RCL Speech Draft I


Rosie the Riveter “We Can Do It!” Poster


  • I’m willing to bet that nearly everyone in the room has seen this poster of Rosie the Riveter before, but have you ever thought about it as more than just historic propaganda?
  • The Rosie the Riveter poster is much more than just a piece of American history, it’s also a present-day feminist icon.
  • This poster of a strong female factory worker was mass circulated to lift the spirits of the American Homefront during WWII and is still shown on T-shirts, posters and all over the internet as a symbol of feminism and all that it entails, equality for all.
  • This poster has stood the test of time and transitioned from a WWII Homefront recruitment poster into a feminist icon.

Civic Elements

  • It’s a civic image by nature because it’s trying to recruit people to fulfil their civic duty.
    • Bright uplifting colors
    • Dressed in red white and blue to show patriotism
  • Originally, it was used to convince Americans to help out during wartime after millions of American men left to fight in WWII because they needed more workers to fill the factory jobs and keep the troops supplied.
    • The Rosie the Riveter poster was extremely effective in convincing women to help out on the Homefront and fulfil their civic duty. According to U-S-History.com, “more than six million female workers helped to build planes, bombs, tanks and other weapons that would eventually win World War II.  They stepped up to the plate without hesitation and gave up their domestic jobs to accomplish things that only men had done before them.  They became streetcar drivers, operated heavy construction machinery, worked in lumber and steel mills, unloaded freight and much more. Proving that they could do the jobs known as “men’s work” created an entirely new image of women in American society, and set the stage for upcoming generations”.
  • Today, this poster is still civic as well.
    • Represents peoples’ duty to treat all people the same and actively promote equality between men and women


  • Most importantly, this poster carries the commonplace of feminism
    • The image gives them a role model that they’re not used to seeing. Rosie is dressed in blue collar clothes to contradict the idea that women cannot be a part of the workforce.
    • Rosie’s strong and fierce appearance combined with the slogan that “WE can do it” created an inclusivity that women were not accustomed to when this poster first circulated.
    • Today that phrase sticks with women in the same way, suggesting that women can accomplish almost anything if they work together.
  • Another commonplace associated with this poster is the idea that the American people should never give up
    • During the toughest battles of WWII, the American Homefront could look to this poster and its message that “We can do it!” and feel motivated.
    • Raised American spirits enough to help win the war over seas.
    • Present day, people keep working towards equality through their actions both online and in their day to day lives
  • A third commonplace seen in this poster is the importance of strength
    • Rosie’s flexed muscles and fierce expression represent the strength that the American people need to have
    • In WWII they had to be strong in order to make it through the war.
    • Present day, women must be strong in going after what they want: equality amongst genders.


  • The Rosie the Riveter poster has morphed from a solely historic propaganda poster from the WWII era into a calling card for the feminist movement.
  • In order to stay relevant with the times (KAIROS) the poster took on a slightly nuanced meaning while still holding onto the same commonplaces just in new ways.
  • Rosie the Riveter’s message that “we can do it” will forever stand the test of time because it represents a sort of strength and determination that will always be relevant to women in society.




It’s What I Do – Prompt III


Addario’s strongest writing tool is her use of suspense and cliffhangers.  I would love to integrate her use of suspense into my own writing.  Her situation as a conflict photographer puts her into the perfect position to use such a versatile writing tool.  In the last lines of part two of her memoir, Addario explains to her audience, “every time I photographed a story like the injured soldiers coming out of Fallujah, I ended up in tears and emotionally fragile.  Every time I returned home, I felt more strongly about the need to continue going back,” (Addario 134).  By divulging this information to us as the last lines of this chapter, Addario encourages us to keep reading in order to find out what happens each time she goes back and also hones her raw emotions to express how difficult these times were.  This effectively evokes pathos in her readership.

When I write my passion blog about my love for travelling and trying new things, I plan to try to incorporate the same kind of suspense that Addario mastered in her memoir.  Being completely honest, I’m not sure how I would go about doing that yet given the topic of my content versus the topic of her content, but I think it is definitely something to consider further.  Perhaps I’ll plan out my blog posts in advance and allude to what the next week’s post will be about at the very end of each story.  Something that I picked up from Addario that I definitely plan on using in my blog, however, is pathos.  Adding emotion to any piece of writing instantly makes it more interesting, more personal and more stimulating for readers.  All throughout her memoir, I appreciated the emotion that she put into important scenes and I plan to do the same with each of my blog posts.


It’s What I Do – Writing Prompt II


Lynsey Addario includes the story of her Nana’s missed chance in love as a way of introducing the concept of regret and how she plans to avoid it by following her passions.  Addario recounts her grandmother’s story of denying a possible love interest for a “better” and wealthier man.  This short story provides insight into how Addario feels about her passion for photography.  She doesn’t want to regret not following her passion in the same way that her grandmother regrets her neglected love interest.  Partially because of her grandmother’s experience, Addario embraces the idea of putting herself in harm’s way to follow her passion for photography.

Connecting back to my passion for pushing myself out of the known and trying new things, I also don’t want to live with regrets.  Just as Addario’s grandmother recounts, ignoring opportunities leads to regrets.  This directly corresponds to my passion of trying new things because that actually stems from a fear of missing out on opportunities.

When traveling throughout London and Ireland on a school trip this past spring, I found myself almost overwhelmed by all of the “new” that surrounded me there.  I was so bombarded by new people, accents, stores, places, foods and customs that I began to shut down.  I spent my entire first day in Ireland with my headphones in, ignoring the new happening all around me.  However, once I realized what was happening, I decided that that was a terrible way to go about living your life.  I let the fact that I missed my friends and family, the familiar aspects of my life, dictate my mood and therefore my actions.  Once I decided to open myself up to new experiences abroad, that mentality followed me back to America and ever since then I have become almost addicted to trying new things.

It’s What I Do – Prompt I


Similar to Lindsey Addario’s passion for photography, I’m very passionate about trying new things.  Penn State is a huge campus full of almost 100,000 students, over 1,000 clubs and almost an infinite number of new experiences.  Staying trapped inside my own comfort zone would squash any opportunity for personal growth and probably also bore me to death if I kept it up for the full four years.

Coming from a town that is comprised of 2,220 people, I can’t help but to want to push my limits and make sure I’m making the most out of my Penn State experience.  I have always loved trying new things.  From meeting new people to joining new clubs to simply visiting new places on campus or downtown, I want to use this blog as an opportunity to try even more new things while I’m at Penn State.

Another idea I had for my passion blog was to review some of the popular places to eat in State College, but that could also fall into the theme of just trying new things so I think I’ll stick with my original plan.  As far as hobbies go, writing has always been a passion of mine.  Luckily enough, writing is already included in the act of maintaining a blog so really my blog will capture two passions at once.  Chronicling my endeavors into the unknown seems like a very fun way to spend my time and I can’t wait to start putting myself out there even more than I already have.

Addario even shares that her passion for photography makes her feel more alive.  I always feel alive when I try new things.  Pushing myself out of my own comfort zone forces me to grow as a person and has always really excited me.  Combining my passion for writing with my love for trying new things would be the perfect way for me to reach my version of happiness.