Rosie the Riveter Still Going Strong at 93

by kendra on September 18, 2013

Post #53 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

This is quite a story. It appears in the Local section of the September 18, 2013, LA Times and is entitled: “At 93, This Rosie is Still Riveting.”

Yes, Rosie the Riveter is as popular as ever. She’s reached the pinnacle of becoming an icon for women. The “We Can Do It!” poster resonates with generations of women–young, old and in between. She’s our role model for the strong, independent, empowered woman. And deservedly so. As Matilda Butler and I explain in our book Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story, the generation of WWII women factory workers and their counterparts working in offices, driving delivery trucks and the navigating the skies in cargo planes showed both men and future generations of women exactly what women could do. Everything!

Well, now this story takes an interesting twist because at 93 Elinor Otto is still riveting at the same McDonald Douglass plant in San Diego where she started working in 1942. She loves life and adores working, and she wields a rivet gun on the assembly line building C-17 Globemaster transport planes. All I can say is may we all be as active when we get into our 80s and 90s. It’s quite a story.

And I think it’s pretty cool that the story is told at this time of year. So many women enjoy dressing as Rosie the Riveter for Halloween. As we see from our bandana and Rosie gear accessory sales, many women are already thinking about their costumes. And this year, maybe we should all dress as Elinor the Riveter. She is a role model worth honoring.

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