Saturday, September 17, 2011

Danger: Men Working

Has anyone else noticed this sign above the Risley Dining entrance? Every time I pass by it, it bothers me. There are so many anti-feminist implications here, I can't help but rant about it. For one thing, it obviously states that women aren't construction workers. This is clearly untrue; there are plenty of female construction workers out there. Even if they aren't working on this particular building, the sign negates their existence. Also, it seems to imply that the reason women can't be construction workers is because of the "danger;" women are vulnerable, and can't handle a job such as this. Maybe I'm reading too far into it - it is only a sign, after all - but this is a perfect example of the stereotyping of women that we've been discussing in class. Just as female superheroes are never as strong as the men, this sign demonstrates the generally accepted view that women are never as strong as men in real life - certainly not strong enough to work in construction.


  1. I haven't paid attention to the site, whether there are women construction workers there or not but it could be "people working" instead of "men working" if many people would take offense as, obviously, you do. I personally don't think such details make very big differences: Motherland- Fatherland,spokesman-spokesperson etc.

  2. I'd have to disagree with you, Rachel, because there have been numerous feminists who have been working their entire lives advocating for gender neutral terms that cover both men and women in a given career field, acting being a prime example. I remember in high school, my theatre teacher stressed that women aren't actresses but are actors. She believed that the term "actress" was sexist and that all actors should be collectively addressed as just that - simply as "actors." In her opinion, differentiating men and women by term was essentially differentiating their skill level and performance type. This being said, I don't see what's so wrong with the sign, for the word "men," like the terms: actors, police officers, doctors, and lawyers, could be interpreted as encompassing both men AND women, perhaps, following my theatre teacher's logic, even going so far as to consequently underlining the equal competence of the genders in this respective field.


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