when pigs fly … expect the unbelievable

Archive for January 2011

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I’m the Person of the Day.  Please read the article about the seminar for women interested in running for office or helping others do so.


And you thought Rosie the Riveter was a “wonder woman”!  Of course she was, but did you know that Wonder Woman was created in 1941 by Dr. William Moulton Marston, who did so because he did not believe that little girls had strong female role models.  What you probably don’t know about Wonder Woman is that during World War II, she began to fight against all threats to American ideals.  To do so, she took on the alter ego of an army nurse who, later in the war, quit nursing and became a WAC and secretary to a colonel.

Wonder Woman was the first female character inducted into the DC Comics superhero’s League of Justice.

Wonder Woman was introduced to the American public in a feature of All Star Comics and within 6 months was so popular that her character could support a comic book series of her very own.

Emily Yellin, who authored Our Mothers’ War, tells us that Wonder Woman was on the first cover of MS Magazine because editor Gloria Steinem said she was the best female role model available for girls who grew up in the 40s and 50s.

We can all be wonder women in our own right.  And we can thank Dr. Marston (and Lynda Carter) for showing us the way.  (PS:  You don’t have to wear the outfit!)

Remember Rosie the Riveter, with the red kerchief around her head and the strong arm, the ICON of women in the industrial labor force in World War II?  The one who said:  “We can do it!”  In fact, she characterized herself as the “We can do it” girl.

Her name was Geraldine Doyle, and she died this week.

Doyle took a job at a metal processing plant in Ann Arbor in 1942, but she only worked about 2 weeks. A co-worker injured her hand, and that frightened Doyle, a cello player.

During her two weeks on the job, a UPI photographer came to the plant and the picture he took of Doyle was used by J. Howard Miller, a graphic artist at Westinghouse, who developed posters for his employer aimed at dissuading women from strikes and absenteeism.

Doyle had no idea that her face was iconic until she was flipping through a magazine in 1982, after the feminist movement adopted the image to demonstrate women’s empowerment.  She recognized her face immediately; the arm, she said, was not hers.  Her arm was not that muscular.

Rosie the Riveter is on t-shirts, mugs, and all sorts of merchandising.  I bought a bright red t-shirt with Rosie’s pic on it when visiting the National Museum of the Pacific (often referred to as the Nimitz Museum, and located in Admiral Nimitz’s family home in Fredricksburg, Texas) last spring.

Rosie is an icon that will undoubtedly live much longer than Mrs. Doyle, who died at 86.

January 2011
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