As more than 1,000 attendees, most wearing Rosie’s traditional garb of coordinated red-and-white polka-dotted bandanas, rough, blue working shirts and jeans rolled up over red socks, milled around in a bracing breeze, a number of people said that something felt a little different this year.
Perhaps President Trump was to blame, said Anabelle Conlin and Rebecca Ramirez, a Bay Area married couple. Or perhaps it was the recent leaked Google memo, written by a man, which argued that men are superior to women in the tech world.
Taking a time-out of sorts from the wind, huddled behind a building and looking out over the bay, Conlin and Ramirez, both dressed as Rosie, listened to a five-piece jazz band pump out a steady thrum of classic tunes.
They took in the smells of the water, and of the hot dogs wafting from across a World War II replica plane — the man sitting in the cockpit proved an exception to the gender norms of the day. The couple, now retired, reflected on their own lives, the little glimpses of their role model, Rosie, that they from time to time saw in themselves.
Conlin, 68, said she made a career out of working for what is now AT&T, starting with work that at the time was definitively a “man’s world.” She would “climb poles and crawl under houses,” testing the utility giant’s network on a local level. For years, Conlin said, she would get her hands dirty, and she loved it.
There were rare occasions when a particularly problematic customer would muse aloud if a man might do the job better. Conlin said she would nod and she would smile, and she would do the work better than her male peers. Those peers, she said, were older, and treated her with respect, teaching her the trade.
“It was very fun,” she said.
Not to be outdone, Ramirez, who worked at a factory to make ends meet for three summers as she attended UC Berkeley. To this day, she joked, she can’t much stomach the thought of a glazed donut, taking into account the untold hours she spent toiling over them in the heat.
That, too, was “men’s work,” once, but Ramirez, 55, showed that a woman was every bit as capable, if not more so. And she did not complain.
Back in the crowd, as the jazz band belted out another rendition, a reporter asked a man why he was there. He declined to comment, saying the day belonged to females.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle