Ever wondered what Rosie the Riveter was actually like?
How did women during WWII feel about the war? What was it like going from a domestic, housewife role to working in dangerous munitions factories? What did they do for fun?
A charming series on Netflix called Bomb Girls answers those questions with an entertaining and enlightening drama. Set in Canada, the show chronicles the lives of women working in a munitions factory to help the war effort. It’s the perfect time machine to the 1940s. Important aspects of the war are highlighted, like post traumatic stress disorders, concerns of enemy spies, unjust internment camps, and the pace of an entire nation tunnel vision-ed with war. But it also features some of the details we can’t learn from textbooks. I especially enjoyed some the cultural facets of the series: the clothes, the jitterbug dancing, the turbans women had to wear while working on the factory floor, and the charm of old-fashioned courtship.
The tagline for Bomb Girls is “Same war, different battles,” and soon you learn that the show is much more than the actual war overseas. Different women from different backgrounds (a rich heiress, a preacher’s daughter, a factory manager, to name a few) muster up a passion for the war effort that is unparalleled to that of the men. They raise awareness to themes like feminism, independence, defiance to the patriarchy, identity, and finding voice.
They managed to work with dangerous explosives, help win the war, and instigate critical social change to the woman’s role in society — all while rocking red lipstick and high heels.
Basically, Bomb Girls kicked butt.