Rosie: Stories from the Home Front

2013, History  -   9 Comments

Women who worked during WWII as part of the war effort, or Rosie the Riveters as they became known, recount stories and talk about their experiences.

These women took on jobs traditionally reserved for men out of necessity, and in the process, challenged gender roles that ultimately changed the mores of the United States.

The film captures the stories of 10 women who worked in various positions during the war. Some met their husbands while doing so.

One lost her husband in the first years of the war. The jobs they undertook were as diverse as the population, ranging from welding battleships in a sweltering Savannah summer, to farming, to breaking Japanese codes via mathematical analysis

Dr. Steven Blankenship, assistant professor of history, provides commentary on the historical and cultural aspects of the war.

Ratings: 8.03/10from 33 users.

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9 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Susan Morrison

    Perhaps you could do a part 2 showing all the African American Rosies who also helped with the war effort at the Navy Shipyards in California!

  2. Gopal Raj Kumar

    The black women were in the same place the Indians and Viet Namese in World War 1 and II were. They were conveniently placed out of sight so that the heroes could always be "white" blue eyed tall John Waynes.

    2,500,000 Indians fought for the allies in World War 2. They fought against Romell in North Africa in Europe, in Asia and were never thanked for it.

    I once visited Papua New Guinea to be showed rows and rows of graves of Indians referred to as "Hindu soldiers of the British army" or "A Mohammedan Soldier of the British Army". They were laid out in rows on a well manicured lawn.

    I never knew why the New Guineans treated me with so much respect when they saw me clearly and Indian. An elderly man then narrated the story of how Indians fought where the whites Australians and Englishmen especially ran and retreated.

    He also told me how the Indians always shared their canteens with the locals when the whites only forced the locals to labour for them.

    On that trip I found the graves of two of my wife's uncles who were taken by the British to war. When they did not return, their families were told they were either deserters or had been taken away by the enemy and never heard of.

    I photographed as many as 80 graves with their plaques and circulated them to people with similar names. I hope they all found their families in the end.

    The truth can never be hidden however much one glosses over it.

  3. darknight32

    What a nice story.It's true like the below comment said that women in other parts of the world like Britain took on a more first hand role in the fight and that is also admirable if not even more so.And sadly i have no doubt that the lack of black women is political. That is an embarrassing time in my countries history. I'm glad we've grown past legal bigotry even know some people will always be bigots I'm glad their numbers are falling by the day. My feeling on the doc, I am a WW2 history buff. And it is amazing how this country truly pulled together when it was a war no one wanted to fight in the beginning. It was Europe's problem. But the ailed powers and the country pulled together. This was also like goverment sponsored women's liberation. Showing the country they could do more than be house wives.I think that part is great. Even though it took several more decades till they start cracking true equality. I'd say without this generation of women, women would not have achieved what they have in the time frame they did.

  4. bringmeredwine

    Where were the black women?
    Were they allowed to participate in this booming war- machine- driven economy?
    I found some of the ladies' comments interesting, while others were "hokey". But those were different times and most young people were so innocent.
    The ladies in Britain were right in the middle of everything; conscripted at 18, If they had a pilot's licence, they fought for the privilege of flying new, untested bombers from the factories to the airfields, or piloted cargo planes.
    Women manned the anti-aircraft guns, drove ambulances and fought fires.
    Many rebelled against their parents wishes, refusing to simply roll bandages, knit socks, or serve in the canteens.
    Heady times for young, sheltered girls!

    1. Philio

      “Where were the Black Women?” When you view films that include clips for the 30’s and 40’s era you have to adjust your mind set a bit. This was before the civil rights era in the US. If you look closely at the first 24 seconds of the film you will see a Black Man (and there were probably more employed at that plant) exiting the factory in the mix. That’s the first clue. The 14th Amendment took awhile to catch on nation wide.

      The agrarian economy was a much larger part of the US at
      that time. If the film would have shown the Rosies in factories and mills in the industrial North East the mix would have
      been more inclusive.

      You heard one women mention picking peas. A clip of farm or ranch workers might have told a different story. A dire war time effort seeks resources without prejudice. There hasn't been a “World War” that affected the global economy and security for 67 years. Maybe we've grown complacent.

      The military was segregated yet the “Red Ball Express”, an African American unit, gained high praise driving supplies into forward positions. The “Red Tails”, African American fighter escorts for bombing missions were coveted mission escorts. It is amazing how the reality of such circumstances
      affect the global consciousness. What will be the next thing to affect the global conscious?

    2. bringmeredwine

      Thanks Phillio, I was aware of the black air force pilots.
      I just know in the South, black women worked mostly in the fields or as maids; didn't know they were welcome to work in the better paying war efforts.
      They weren't treated as equals in Canada.
      It just burns my ass that returning black veterans were not welcome in the shiny new subdivisions that appeared across North America after the war.
      I've been reading a lot about the treatment of blacks after their emancipation, and I guess I needed to rant.

    3. Philio

      While you’re doing your research include all minorities and their experiences during the great immigration eras. You’ll find that prejudice isn't only toward color. It takes on many masks and further it can and has been individually overcome in whatever face it presents. Group pressure is diminished with individual that exits the group.

  5. MalOdour

    No doubt a good war helps big companies make money, wonder how much the companies charged the Feds for the working women, when the feds were paid S80 for every $100 worth of war bonds alot of money was made and still being made.

    All war are created by Big banks read War is a Racket find by google.

    1. a_no_n

      war is the closest thing to a traditional international sport that we have.

      Most of our technological advances have come from times of war, including computers, the internet, rockets, air travel, sea travel...the list is endless...War may very well be a racket, but as far as human nature goes it's a nessescary evil.