Rosie's Daughters: The First Woman To: Generation Tells Its Story
by Kendra Bonnett Matilda Butler
||October 29, 2007
Barnes & Noble.com
Meet Rosie's Daughters in this first collective memoir of an entire generation of women--and what a generation. These women born during WWI, the precursors of the Baby Boom generation, tell their stories and declare their place in history
Rosie the Riveter is a mythic figure in our culture, with good reason—she built ships, flew bombers and filled thousands of other essential wartime jobs, upending traditional views of “women’s work.” When the war was over, however, American industry thanked Rosie and sent her home.
Rosie’s Daughters flung wide the doors of employment opportunity that Rosie had unlocked. These women can claim more career “firsts” and greater socio-cultural change than any other generation.
Momentous events at critical crossroads in these women’s lives shaped their remarkable journeys—the post-war education boom, sexual revolution and the Pill, civil rights and gender equality, the Vietnam War, NOW and consciousness raising, Roe v. Wade, no-fault divorce, old fields to conquer and new ways to work.
To appeal to a wide range of readers as well as to trigger the reminiscences of all Rosie’s Daughters that pick up this book, the authors employ a variety of visual and written stimuli that capture the essence of the past six decades. The life experiences of a generation are explained, explored and reminisced through historical photographs (many from the National Archives); a timeline of events; interviews and quotations with more than 100 FW2-Generation women; and an interpretive narrative that strives to make sense of the actions and influences of a generation of women.
The "First Woman To" Generation
Looking back after several decades, we can better understand why Rosie's Daughters, members of a small wartime generation, have played an outsize role throughout their adult lives. We designate Rosie's Daughters as the "First Woman To" or FW2 Generation because they can claim more firsts in personal change, educational attainment, and career achievements than any previous generation of women of comparable size. (In sheer numbers, our younger sisters of the Baby Boom generation will always overshadow us.)
While the wind at our backs helped thrust us forward, every achievement from the 1960s onward was arduous and usually off the map of adult life drawn for us by our mothers. All our gains were the culmination of determined individual efforts. When acknowledging these efforts, newspapers in the 1970s used the acronym "FW2" as a tagline for women--most from our generation--who became the first to achieve prominence in a male-dominated field. Each FW2 story cheered us on then, as it does now."
Susan Wittig Albert, Story Circle Network
“Rosie's Daughters is the first collective memoir of an entire generation of women—and what a generation it is. Women born between 1940-1945 (my generation!) danced to Elvis, went to college, burned our bras, married and had babies (or sometimes just had babies), climbed career ladders, and fought gender discrimination. Rosie's Daughters helps us understand the social contexts within which our stories have taken place. It is impressively conceived and vividly told.”
Martha Alderson, Blockbuster Plots Pure and Simple
"Butler and Bonnett encourage us to consider our worth and spend it wisely as powerful and empowered women."
Beth Proudfoot, East of Eden Writers Conference
“… a masterful job of weaving many voices into a text that is easy to read and filled with ‘Aha!’ moments. Rosie’s Daughters is a stunning contribution to the history of the women's movement in America. I take it as a given that Rosie's Daughters will be a textbook in every Women's Studies course across the country, but it deserves a wide readership among the general public as well. Rosie's Daughters helps me understand who those women were, the forces that shaped them, and how very rough and rocky the terrain was before they passed by.”
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