Can We Do It? | Yes We Can

The Infamous “We Can Do It!” poster which has become a symbol of women’s empowerment has remained popular since its inception in 1942. The original depicts a 17 year old WW2 factory worker who modeled for the poster which was dubbed ‘Rosie the Riveter’ during the War years.

In real life ‘Rosie the Riveter’ was Geraldine Hoff Doyle (born in Inkster, Michigan on July 31, 1924 and died on December 26, 2010 in Laning, Michigan, aged 86).

In 1942, Geraldine Hoff found work as a metal presser at the American Broach & Machine Co. in Ann Arbor; taking on roles, including factory work, that were formerly considered “male-only.” It was here that a United Press international photographer took a picture of her which was re-imaged by artist J. Howard Miller for Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee.

  • This became the We Can Do It! war effort poster which was also used for anti-absenteeism and anti-strike campaigns.
  • Later, during the 1980s, the poster began to be used by advocates for women’s equality in the workplace.
  • Re-envisaged in the early 2010s it was used by Australian street artist Phoenix during the ‘Gillard Years’.

Phoenix the Street Artist borrowed from this infamous poster during the Julia Gillard campaign as first female Prime Minister for Australia (2010-2013). For further information on Phoenix the Street Artist see MY POST or Phoenix’s site.

Can We Do It? | Yes We Can

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