Nasty RZY

Nasty RZY is a new series of designs and crafted objects in the Female Power Project. I will be adding to this page. For now I am putting my first six poster designs here. More information coming soon!


What is she about to do with that fist?
In which the artist explores the rhetoric of vulgarity within the feminist discourse of anger…


The image of the woman rolling up her sleeve is a (now) public domain illustration created by J. Howard Miller for the Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee. The “We Can Do It!” poster was displayed only to Westinghouse employees in the Midwest during a two-week period in February 1943, then it disappeared for nearly four decades. During the war, the name “Rosie” was not associated with the image, and the purpose of the poster was not to recruit women workers but rather as motivational propaganda aimed at workers of both sexes already employed at Westinghouse. It was only later, in the early 1980s, that the Miller poster was rediscovered and became famous, associated with feminism, and often mistakenly called “Rosie the Riveter”. Miller is thought to have based his poster on a United Press International wire service photograph taken of a young female war worker, widely but erroneously reported as being a photo of Michigan war worker Geraldine Hoff (later Doyle.) More recent evidence indicates that the formerly mis-identified photo may be actually of war worker Naomi Parker (later Fraley) taken at Alameda Naval Air Station in California. Ms. Fraley died January 20, 2018, at 96.

“Penny Colman, a Rosie scholar, remains unconvinced that Mrs. Fraley inspired the poster.

‘It’s more palatable to the culture to just isolate or hold up one woman than to deal with the concept that the image was about women’s power at a critical point of American history,’ she said in a phone interview, criticizing lionization of Mrs. Fraley as the sole model for Rosie. …Miller’s poster had secured its place in the national imagination — an act that Colman credited mainly to the gift shop of the National Archives. The poster had disappeared into the vaults of the Archives, she said, but was rediscovered in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Tom Fortunato, the gift shop’s sales operation manager, told her that the poster was pulled at the suggestion of a consultant to the Archives, who suggested that it was marketable. It was labeled as a Rosie the Riveter print, she recalled his saying, ‘because we knew it would sell better.’”

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of World War II, representing the women who worked in factories and shipyards during the war, many of whom produced munitions and war supplies. These women sometimes took entirely new jobs replacing the male workers who joined the military. Rosie the Riveter is used as a symbol of American feminism and women’s economic power.  Images of women workers were widespread in the media as government posters, and commercial advertising was heavily used by the government to encourage women to volunteer for wartime service in factories. Rosie the Riveter became the subject and title of a song and a Hollywood movie during WWII.

Adapted from Wikipedia and Washington Post, January 23, 2018, obituary by Harrison Smith