Step back in time and see how the US government undertook a massive “Woman Power” propaganda campaign to convince Americans that middle class women should leave the home to become war workers. It’s rich with interactive widgets that showcase WWII media – 13 videos, 18 pamphlets, 75 posters and photographs, plus numerous letters and cartoons. All part of a well-coordinated sales campaign that lauded former housewives who “made their husbands proud” by working in defense plants.
While there was great diversity in the women who did war work, the media campaign almost exclusively featured white women. There was little reference to women working to make money – not traditionally an acceptable role for married middle class woman. Instead, propaganda was filled with themes of patriotism, sacrifice and duty that depicted war work and military service as fashionable and glamorous.
“Recruiting Rosie” is a treasure trove of long-forgotten artifacts that boldly reflect the attitudes of another era – employers who were advised that “women are trainable”, but it’s best to hire “husky girls who are more even-tempered and efficient.” You’ll see how in the closing days of the war, the media blitz pushed working women aside and suddenly shifted to a new theme – convincing Americans that women should give up their jobs for returning servicemen.
It’s your chance to be the historian as provocative questions guide you through the archives while building your critical thinking / Common Core skills. The book also provides web access to the public domain content so you can remix the historic documents into your own projects.
“Recruiting Rosie” is an enhanced, multi-touch book written by Peter Pappas, a well-known teacher, instructional designer and educational blogger.