All About The Naomi

 Naomi Parker - The poster child for millions of activists.

Unacknowledged for decades, the real Rosie the Riveter was innocently misidentified. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

The scene: Pearl Harbor post attack, with America's men being called to action.

The effect: millions of women stepping into traditionally male-held jobs (and totally nailing it.)

Here is where we meet our protagonist, Naomi Parker. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942, Naomi and he sister (at just 20 and 18 years old) started working on a California naval base. Naomi ran the lathe machine (a machine used to rotate whatever is being made so it has symmetrical rivets/stitching/drilling etc.) and it was there that an Acme photographer (you know, the same Acme that made traps for the Road Runner) snapped the below photo for a factory calendar.

This photograph almost certainly inspired Howard Miller's iconic 'We Can Do It!" poster, whose original intention was to deter absenteeism and strikes among employees in wartime. Yet it served as a revived touchstone for women activists in the 1980's. 

The best part: that photograph of Naomi wasn't captured in a studio. It was a real woman, who at just 20, was doing a job and making a statement that would motivate and shape a feminist wave that Naomi Parker Fraley could never have imagined when she sashayed into work that day. 

Fun Fact: A scholar spent four years searching for the true identity of Rosie the Riveter and finally validated in 2016 that Naomi Parker was her. Upon being asked how it felt, "Victory!" she cried, "Victory! Victory!"


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