A Riveting Revolution
by Eva Pasco
The Feminist Movement can
thank Rosie the Riveter for flexing her muscles as a show of strength and independence to empower women.
While the men went off to fight the battles of WWII, these women carried our nation on their backs making
a contribution to the war effort by working in factories. When their Johnnies came marching back home
after the war, these same gals resumed their traditional roles of homemaker and motherhood, giving birth
to a generation of Baby Boomers rivited with a rebellious attitude.
Since the Sixties were a prime time of protest against the Vietnam
War, and advocation of equal rights be they Gay, Student, or Civil--why not equality for women while we were at
it? Empowered Daughters of the Riveters revolted against male supremacy in a capitalistic society where
discrimination in wages and promotions ran rampant. I never aspired to climbing the corporate ladder, but the
view from the community college rooftop onto the grassy knoll encompassed a narrow sexist strait predominated
by teaching, nursing, or socialwork.
I doubt our riveting Rosies in their oversized dungarees were ever
accused of being a sex symbol while earning a day's wages. Yet, their Sixties Chicks daughters, many of whom
went braless and wore see-through blouses and miniskirts, still wanted to be taken seriously on the job. As
Betty Rollin put it, "Scratch most feminists and underneath there is a woman who longs to be a sex object. The
difference is that is not all she wants to be."
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