Do you believe that women should be limited to certain careers and activities?

@spalladino (17921)
United States
February 22, 2010 7:21pm CST
An opinion was expressed in another discussion that there are some things that women shouldn't engage in when it comes to their careers. As someone who was raised to believe that I could grow up to be whoever I wanted to be and who, in turn, raised three daughter to believe the same thing, I strongly disagree with that opinion. During the past 30+ years women have made great inroads into occupations traditionally dominated by men. Women serve side by side with their male counterparts in the military, are police officers, detectives, FBI agents, firefighters, welders, automotive and motorcycle mechanics, astronauts, steelworkers, airline pilots, construction workers...and race car drivers...to name just a few. When my oldest daughter was 17, she asked me to sign my permission for her to become a volunteer firefighter. Her big brother made the mistake of suggesting that she couldn't possibly do that because she was A)a girl and B) weighed around 100lbs. After she put him in a headlock, he changed his opinion. Not only did she pass the physically intesive training course, she went on to also volunteer with a Search and Rescue team. I find it hard to accept that 60+ years after "Rosie the Riveter" became a cultural icon, representing the women who went to work in factories during WWII in order to support our country and our troops, some folks still have the notion that some professions aren't suited for women. What's your opinion...should women stick to female type professions and activites simply because they're women or should interest and ability matter more than gender?
6 people like this
23 responses
• India
23 Feb 10
Being a woman myself, I don’t believe that jobs and professions should be categorized on gender… as you so richly point out, we women have equaled men in almost any and every field that we’ve cared to try out LOL. However, taking practical situations into consideration I do feel that combative jobs in military should be off limits to women. A few years back even I was appalled at such discriminations (wherever they exist) and would dig up news and stories from all places which had anecdotes about the combative skills of women military commandoes…however two incidents made me sit back and ponder over this. First was the incident about an American lady who wanted an extension to her leave and refused to board the flight back to Afghanistan as because she had a baby at home with nobody to care for it for a few weeks (her mom, the regular caregiver was sick or something)…so that made me think whether combative military jobs are actually suitable for girls. For one, we have to think about our biological clock and pregnancy does not seem to be an option while on duty and even then, small babies are always the responsibility of the mother first. Second was the decision of our Indian Govt not to induct women in combative military post…the reason being the safety of the women themselves, if caught. We all know what happens to male prisoners in most cases, women prisoners are likely to face harsher and more critical harassment which our Govt wants to avoid. I found both the above instances very practical as far as we women are concerned.
1 person likes this
• India
23 Feb 10
BTW everything said and done, I feel women should ideally stay at home if only for the kids. Kids suffer a lot if none of the parents stay at home when they are needed the most. Maybe we could have more house-husbands… I am perfectly OK with that too. In fact it would have been great if I could work and put my brain to better use while hubby dear stayed at home and cooked the dinner LOL
1 person likes this
• Canada
23 Feb 10
I do agree with you!! Why would have to be that we cant put our great brains to good use IF we stay at home? This is where our society is out of whack. They think that because a woman stays home, she cant be useful anymore. We have the technology today to make it possible for women to be way more useful with a keyboard....so why not use it? As for babies, yes they should be brought up by women.....Im not sure a man can do it as well. Men lack the sensitivity and thats not a minus, its how they are. Im not really wanting to have a "sensitive man" in my life. I want a real man. Hope you wont take all that I say seriously.....Im just talking here!!
• India
24 Feb 10
No no, absolutely no offence taken...actually I too really wished that women could stay and work from home BUT the online options are so few and far between. I am a working mother and I know what my son and me are missing...I really wished there were more viable and regular options available to earn via the net
@jb78000 (15163)
23 Feb 10
there are only 3 acceptable jobs for women, teaching, at primary school level of course, secretarial and nursing. and naturally you stop as soon as you get married. hold on, that was the 1950s. not sure why this should even be a question now. you go for the job you want to do, it is depressing that even in our two countries there are still jobs that some people think women should not be doing because it is unfeminine or something ridiculous like that.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84206)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Feb 10
Hey, you forgot waitressing and the oldest profession...
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
24 Feb 10
MagicalBubbles, we're talking about more than just lifting boxes here. When I first stuck my delicate little toesies into the compute field it was dominated by men and I had to scratch and claw for every bit of recognition I received. The female deputy sherrif that we have here in Hooterville had to compete side by side with men during her training and she passed with flying colors because it wasn't all about strength...it was also about endurance. Show me a woman with a toddler and a baby on her hip and you have a prime example of endurance. She's shown me a couple of moves because she also rides a Harley and is a prefered customer and I can tell you with absolute certainty that I can put my husband on his a$$ if I wanted to because it's not about strength...it's about training and skill. Most of the jobs I listed above require skill...not brute strength. And swtjenlove (she's a member here) says that she can still carry you down four flights of stairs...and make it to the beauty palor on time.
@jb78000 (15163)
24 Feb 10
i have to admit to teaching. also a few others, the only one that involved lifting was barwork. and bubbles you realise that when the men were out sweating the women usually were inside sweating?. i think only a few got to laze around all day.
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
23 Feb 10
I find it hard to believe that so many people still have those old views of women. It is so disheartening! I was just reading an article the other day about this anti-feminist who was being interviewed saying that no woman should be president of the US. I was very shocked, I wish I could find the article to link to you but, this conservative actually said something about Palin having kids, like that was enough to disqualify her for president. UGH! And, I don't even like Palin
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15163)
23 Feb 10
i'd say tell this person this is now the 21st century, but actually if they managed the 16th that would be wonderful
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
24 Feb 10
Yes, a woman cannot be president but history is rife with how many queens who ruled how many countries and waged how many wars?
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Feb 10
Well yes certainly, because women must accept the reality that they have physical limitations. And they cant do anything about it. I am a bit feminist , but still i believe that there are certain jobs performed better by men. I just cant imagine a girly girly woman climbing a high rise ladder in an attempt to save someone. Some jobs really are just for men ..some for both..some for women. And women doesn't have to feel they are invincible thinking they can beat men in all areas, same goes for men.We all have our limitations, we will perform better if we are aware of such limitations.
• Canada
23 Feb 10
I agree with you Lipstick....cant see myself climbing up a ladder in my high heels!!
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
24 Feb 10
A girly girl? What is that exactly? My daughter is beautiful but she's not the "oh my god, I broke a nail!" type of girl. That's why she wanted to be a firefighter and not EMS. That's also why she was a GOOD firefighter as well as a great member of the Search and Rescue team she belonged to for over 2 years. Don't stereotype women. I'm almost 55 and, although my primary field is computers, I can do more with a Harley Davidson than most men can...and I wear my boots more than I wear high heels.
@Torunn (7164)
• Norway
23 Feb 10
No, I can see absolutely no reason for that. For bath-room guards and actors I find it OK that they advertize for men and women according to what they need, but apart from that I can't think of many jobs that can't be done by both genders. And I really think those IOC people are STUPID for not letting the women compete in ski jumping at the same level as men! Idiots *grumble*
@jb78000 (15163)
23 Feb 10
and when i mentioned sports i can understand separating say football and boxing, but why exactly ski jumping?
• India
23 Feb 10
And why do women tennis players get paid less their male counterparts? And why do women champions get a plate while men get the ‘cup’
@Torunn (7164)
• Norway
23 Feb 10
Because the wee women can hurt themselves when jumping I suppose. And they're not good enough yet. Well, if they never get to jump in the big ski jumps, they'll never be good enough! Stupid old wrinkled men. A female friend of mine once tried on a knight's armour, complete with lance and sword etc. She couldn't really move, I guess that was a job for manly men or extremely strong women. I think they don't have a lot of applicants for the firefighter positions here, because the physical tests involves running up stairs with heavy loads but that's not the same as saying a woman can't do it. Ok, there'll maybe never be as many female firefighters as male ones, but there'll probably always be more female teachers in kindergarten too. Doesn't mean a man can't do it. *grumble, grumble* I think I have been angry at people dividing the world like that since I was very little, as I always got asked whether I was going to be a doctor like my mum but never asked whether I wanted to study physics like my dad. Stupid people. I've got a friend who's pulling trucks but he's really working as personal trainer or something similar. It would be much more green to use strong men to pull trailers out of ditches instead of machines. Or do they produce too much gases?
@sunnflr (2767)
• United States
23 Feb 10
Ok here is my opinion and it's probably not going to be popular. I think women should be able to do whatever job they want provided they can do so without special treatment. My husband is an electrical lineman. He lifts 100 pounds often, has to use the bathroom in the woods, drive for hours on end only stopping for gas, etc. There are women lineworkers, BUT they have to go somewhere to use the bathroom, which means less work accomplished, take more breaks when driving, and have help doing all the heavy work. They also have to have separate sleeping quarters where the guys all just bunk up however. Seems to me, this is not doing the job the same way as a man so they probably shouldn't be doing it or they should let the guys do the same as the women. As far as less physical jobs like doctors, executives, etc. I think women are just as capable as men, probably more so in some cases. I just think women who want to do jobs traditionally thought of as for guys should be able to do them without special treatment. Just my opinion.
@jb78000 (15163)
23 Feb 10
i doubt the bathroom breaks really take that much time to be honest. and if it comes down to it and trying not to be too revolting women can take breaks in the woods perfectly easily too. provided there is a suitable shrub for privacy. as for the lifting - well it depends how much there is. if it forms a substantial proportion of the workload then don't take the job if you can't/won't do it. now and again i suppose stronger people could be allowed to shift the heaviest stuff around. just referring to personal experience - sometimes there are a number of people involved in a job, for example moving. if i am the strongest person there (which i am when the others are much older or smaller) then i lift the heaviest stuff because it is easier, if somebody else is (a man the same age and my size or bigger usually is) then they do it. all that said if you want to do a mainly physical job but are unprepared to do it then why did you apply in the first place?
@jb78000 (15163)
23 Feb 10
just re-read your comment - 100 lb - ok most people could lift that, i can and i don't weigh much more. if it is a frequent part of the job then you should be prepared to do your share. if stronger people decide to then that is fine but you can't really expect them to.
@sunnflr (2767)
• United States
23 Feb 10
It's not that it takes that much time, it's that contractors (which is what my husband works for) like things to keep moving along. My husband has only seen 3 women lineworkers in the five years he's been doing the job but has heard about others. It probably has something to do with him working with a contractor and not a co-op or something. Right now, my husband only has one other guy on his crew, he has to do everything himself pretty much. Linework is a job where each person pretty much has their own job to do and can help if they have time or its something that is totally impossible for one person to do safely. I can't lift 100 pounds and don't know many women who can and it is a big part of the job. The wire/powerlines way probably more than that when they have to hold three of them up at once to move them to a new pole or something like that. The cross arms are heavy and they have to be held in place to be screwed into the power pole. Just stuff like that. I agree with the part about not applying for the job if lifting is a big part of it and you know you can't do it, but women do apply and the company's can't say no cause it would be descrimination. I would think, if the guys refuse to help all the time or just don't have time, she wouldn't stay around long though, which might be why my husband hasn't met many women lineworkers. I guess my opinion is just that woman should be allowed to do whatever job they want if they can do it excatly like a man or if they change the rules for the men to match the women. It should be fair all around the board.
• India
23 Feb 10
I think they should be considering their physical ability and the nature of job.Now i am not trying to be chauvinist, but being practical.I believe that all will agree to this.
• Canada
23 Feb 10
Nah ur not chauvinist, I think the same and Im a gurl.!!
@Torunn (7164)
• Norway
23 Feb 10
But that would work for both genders, as men on average are stronger than women but there's definitly women that are stronger than many men.
@cripfemme (7710)
• United States
28 Feb 10
I think that women are able to do whatever they want. Employment shouldn't be based on gender. Women in 2010 are fire fighters, police officers, army pilots. I'm proud of your daughter for pursuing what she wanted. Good job! I agree it's sad that women have so far to come after Rosie. I have a "Rosie the Riveter" postcard on the wall, right above my computer!
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Mar 10
Funny thing is that I've always been inspired by Rosie, even as a kid that poster told me that I didn't have to aspire to be a nurse or a secretary. After Watergate I wanted to be an investigative reporter for awhile but was convinced that the profession was too cutthroat for someone as good natured as I am.
@millertime (1397)
• United States
27 Feb 10
I believe that women should have the same opportunity for any job that a man does. They should not be given special treatment just because they are female though. There are some jobs that are physically demanding, that not all women are suited to. Not all men are suited to them either. I used to work a job doing underground construction, installing and maintaining natural gas lines. This involved using a jackhammer on a daily basis and a lot of shovel work, digging in hard soil, under harsh, dirty conditions. We had a couple of women join the ranks, one being about 5 foot 4 and never having had any job other than an office job in her life. Her upper body strength was severely lacking. Well, a jackhammer weighs 95 pounds and once it hammers into the concrete, you then have to pull it, or sometimes, jerk it out and the handles are about waste high for an average man. For her, they were above her waste so it was impossible for her to lift it once it was hammered in, indeed she could barely carry it from the back of the truck to the dig site. She simply was not physically capable of doing this type of work on a daily basis and even though she stuck it out for a while, she ended up moving on to something else. To be fair, we also had some men that hired in and didn't make it either. Overall though, you're going to see more men in this type of work, simply because on average, men are physically stronger than women. I'm talking averages here. Obviously, there are women who would be able to handle this type of work and there are some doing it, but you will never see more women doing it than men. So I would say there definitely should be equal opportunity for men and women, but men and women are not the same. We have differences (thank god). Men are better suited for some things and women are better suited for some things. It's not a matter of superior or inferior, just different. [;-)
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Mar 10
I agree with you completely millertime. My stepson works for a foam insulation company and they had a woman on the crew for about a week or so. It was hard work and she lacked the upper body strength you posted about so it was difficult for her to keep up.
• Brazil
23 Feb 10
i beleive that women should be limited in their carrers. I mean come on, if we let women become buff and manley doing these kind of jobs, 30 years from now we're gonna have a bunch of women who are buff and not so appealing. Women can never be in danger because they are the mother of the family so any job that risks their lives is certainley out of the question. Why can't they just stay home like they're supposed to? They always want to rebel against us and do everythiung wrong.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
24 Feb 10
They don't just stay home because they don't have to and no one has the right to enforce this "supposed to" belief that you have. I dare you to walk up to a female police officer and challange her ability to do her job "right".
• Philippines
23 Feb 10
there should not be gender discrimination when it comes to career, and i believe in that idea before i went to college and took up a course that is dominated by men. i finished my school by sad to say, there are a very few opportunity for women in this field and most end up with other careers like me.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
24 Feb 10
And that's what I find so unfair. If you're qualified your gender should not hold you back.
• Philippines
23 Feb 10
I dont think so....some people does tell me that coz im a bit boyish and im engaged to some male jobs. Im taking up criminal justice, and im an A-lister in class, and i shoot better and more accurately that my male classmates. Im also tattoo artist, and i can make better tattoos that other males. The point is if a person choose to be good in a certain field then,why would they be limited just because of their gender?
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
24 Feb 10
Bingo nina! There has been quite a lot of focus on physical strength so far in this discussion but that's only a small part of the male dominated professions. I hope you continue to do well in everything that interests you.
@raynejasper (2324)
• Philippines
23 Feb 10
..hi.. well, traditionally, when women were not yet educated, they just serve as the housewife and no more.. they were not allowed to land on any job.. that's in our country's case.. and as days went by, women gained power little by little until they were able to assert their selves that they can also do something that men can. and that's absolute for me.. we women are not only for some type of jobs.. we can land on any job that we are capable of.. the only thing about men is, they are hurt because of their ego.. they feel uncomfortable with women working in their "masculine World".. but it should not like that since women are becoming the breadwinner of the family.. we can't just stay where the guys want us to stay.. we have our own capabilities and we can certainly do something that men can't.. It should be partnership now of men and women.. to make the flow of the work "balance"..hehehe.. we're not just accessories.. we can accomplish big things just like men..
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
24 Feb 10
You said it all with this one statement, "we're not just accessories"...and we're not.
23 Feb 10
A women should be able to pursue whatever career goal takes her fancy. Why should we have less privleges then men. If we are ready and able to do a job, then why not. Men who say otherwise perhaps feel their masulinity is being threatened if a women can do something better or just as good as them.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
24 Feb 10
I agree...no woman should be held back simply because she's a woman.
@dragon54u (31628)
• United States
24 Feb 10
I think that men and women both should be able to be anything they are able to. If your daughter did not pass the physical, she should look elsewhere but since she was able to she will make a fine volunteer firefighter and more power to her! Men are branching out now, too, becoming nurses and typists, etc. Now, if they have to set the standards lower to accommodate a woman I don't think she should be trying to do that job. But if a woman has the skills necessary, I don't believe she should be prohibited from applying for and performing any job.
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
24 Feb 10
Of course women can do any job they choose! Your daughter is a fire fighter and clearly for her to be employed in such a field requires for her to be able to do all that is physically required, heavy lifting etc; obviously she can meet all those requirements or she would not be in the job. My point is if a person can do what is required in a job that person should be allowed to do it regardless if the individual is a man or a woman. Certainly abilty matters far more than gender!
• Philippines
24 Feb 10
Personally women should also be given an opportunity to work equally with men for as long as she is capable and qualified to do the job.
@mommaj (22878)
• United States
23 Feb 10
Women can do whatever they want to do. Has anyone noticed women do everything and then the same idiots that ask them to do everything say they can't do anything? I don't believe women are held back nor should they be held back by anyone but themselves.
@gabs8513 (48708)
• United Kingdom
23 Feb 10
Well I to believe that Women can do whatever they set their mind to do Be it a Car Mechanic, a Firefighter and other things it is their decision to be this and no one has the right to say you can't do that it is for Men
@dawnald (84206)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Feb 10
I need no "reason" to restrict women's professions other than traditions and prejudices...