“What’s in a name? That which we call a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” This famous line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet ironically also applies to all the “Rosies” who have stepped up over the years to provide for their families, their communities and their country. I write about my journey and that of other “Rosies” under the pen name Rose W. Monroe, on whom the original Rosie the Riveter was based. I do this for many reasons not the least of which is, just as Rosie the Riveter is the icon for women in the workforce during WWII, Rosie the Recoverer represents the working women of the Great Recession. She wears many hats besides the bandana you find crowning the top of Rosie the Riveter such as mother, wife, friend, volunteer, and of course provider.
March is Women’s History Month and not surprisingly Rosie the Riveter seems to be making a comeback. You can find her marching across the top of your computer screen on the Yahoo home page then turning around and flexing her muscle in a gesture of strength. If you click on her she will take you to the Women Making History home page where dozens of nationally and internationally renowned women are celebrated for their contribution to arts, entertainment, leadership, politics, science and sports. These famous “Rosies” have earned their place in history and the right to be recognized for their amazing achievements.
Rosie the Riveter will also be the topic of discussion at the Phoenix Art Museum on May 19th at 1 PM where Steve Hoza, a WWII historian regularly seen on the History Channel, will explore “how the war affected the workplace and gender roles at home and abroad.” The title of this program is Rosie the Riveter and the Arsenal of Democracy which is a fascinating way of depicting women who were not only given permission but strove to become the “arsenal” for ensuring our country survived and thrived in times of war and hardship. Today’s “Rosies” may also be seen as such when future experts look back at this Recession in the Phoenix metro area, which perhaps says more about our country’s spirit of revolution and innovation than about the women’s movement.
I choose to write about my journey and that of other unsung heroes of our time who have stepped up during this incessant Recession, which continues to take its toll on the Phoenix job market. Occasionally those about whom I write are asked to disclose the real name of the writer Rose W. Monroe which is of course not the point. My real name is Jessica Pierce, Sherene McLemore, Rose Gonzalez, Michelle Ketelhut, Ann Adams and all the other women whose stories I have yet to capture as an anthology of our City’s journey into Recovery, because a “Rosie” by any other name smells as sweet.