The iconic 1942 We Can Do It poster encouraging women to enter the work force during World War II, was inspired by a United Press International (UPI) photo of Geraldine Doyle, a 17 year-old factory worker from Michigan who died last month. She did not know that she was the model for this widely reproduced and frequently appropriated poster until reading about it in a magazine in 1984.
The We Can Do It poster was scheduled to be displayed in Westinghouse facilities for only two weeks in February 1942, followed by the next poster in the series. As time passed, however, it took on a whole new life.
Si Se Puede!
Syracuse Cultural Workers
New York, NY
Sorry Boys...I'm Gay!
Global Fund for Women
Mexico: Mexico City
3rd Mexico City Lesbian March
Cristina Serna, a native Chicana from East Los Angeles and UCSB graduate student, poses as J. Howard Miller’s classic W.W. II rendition of Rosie the Riveter, traditionally titled We Can Do It. Serna flexes her right fist and proudly shows off a tattoo of the Virgen de Guadalupe and Sirena embracing each other as they float on a Viceroy butterfly surrounded by a Sacred Heart.
The background is composed of multiple photographs taken during the previous two Mexico City Lesbian marches and demonstrations in the Zocalo, Mexico’s historic center. Behind hundreds (and possibly thousands) of lesbian activists uniting from various cities in Mexico and the U.S., is the largest and oldest cathedral in the Americas and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico. A nearby banner reads, “Lesbians, breaking barriers, crossing borders.”
Butterflies fly up into the sky. The idea is that the activists’ intention created in that space and time will scatter to diverse areas of Mexico, the U.S. and beyond ignoring borders, and creating awareness and change.
Drill, Baby, Drill