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We Can Do It

  • Course: Rhetoric
  • Professor: Kent
  • School: Iowa State University, IA
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Rhetorically Analyzing Essay

A rather famous and notable propaganda piece known as the “We Can Do it” poster featuring Rosie the Riveter highlights the inequality women experienced during World War II. This poster stressed women’s empowerment and symbolized a major gender revolution during the 1940’s that would forever change how our country viewed women and their war effort. It also often times boosted worker morale and motivated women’s attempted involvement with the war effort. Although many Americans were against women participating in the war, through propaganda like the Rosie poster they proved to exhibit heroic characteristics that fortunately paved the way for other women and their involvement in the war today.

An admired American manufacturing company, Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company, created this wartime propaganda piece in 1943 (Doyle). Originally this poster received no recognition until several years later. This poster gained popularity through its visual aspects. The motivated picture of the women on the poster mirrored the objection to boost employee morale and the idea of progressively excelling in production. Although this picture was to raise awareness of all employees, it further caught the attention of specifically many feminists. The poster went against several womanly norms. Eventually this poster was used to promote feminism during World War II.

When first glancing at this piece of art, an audience notices the masculinity within this picture. It is almost anti-attractive in terms of gender norms of this particular time period. This woman is not a typical American-looking female during the war era. In contrast to a classy woman that would typically wear a fashionable dress, jewelry, and with her hair nicely down this female is depicted more manly. She is depicted more manly simply because she visibly has muscle and is dressed in a ratty, denim shirt versus a classy dress. Incorporated throughout this picture are...