Re: “High school students give Rosie the Riveter new look and new message” (March 27):

The World War II-era Rosie the Riveter wearing a bandanna being replaced by a woman wearing a hijab was a shock to me when it was promoted by Portland Public Schools Superintendent Xavier Botana.

Like many American families, my mother and her family and friends were all part of this history: women working in the shipyards while our men were off fighting the war.

I believe that Rosie the Riveter is a symbol of the strength of American women, who rose to the need of this great country. It is an American symbol that shows the pride of the American women. It is a patriotic symbol known by all Americans.

The new use of Rosie, an important piece of history representing American women who worked while the men fought for the freedom we all enjoy, crosses the line. Introducing a version of Rosie wearing a hijab, the traditional Muslim religious garb, infringes on this American icon.

In a day when it’s no longer politically correct to say “Merry Christmas” (instead, it’s “Happy Holidays”), or what used to be a Christmas tree is now a “holiday tree,” symbols like Rosie the Riveter, a figure representing the strength of American women with no religious reference, are being used to promote the Muslim religion. Something I feel crosses the politically correct.

Nicole Cox


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