1 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-01-13 03:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks, No Elephants.
That is a very nice well thought out OP. You give us a lot to think about.

Yes, women were expected to return to traditional roles after WWII. Most did, but many didn't. And it wasn't long before the nation was engaged in yet another war to preserve freedom and democracy overseas. Then another war. All this war eventually paved the way for an expansion of women's roles. And war? War appears to have become the central theme of the United States. We have become like a modern day version of the Roman Empire of old. Or something. :-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-02-13 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thank you. This is what caught my eye and inspired me to post, though I did not emphasize it.
Edited on Wed Oct-02-13 02:19 PM by No Elephants
After its rediscovery, observers often assumed that the image was always used as a call to inspire women workers to join the war effort. However, during the war the image was strictly internal to Westinghouse, displayed only during February 1943, and was not for recruitment but to exhort already-hired women to work harder."



The more things change, the more they stay the same. Work harder, faster, longer without any economic incentive so to do.

I would bet my home that everyone working in defense in WWII was already working as hard as he or she could, including women who were praying all day for fiances, husbands, brothers, boyfriends and fathers to come home in one piece.

I know two women, one whose then newlywed husband died and one whose fiance died. They never, never got over it, even though they married and raised kids. (Sadly, I think both their husbands knew it, too. It was always as though they were trying to do better, so they'd become first in their wives' affections, but besting the ghost of a fallen WWII warrior ain't easy.)

You can tell when they speak that the one who died was the love of their lives. And everyone I know of their generation had someone in the war, often the men they married during or after the war. No, I don't believe workers were slacking off at Westinghouse or anywhere else in 1943.

On the other hand, All My Sons was based on a true story, something that causes the elder members of the right to try to discredit Miller, as if that changes the actual events that inspired his play.

All My Sons is based upon a true story, which Arthur Miller's then mother-in-law pointed out in an Ohio newspaper.<3> The news story described how in 1941-43 the Wright Aeronautical Corporation based in Ohio had conspired with army inspection officers to approve defective aircraft engines destined for military use.<3><4> The story of defective engines had reached investigators working for Sen. Harry Truman's congressional investigative board after several Wright aircraft assembly workers informed on the company; they would later testify under oath before Congress.<3><4> In 1944, three Army Air Force officers, Lt. Col. Frank C. Greulich, Major Walter A. Ryan, and Major William Bruckmann were relieved and later convicted of neglect of duty.<5><6><7>


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_My_Sons

FYI, the ground on which Republicans try to discredit Miller is that he put his daughter into an institution. However, in my husband's family was a couple that had a disabled daughter at around that same time. They were advised very strongly that putting her in an institution was something that they HAD to do for the sake of their other children. This is a couple that lives for each other and their kids, as most of us do. The father never spoke of the daughter at all, as though he could not bear to; the mother spoke of her every time I saw her, and always with tears in her eyes. She never got over the guilt of institutionalizing her daughter and would explain every single time how the doctors told her she had to.

So, I checked Miller's wiki a few years back, when I was posting on a board with Republicans who were attacking him for it. Sure enough, I found very much the same story in there as in my husband's family. And I could not post it fast enough.

After I posted, there was no further response.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-02-13 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Those are some interesting things to consider, No Elephants.
I know the limits of hard work, intimately. I worked in a factory, to the detriment of my body's health. I injured my back. I didn't pursue workman's compensation but returned to work after two weeks of recuperation. But I dragged my left leg for months afterward. I was a healthy 25 year old. When I say healthy, think 6'3" 235 pound weightlifter. I was at nearly my life peak physiology. But that nerve was damaged and there was nothing I could do but continue to work, and I did. Eventually I got surgery that corrected most of it.

Back then, back in the day, it was common for people to institutionalize their 'problem' children, mostly children with Downs Syndrome. For people that could afford to do this, that is. I have friends that operate such a facility today and they do it with the maximum compassion they can muster.

On a related note, there are millions of interesting stories that took place during WWWII. There is a veritable inexhaustible number of tales to relate to the modern reader. These veterans, including many women, are dying at an alarming rate now, taking their fascinating stories to the grave with them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-02-13 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yes, it's a shame that all those stories will be lost. However, the people i have known who
were there, all men in my case, never wanted to say a word about it.

The unspoken (at least in my imagination: "It had to be done; we did it; it was horrible, but I am not going to complain."

It's so universal among those I have met--all of whom are gone now, btw--that I wonder if that was part of their training.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-02-13 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. ....
"All this war eventually paved the way for an expansion of women's roles"

Still not in every field (A League of Their Own, for just one example) and, to this day, not at equal pay, though the gap has narrowed over time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sun Sep 14th 2014, 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC