How to Get Women Working

Lutheran Ladies Circle: Thanks for Leaving…Book 3 has launched.

I know I should talk about it, but hold on for just a moment,  I really want to discuss the woman in this picture. Taken in 1942 It’s called “Girl in a Bubble.”( Photographer, Alfred Palmer, War Information Office )
It was going to be the cover of Thanks for Leaving, but it ran into a few snaggles.

Beta/Focus/and Critique groups said, “We like it. What the heck is she doing?”


This WWII photo was a carefully crafted propaganda shot to encourage women to leave their approved place (the home), and go to the factories.
• the carefully displayed wedding ring. (Message: Men, let your wives work).
• the lipstick and manicured nails. (A woman could work and not lose any of her daintiness. As a matter of fact, many factories had charm classes).
• Stylish head covering and colorful uniform. (Many women objected to covering their curls.)
By 1945, 6 million women had entered the workforce for the first time to build planes, bombs, ships and ammo. Which is phenomenal when you consider most women had never even worn slacks. For better or worse, it changed women’s roles forever.
Sixty-eight years ago, everyone would’ve known this woman was working on the nose cone of a B17.
Today, most viewers  thought she was working on a spaceship.

I think that’s a blessing.

Many words like: blackout, plane spotter, loose lips, meatless Tuesdays, and rationing aren’t part of our daily conversation anymore.

Book Three

Book Three

And women continue to work, to support, and to grow in wisdom because of all those gals ( our foremothers) “did what they had to do.”

But that’s another story—a funny and touching one—with a different cover.

You can read about it at Lutheran Ladies Circle/Books.

Did women working or serving in WWII change your family’s story?

7 thoughts on “How to Get Women Working

  1. My dad was in the Navy during WWII, and my mom was in the Coast Guard. I know she was a volunteer, and she was always very proud of her work, but I never, ever saw her in slacks; that may have been why she was in the Coast Guard rather than joining her friends in a factory job. She did go to work in a department store when I was in the tenth grade or so, and then went to college and got her teacher’s degree after I was out of the house.

  2. Woo Hoo. I have (finally) bought the first two and will get this one when it comes out in a format which suits my dinosaur status.
    How to get Women Working? How to get us a break is often more like it. When we were allowed to join the world of paid employment we just added an additional layer. Just the same, when my mother rejoined the paid workforce she was happier – so we were too. And, at the time (1960s) it wasn’t considered the done thing. She had worked in the war, and it had given her a taste for it. A need for it – to have her mind stretched as well as her body.

    • Yes, working does provide more avenues to stretch, not to mention a paycheck, but it was another layer on the already many things we had to do. Thankfully, a lot of young women are smarter these days and require more from partners or say…to heck with it…we’ll eat out or off of paper plates.

      • And thanks, Sue,for buying the books. I know how witty and clever you are, so I hope they keep you laughing even more. Thanks.

  3. I knew it had to be some part of a plane that she was working on! I know some people say that women going to work and staying in the work force led to the disintegration of the family to the problems they face today. Maybe a part is that, but there have also been many new outside

    forces which affect the family (drugs, peer pressure, parents becoming ‘friends’ and not being parents, etc). I hate when the mother is blamed for all the family problems because she is a working mother.

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