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Rosie the Riveter — Unapologetic

I love it when the muse whispers so loudly in my ear I must sit and write. Often it comes when I least expect it. I read a sentence or see a photograph or a painting, or read a poem, and I snatch the nearest pen and paper. This piece of flash fiction, below, was written under just such a circumstance. I looked at the woman sitting up on a pole and knew I must find the words to capture the attitude on her face. I had been browsing war posters of Rosie the Riveter as inspiration for my historical novel, “A War Of Her Own.”


Rosie pushed her goggles up on her forehead when the supervisor called her name. She walked forward and accepted her latest award with aplomb, pinning it on her chest alongside the other medals.

Receiving awards for meeting and exceeding her quota of good tight rivets—in place, and ready to go—were now commonplace, everyday occurrences. However, she wore every award with great pride, knowing her work performance outdid that of any man in the shipyard.

And here folks had said women couldn’t do this type of work that their place was in the kitchen, the USO, or wrapping bandages. Well, she’d shown them all!

She sauntered down the gangplank amidst catcalls, and “Way to go, Red!” shouted at her, but she didn’t care. She knew they were just jealous of her work performance, which was much better than theirs.

Rosie grabbed her lunch pail, pulled out a ham and cheese sandwich and climbed atop a thick, wooden post, rivet gun and all.

Head held high, she looked down her nose at the men below. They could make fun of her all they wanted to, but she wasn’t backing down, not for any of them. She’d found her place, and she was dang well staying in it – like it or not!

How about you? In what ways do you think “Rosie the Riveter” has impacted the role of women in our world today? What effect has that had on men? Do men handle women in the workplace better today than they did back then? Does the type of job make a difference?


5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rosie symbolized women stepping into roles traditionally held by men and began the change in attitude toward women in the workplace as well as in the arts and entertainment fields. The new TV series, Marvel’s Agent Carter, plays on this theme in the world of espionage. After WW II, super spy Peggy Carter is assigned to an alphabet agency of the US government where she is automatically assigned to answering phones and fetching coffee because she’s only a woman. Each episode is a fun adventure when she proves she is more capable of taking down bad guys than her male counterparts.

    Sylvia, in your excellent book, A WAR OF HER OWN, your heroine Bea Meade picks up Rosie’s banner and carries it forward when she takes job in a WWII shipyard. You crafted a terrific and moving story that would make Rosie proud.

    February 13, 2015
  2. Hey, Earl! Great to have your comments! And I have not watched Agent Carter. Sounds like I should have been. Will add that to my list. Thanks for the kind words on A War Of Her Own.

    Hope you and Carol are well.


    February 14, 2015

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