Summary Of Maureen Honey's Work

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1) Maureen Honey’s thesis is that during World War II, economic, social, and political factors created the need for new portrayals of working class women; which were often myths. (p.3) Rosie was created both to recruit women for the war effort and persuade them to return to their domestic duties when the war was over. Women were transformed into legitimate laborers in order to help the war effort. Therefore, the media and official agencies such as the Office of War Advertising Council, War Advertising Information, and The Magazine Bureau played an important part in constructing females as important workforce roles. Honey’s work demonstrates the power and value of using mainstream publications such as the official agencies previously listed, …show more content…
Added to that myth was that once the war was over, the women eagerly left the workforce to start families. Post war many women were fired or were unenthusiastic about leaving the workfront. In reality,most of the women who took jobs that had previously qualified as men’s work had already been working for years prior to the war. These jobs were “women’s work” such as typists or paid homemakers. Many of the Rosies, in fact, were not middle class or white. At this point, women were being hired because of necessity, and sometimes not even then. Many employers refused to hire women as late as 1942, because they believed women were unfit for the majority of the work that the job required. Workers Unions were also not overwhelmingly accepting of …show more content…
Working class propaganda featured war workers who placed national or company goals before their own. Their self-esteem was notably stemmed from achievements of solidarity of a working class rather than the achievements of just women. (p. 208) Middle Class periodicals were slightly different. For the middle class, there was more of a reassurance to the public that women were capable of winning the production battle essential to victory and taking care of things on the homefront. They served the important role of reminding civilians that war was being waged by women in the factories as well as by men on the battlefield. (p.208) The redefining of women's’ abilities necessitated by the labor shortage produced strong female characters in the middle class popular fiction. They could defeat an enemy agent, run a drill press, work sixty hour weeks, or build a bomber. (p.208) However, working class literature for women failed to reflect the new occupations women were performing because its ideology and treatment of class in propaganda limited the degree to which redefinition could occur. (p.208) The middle class Rosie was the one who could handle a rivet gun, weld a ship’s hull, or test a parachute. Middle class women, as presented by the Saturday Evening Post, were considered as valuable employees. Most consistently, these women were seen as

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