Rosie the Riveter and more

// 28 October 2008

For those, like me, with a serious weakness for Rosie the Riveter-esque photos, Flickr has become a bit of a goldmine. Loads of Library of Congress photos make their way onto the site:

Original caption: ‘Dora Miles and Dorothy Johnson are employed in the Long Beach Plant of the Douglas Aircraft Company.’


Zanele Muholi from South Africa’s Forum for the Empowerment of Women writes about the international LGBT football association over at Black Looks:

Gender parity is indeed an important point of discussion for any international federation that claims to represent queer athletes globally. But before gender parity is discussed, we need to know whose faces, what shades of colour, and which knowledges are allowed expression at the discussion table.

Malaysian clerics have announced a ban on women “wearing men’s clothes, having masculine haircuts, engaging in same-sex practices and any other ‘unfeminine’ behaviour”. More at Lesbilicious.

A reminder about Oxford Reclaim the Night, on 8 November – all the details you need are at womensgrid.

The Pink News reports on efforts to establish a “queer railroad” to help LGBT Iranians escape persecution and find asylum in other countries.

Bristling Badger tells the shadow health secretary to “fuck off”, after he said there is “no excuse” for people to be fat.

The International Herald Tribune reports on Choi Hyun Mi, the 17 year old Korean boxing star, known as “Defector Girl Boxer” (because her family moved from North Korea to South Korea to help her pursue her boxing career). Via Jezebel.

And, finally, the Independent reports on Ghada Abdel Aal, an Egyptian pharmacist who turned her stories of her family furiously attempting to find her a husband as her 30th birthday approaches into a popular blog (called Wanna-b-a-bride) and book:

“I am one out of 15 million girls who are pressured on a daily basis by their society to get married,” Ghada said from her hometown of Mahalla. “A girl is not supposed to be actively seeking something, she simply exists for someone to marry … to say she wants something is seen as impolite.”

One of Ghada’s favourite anecdotes is the one that planted the seed for her first blog. The protagonist is a seemingly very decent chap, whose one downfall proves to be an unhealthy obsession with football. In the middle of their first meeting, he leans across her to switch on the television and watch the game. It gets worse. “He found out I supported the rival club and that was that. I was off his list. It was very strange. Who does that?” Ghada’s family failed to see the problem, though. “You can switch teams. What’s the big deal?” she remembers. “I started to doubt myself – maybe they were right and I was wrong. It was ridiculous.”

Comments From You

spiralsheep // Posted 28 October 2008 at 12:15 pm

Sadly, that “Rosie the riveter” style publicity photo is something of a visual lie as African American aircraft factory workers were segregated at that time both at work and at home. There were even special housing projects built in California (among other places) to perpetuate the segregation of African American war workers from their white counterparts.

Jess McCabe // Posted 28 October 2008 at 12:22 pm

I had no idea… !

My US history is… well… a bit limited. But I’m really surprised. I wonder what the point of this photo was, if that was the case?

Soirore // Posted 28 October 2008 at 12:42 pm

That’s really strange as women in the film Rosie the Riveter mention working in mixed environments where they had to deal with racism as well as sexism. Perhaps segregation didn’t occur across the whole country.

spiralsheep // Posted 28 October 2008 at 6:54 pm

Jess – Well, it’s a news/propaganda photo, isn’t it? So the purpose would depend on the intended audience it was aimed at. I note the African American woman is doing manual labour while the white woman, seperated by a “shield”, watches (is she holding something on the reverse side of the panel?).

Soirore – “segregated” often doesn’t mean no contact at all. Power-holding positions, such as supervisor, were often closed to African Americans and open to white people. Also, I suspect there were different standards in different parts of the U.S., and remember that “official” standards often varied from reality.

The US military was still segregated during the Second World War, even in Britain where the British government helped enforce racist standards on British businesses such as pubs and cinemas.

Alyssa // Posted 29 October 2008 at 9:01 am


The white woman is holding the anvil that the rivet is being shaped against. So, she is not just watching… look at where her hand is.

You are dead on about this being staged. There is no way the woman driving the rivet could do so without losing her grip on the gun.

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