"It's a man's job"

by spmmps on October 14, 2016 - 5:36pm

It is too often that people say things like, “Oh, that’s a man’s job” or “That is a woman’s job”. How did these made up “rules” allow people to become discriminated by gender? Why should anyone limit themselves, their talents or their passions because of societal “gender rules” that have been functioning for years. I know personally what it is like to be harassed by people because of my job and my gender. I work for my father in our family business, which is auto and heavy machinery repairs, which in turn makes me a mechanic. Now, I have told people my occupation only to hear things like, “You must be a dyke then?” and “Aren’t you worried about breaking a nail?” and “Isn’t that like, a man’s job?” To which I reply, “No, no and nope.” How did we become so ignorant as a society? Because I know how to fix cars, people feel the right to make such bold assumptions about me and ask such silly questions. Yes, being a mechanic is a man’s job. Yet,  it is also a woman’s job. How, you ask? Because there are women working on cars out there just like me, of course not as many as there are men, but they are out there. It would be so beneficial to so many people to have a more accepting workplace and to make the workplace fair, offer fair opportunity and fair pay. No one should be worried to apply for a job because of their gender, in fear they will be laughed at or questioned. People should be focused on others SKILLS, qualifications and achievements and stop focusing on whether society thinks that job is cut out for their gender.  I have included a graph that shows survey data about people's opinions about the suitability of men and women in different occupations. The results are just what you would expect them to be, matching gender stereotypes of today's world.

Citation:
https://today.yougov.com/news/2012/08/09/lasting-gender-roles-workplace/
 

 

Comments

Hi,

I wanted to say the thing that first drew me into reading your post was your title. It was a short, sweet and eye catching title which immediately made me want to read this post. I also wanted to apologize for the ignorant people who unfortunately do not have anything intelligent to say to you.

I totally agree with everything you have talked about on this post. Society today seems to be quiet ignorant and there are so many assumptions and blurred mindsets on certain subjects. This subject I believe is a very good example of the ignorance our society has. I do not believe there should be any 'man's jobs' or 'woman's jobs' as both genders can do a job as well as the other. One example is people tend to think that fighting for your country in battles and wars is a man's job. This is completely false as there are millions of women who stand up and fight for their countries each and every day, yet sometimes do not receive the appreciation they deserve.

One article I found, written by Forbes shows the bias and ignorance between genders in popular media. The article prepares women to ace their interviews for a 'man's job', which I find is ridiculous and only further promotes this ignorance already seen in society.

The link can be found here if you're interested in reading further: http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/01/09/how-to-nail-an-i...

Hello! This post was awesome and super empowering! I am so glad that you shared your own personal experience to show this stereotype and how wrong it is. In my grade 12 Challenge and Change course I learnt the power of these pre-determined biases women will face in the work force and I have always been quite upset over it. I personally am a woman who has no skills in construction or other "male dominated" workforces but I completely agree with your point that "People should be focused on others SKILLS, qualifications and achievements and stop focusing on whether society thinks that job is cut out for their gender." I WISH that I had the skills to show up men in their workplaces like so many women like you do! All the power to ya!
Although I will go further on one point you made. Yes, this does prove the ignorance in our society but I think it points more to social conformity more than anything. These biases that are still ingrained in people and employers heads is what needs to be changed. People just don't understand that it takes a conscious perspective change in order to change more than one person's view on this. I think I am very blessed to have been brought up in such a aware generation; obviously this is arguable but I really do have faith in the fact that my age group has been educated to the extent that we are aware and actively fight social conformity biases. I think this problem can change in the future and I thank you for bringing it up on this forum!
Cheers!

Hi there,

I was particularly intrigued by your post because of the title and I was interested to read what you thought about the issue. I could not agree with you more about gender inequality and gender ideals in the work force and I think this is a very empowering post.

It is sad to hear that people still have those ideals of who should and shouldn’t work in a field like mechanics. I know that those stereotypes also exist for men in jobs that are typically considered female dominated. I have a friend who is a male and he was an au pair in Australia for a number of months. An au pair is someone hired to look after families’ children and this usually is done abroad as a way to travel. He was embarrassed to say he was an au pair because another term for this could be ‘nanny’ which is typically a female dominated field of work. It made me mad that he was embarrassed to be called an au pair because it is only our societies’ ideals that have labeled these jobs as ‘male’ or ‘female’. Like you said, being an au pair is a woman’s job but it is also a man’s job and I think a lot still has to change in regards to people accepting this as fact. I went on the Au Pair World website and just from a quick glance from the photos and videos used, it is targeted to females and does not seem welcoming to both genders, which I think needs to change.

Thank you for sharing your story and perspective, I really enjoyed reading your post.

Here is the link to Au Pair World: https://www.aupairworld.com/en

Hi there,

I was particularly intrigued by your post because of the title and I was interested to read what you thought about the issue. I could not agree with you more about gender inequality and gender ideals in the work force and I think this is a very empowering post.

It is sad to hear that people still have those ideals of who should and shouldn’t work in a field like mechanics. I know that those stereotypes also exist for men in jobs that are typically considered female dominated. I have a friend who is a male and he was an au pair in Australia for a number of months. An au pair is someone hired to look after families’ children and this usually is done abroad as a way to travel. He was embarrassed to say he was an au pair because another term for this could be ‘nanny’ which is typically a female dominated field of work. It made me mad that he was embarrassed to be called an au pair because it is only our societies’ ideals that have labeled these jobs as ‘male’ or ‘female’. Like you said, being an au pair is a woman’s job but it is also a man’s job and I think a lot still has to change in regards to people accepting this as fact. I went on the Au Pair World website and just from a quick glance from the photos and videos used, it is targeted to females and does not seem welcoming to both genders, which I think needs to change.

Thank you for sharing your story and perspective, I really enjoyed reading your post.

Here is the link to Au Pair World: https://www.aupairworld.com/en

I would have to agree with you, when accepting applicants to jobs we should focus more on qualifications, and whether or not the person is capable not based on gender roles. It is frustrating to see that genders can placed into certain realms and any person that goes against the tide must be questioned. This summer I applied to work as a gardener and after I was hired I found out that this was the first time the department had hired three women ever and it has been running for 50 years. There were often comments made about not being able to do certain jobs, for example the women did not run any lawn mowers, only men (this is partly due to a lack of training) but I think women can and should be trained to do the same jobs. It is sad that these gender roles are so frequently seen in the work place. I believe that it is a perpetual cycle of women being told they are not cut out for certain jobs and therefore they do not strive to get these jobs.

I would have to agree with you, when accepting applicants to jobs we should focus more on qualifications, and whether or not the person is capable not based on gender roles. It is frustrating to see that genders can placed into certain realms and any person that goes against the tide must be questioned. This summer I applied to work as a gardener and after I was hired I found out that this was the first time the department had hired three women ever and it has been running for 50 years. There were often comments made about not being able to do certain jobs, for example the women did not run any lawn mowers, only men (this is partly due to a lack of training) but I think women can and should be trained to do the same jobs. It is sad that these gender roles are so frequently seen in the work place. I believe that it is a perpetual cycle of women being told they are not cut out for certain jobs and therefore they do not strive to get these jobs.

First off, I deeply appreciate the use of your own personal story to truly describe the gender bias that is present in today's society. Telling your own story makes the idea of gender roles more realistic to those who have not realized its omnipresence. Additionally, the title of your text is short yet precise enough to catch the reader’s attention.

In regards to the theme of your text, I completely agree with how you believe that “gender rules” are unfair. The gendered issues you are addressing allude to the aspect of performativity. Gender is a performance, and once an individual strays from their gender-specific path, they are penalized. Seeing a female working with cars and heavy machinery— an industry known for its masculinity — confuses the average person who has been trained to believe in the importance of gender roles. On the other hand, if you were a man, no one would question the work you do. Performativity comes into play since it throws society off when a woman does a job that is usually executed by a man. We must show the world that gendered behaviour is not a natural instinct, it is learned!

Here’s a quick link to more information about performativity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performativity

Hi,
First of all, great post! Gender inequality and occupation sexism is always an critical issue to discuss, and I totally agree with you in that people shouldn't be judge by their identity such as gender. I’m pretty sure many, both men and women, have experienced what you have and it’s a shame that there are still people who judge others base on stereotypes. I once read an article about gender stereotypes and it mentioned that they are constituted when young. Boys wear blue and green while girls wear pink and purple; boys play with cars while girls play with dolls; boys say they want to become a firefighter while girls say they want to become a florist. These grow accustom to them and it makes them more hard minded. Therefore, it’s difficult to change these perspectives when it come to occupations as well. In addition, it’s a fact that men and women have different physical abilities. I personally can claim this because I experienced this when I worked at a delivery factory this summer. Some things we were asked to do, for example, were moving huge container boxes continuously or carrying 15-40 kilogram boxes on and off the conveyor belt . It was just too hard for me and my men coworkers helped me occasionally because they could finish the tasks more efficiently. Thus, I believe, there are things that men can do better then women, and vise-versa; however, I strongly think that there is nothing that people cannot do. Gender is only a part of who we are; hence, as you argued, we should be judged by our skills, interests and accomplishment.

Best

The way you have tackled this problem head on really makes it strike out. Not only does bringing up the shocking statistic make it credible, but it also gives readers a visual take on the matter. Your personal story also allows readers to really see this shocking reality.
Although this is truly the matter of gender roles, we can’t really blame them for saying those words. Throughout history, these gender roles have been forced upon just to improve the status of the male sex. Therefore, it is only natural for them to assume those things because it is what they have been seeing since the day they were born. Day by day, people are being classically conditioned to think that what they see in media is the norm when it isn’t. They associate everything requiring heavy lifting or bravery with man when it could easily be done by the woman and just as effectively.
It is simply the work of hegemonic masculinity. If a woman menaces a man’s masculinity, then that woman will be treated differently. I am genuinely sorry that had happened, but there isn’t anyone to blame other than the male-controlled media.

What a great post. Now it's such a common topic yet women are still faced with this type of challange. Similarly to your expirence, I worked as a environmental field technician and was posed questions as you were, as well as my personal favourite comment: "let the men get that, you can't be strong enough". I get that there is a physical advantage to being a man, but what to say that a little hard work won't help a women be strong too. The comments are belittling and make women feel unwelcome in this type of workforce. Not to mention being handed oversized men's uniforms that make the belittling visible to co workers.

As a former science student, there were times where people I met were taken aback that I could be smart enough to be in science. That was surprising to me as I thought we as a society had gotten over this type of thought.

None the less, this type of mindset have Ben motivating in my life, (positive feedback would go further, but I take what I get ). The need to prove my intelligence beyond my appearance!

I wonder why we have this type of idea that men and women should portray a specific types of person even as we have so many telling us to be who we want. At what point to we louse that freedom?

I think this post would be even more Intresting from the views of men receiving similar comments in "women's jobs". I think the Trend is similar to that of the comments women receive.

Thanks for sharing!

Hi,
Wow what a great post!! I find your post extremely important in today's society in terms of gender norms and stereotypes. For the past 13 years I attended an all girls camp every summer and have seen firsthand that when given the opportunity, girls can do anything that a boy can do. When you wrote " I have told people my occupation only to hear things like, “You must be a dyke then?” and “Aren’t you worried about breaking a nail?” and “Isn’t that like, a man’s job?” To which I reply, “No, no and nope." Hearing people say those demeaning and sexist comments is extremely discoursing for you as a woman and proves that there are still many issues in todays society in regards to gender inequality in the workplace.

Something that came to mind when reading this post was male nurses. There is a huge gender bias in terms of people thinking that being a nurse is a "woman's job" and that it's almost embarrassing for a man to pursue being a nurse as a career. It's wrong that in this day and age you are being questioned for being a mechanic and made to feel as if it's against societies norms to be able to fix cars. If anything it should be an inspiration to others that you are challenging the norms and able to do things for yourself!!!

That was an incredibly powerful post! It captivates me because it directly relates to some experiences of mine. This past summer, I worked for a diversity consultation firm in Toronto, and I learned so much about diversity in the workplace.

Too often in modern society do we make things gender specific, that too in a binary manner. I learned this week that in the German language, there are two separate words for nurses. One applies to a female nurse, "Krankenschwester", and the other is for "all other nurses, particularly male nurses", and the word for that is "Krankenpfleger". The latter directly translates to "illness care taker", while the other translates to "illness sister". Krankenpfleger is actually a much more modern term, because being a nurse was historically considered a profession reserved for women. My professor told me that the new word is becoming more common and less gender specific because of gender equality movements. It shocked me to know that such a division in the language itself existed in the first place. However, here in Canada, where French is an official language, we are well aware of how gender specific nouns are ingrained into entire cultures just by having such grammar rules. Luckily English is a far more neutral language, but that hasn't stopped us Anglo-Americans and other fellow English speakers from having gender biases.

I learned at my summer job that inclusiveness of gender, race, and sexuality at the workplace not only helps employees, but it is positively correlated with economic productivity. This is because employment systems are less biased, and recruitment is based more heavily on qualification. We as a society must embrace gender inclusiveness in order to improve quality of life, and to help our society grow, both socially and economically.

Really great post! Your post was really well written, it was clear, concise and your points had a nice variety of backing. I like how you included visuals, statistics as well as your own personal experience to really drive home the seriousness of your point.
It is a bit devastating when you realize how issue of discriminating an individuals knowledge or skills based of simply their gender is still a serious and prominent issue.

A study done in the UK looked at gender stereotyping when it came to job roles and future job aspirations in children. They had a hundred children ages 7-11 draw a picture of a nurse, a builder, a lawyer and a banker as well as what they aspire to be when they grow up. Sadly there was this gender role stereotype present in even these young minds with 81% of the nurses being drawn as female, 88% of the builders as males, 80% of the bankers as male and 65% of lawyers as male.

Dr. Richard Woolfson noted that children can be limited by these rigid gender stereotypes in their future ambitions and employment aspirations and may fail to even consider a job because it falls within a job “typical of the opposite gender”.
They found that girls were more often aspiring for jobs that either involved helping others such as a teacher or nurse, or something in the entertainment industry such a artist or pop star. While boys were more often aspiring for jobs in sports dominated roles or roles of authority such a fireman or police officer.
It is sad to think that even in today's society which would consider itself more progressive children as still bound by the rigid gender stereotypes and still limit their future career aspirations at a time and age where they should be able to be anything they can imagine and more. It is clear that society needs to shift from a gender focused view to one that looked more at the talents, aspirations and skills of every individual on equal footing and separate from gender.

(link to article based on study:http://www.hrreview.co.uk/hr-news/diversity-news/4-5-children-think-bank...)

Hey! Great post, I also am a huge supporter of equal pay for equal work. When two people perform the same tasks at a job,then there is absolutely no justification to have them be rewarded differently. That is fundamentally wrong and in my opinion will continue to be a societal issue until solved.

I will now raise another issue I have come across in other conversations. There are specific positions which require one to perform tasks that men and women simply can not perform to the same caliber. For any position which involves the safegaurding of human life and the requirement of physical strength, I hope you may be willing to give consideration to the inequality. Examples of this are Firefighters, Police Officers, and Military Service. Obviously these roles can be performed by both sexs to some degree of similarity - but who would you want to pull you out of a burning building?

I thought that you had an excellent post, starting with an effective title followed by compelling arguments and genuine questions. Like yourself, I can relate to these discriminatory “gender rules” that you expand on in your post. In high school I played ice hockey, rugby, and was training to be a Muay Thai fighter, all considered to be male dominated activities. As a straight female and comfortable with my sexuality, people never really made comments about the sports that I enjoyed. I have been lucky in that I have never faced direct discrimination from male counterparts while taking part in these activities. However, I acknowledge that ignorant people still ask degrading questions that intertwine gender and sexuality, which have no correlation to what a person is physically or mentally capable of achieving.

Where did these stereotypes arise, and how did they become so collectively accepted by society? Women are historically viewed as having a greater connection to nature because they can give birth, and have deeply rooted maternal instincts. These perceptions make people more inclined to associate females with jobs that require a nurturing aspect to it like a secretary, midwife or an elementary school teacher. But nowadays women don’t feel as strongly connected to these maternal instincts because they can create a career for themselves, and have the ability to sketch anything they want on their chalkboard of life.

Nonetheless, I do believe that the millennials are making slow improvements. With people changing genders and not affiliating themselves with gender, I feel that gender and sexuality don’t always go hand in hand. Our society is progressing towards reevaluating and tailoring these constructs to become sound in the 21st century. At the end of the day being a mechanic shouldn’t be a “man’s job” or a “woman’s job” but ultimately anyone’s job.

Hello,

First off, good title choice, it really grabbed my attention! I enjoyed reading your post, it was very empowering and somewhat motivational. I strongly disagree with gender role occupations. I would hate to see my daughter, niece, sister or mother forgo a dream occupation due to the negative stigma attached to it that’s strictly based on their gender. It’s a challenge that every women may have to face at one point of their life. Society cannot decide or define a women’s pathway in life. We all have our own individual dreams and aspirations that we want to achieve and your gender should never hold you back. I also believe in women and men both receiving equal pay when both performing the same task. The gender wage cape should decrease as women are giving jobs with high authoritative power!

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