When Geraldine Hoff Doyle passed away last week at the age of 86, she left behind an unexpected legacy – her image in a legion of feminist tattoos.
The term “Rosie the Riveter” describes not one woman, but the many women who worked in U.S. factories and defense plants during World War II. Doyle was the model for J. Howard Miller‘s illustration, designed to build support for the war effort.
With so many men serving in the war, the efforts of women like Doyle helped keep the mechanical wheels turning on U.S. soil, and ensured the completion and delivery of military equipment and supplies. For most of these women, it was the first time they had worked outside the home, and they were expected to return to their homes when the war ended. However, the “Rosie” experience became a turning point in the cultural perception of women, as they were celebrated for their strength and skill.
As a result, the “Rosie” illustration of Doyle has become a cultural icon of female strength:
Do you have a Rosie tattoo you’d like to share… send me a .jpg file or a link and I’ll post it in the comments! – GPG