Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Woman's work?

This is the 21st century, what does that even mean anymore?

My sister is a welder, who is now a welding inspector. She went to school, she took the exams, she worked hard, got dirty and now she is an inspector. Before she learned to weld, she had been a hairdresser.

I remember when she was thinking about trade school, she wanted to go into carpentry because my father was a carpenter. This was way back in the day, women just weren't carpenters. She didn't really fight for the right because, well, my father so much as told her that even he wouldn't hire her. So she entered the cosmetology training. Hairdressing, after all , was 'woman's work'.

She was ahead of her time, I suppose, but I always secretly wished that she had just gone for it anyway. Stereotypes be damned! Even though she did do the hairdressing gig as a nine to five, she was still very handy with a saw and hammer. Over the years she did carpentry for herself and even built a house or two in her day. She wasn't your typical housewife, and did pretty much every 'man's job' around the house. She even drove a Harley. When the mill decided to hire women, it wasn't a surprise that she signed up to be a welder.

It has been over 10 years since she was been a hairdresser. So why do people still ask her to cut their hair? Not that she couldn't do it, but I wouldn't ask my Doctor to sling me a burger even though I know he did that in high school. I know why I do, cuz I am cheap. I really couldn't imagine why anyone besides her cheap siblings would even ask for a hair cut.

She has been working in New Brunswick recently and while she was home this last time, a guy she works with messaged me and asked if I would remind her to take her 'hair cutting stuff' (as he put it) back up with her. I don't know why, but this offended me. Scratch that...I do know why.

I told him, "Dude, if your interested in my sister, I wouldn't ask her to cut your hair. She is a welding inspector, not a hair dresser."

His response? "Right now, she's a welding inspector." Emphasis on 'now'.


I asked him what he did before the pipeline and of course he replied that he was always on the pipeline. However, I am sure that if after 10 years someone asked him to do some grunt-laborer work like fetch the boss a sandwich, he would be totally put out. So why does he have no problem asking the 'little lady' for a trim.

Who raises these people? How long before all these cave men die out and how do we stop them from perpetuating their neanderthal, knuckle scraping ways on their impressionable offspring?

We used to tell The Boy that his father was once a hairdresser until my sister taught him how to weld. The Boy never batted an eyelash, even though it was the other way around. It would never even occur to him that a woman couldn't do any job a man could.

That is the man I raised and that, my friend, is real woman's work.


Bryna said...

AWESOME! Good job with the boy. :)

kelly said...


girls rule and boys drool. except perhaps boys raised by single moms, because they're trained right.


Fyr said...

HEAR HEAR!!!!! *applauds*

Yvette said...