Happy Labor Day!

I love the image of Rosie the Riveter: such a blend of quirky fashion and toughness! Imagine: Rosies never had to pick a power suit out of their closet each morning and deal with office hen-pecking because they went to work ready to get dirty!

Rosie makes me sad, though. These jobs were a fleeting moment of women (yet again) shouldering the tasks that had to be done “while the men were away.” Why couldn’t they continue to be bad-asses after the war ended? Is this another martyr thing? Giving the jobs back to the boys because it had to be done? After all – the boys needed something to do when they came home; and who would tend to all those domestic chores?

I was stoked to see this short video by Oregon Tradeswomen. I think Rosie could, indeed, use an update. I still love her image and the flexed muscle; but c’mon! Women working in the trades have been doing it for decades, and it’s NOT because they were killing time in waiting for their war hero to come home and rescue them. Women are skilled kinetic workers: using body AND brain to build bridges, erect buildings and wire up traffic signals, street cars and lightrails. All under equal wages. It’s time for the stereotypes to morph with the realities.

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