Fictional Characters dictionary

Rosie the Riveter

[ roh-zee thuh riv-it-er ]

Who is Rosie the Riveter?

Rosie the Riveter is a fictional female munitions worker who was created as a symbol to encourage women to join the workforce during World War II. Today, she often represents feminism and women’s empowerment.

Related words

♀️ Female Sign emoji, 👩 Woman emoji, International Women's Day

Where does Rosie the Riveter come from?

During World War II, many working-age men in America left their jobs to become soldiers or to play other roles in the US Armed Forces. Faced with a lack of workers and a wartime economic boom of demand, American companies and munitions factories began putting out a call for women to join the workforce. Rosie the Riveter was created as part of a concentrated effort to recruit female workers. The song “Rosie the Riveter,” which depicted a patriotic and driven female worker, was followed by a slew of images and slogans that encouraged American women to join the workforce.

Although Rosie the Riveter appeared in many incarnations during World War II, the most well-known version is a young white woman wearing a pair of blue coveralls and a red bandana to tie back her hair. She’s crooking her right arm and grasping her bicep with her left hand. The speech bubble from her mouth says, “We Can Do It!”

Post-war, Rosie the Riveter has endured as a feminist icon and symbol. The women who joined the workforce were referred to as “Rosies,” and their wartime taste of independence is credited with sparking the second wave feminist movement of the 20th century. Several celebrities, including Beyoncé and Pink, have dressed as Rosie the Riveter to make feminist statements. Her image continues to represent American feminism and women’s empowerment.

Examples of Rosie the Riveter

just walked past a group of like 15 women dressed as rosie the riveter and some dude catcalled them and they went OFF and I am in love
@ruth_walshe, May 6, 2017
A friend sent me a picture of Rosie the Riveter asking who she actually was because he 'considers me a feminism expert' I have PEAKED
@rachel_baker29, May 17, 2017
This poster, the one most of us today associate with Rosie the Riveter, was created not so much to encourage women in the workforce as to encourage productivity in general.
Megan Garber, “The Many Faces of Rosie the Riveter,” The Atlantic, April 24, 2015

Who uses Rosie the Riveter?

Today Rosie the Riveter appears in conversations about feminism and women’s rights. She can be a symbol or a logo for a feminist group or a reference in the rhetoric. Feminists who are outspoken about gender equality are sometimes called “Rosies,” or Rosie the Riveters.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of Rosie the Riveter like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Rosie the Riveter that will help our users expand their word mastery.