Friday, June 27, 2008

Akron women swing hammers, tell of discrimination

I had a nice chat with some hard-working women on Noble Avenue today. They're part of an all-female volunteer group that is building a Habitat For Humanity House for a family in West Akron. We're featuring them tonight at 7 on Channel 3 News.

It's a neat idea ... as many women who've always wanted to take part had instead backed away rather than go saw-to-saw with their male counterparts.

Just a bit intimidating I guess. So some women instead focused on painting their nails instead of hammering ones.

I was shocked -- and maybe it's just showing my age -- by what one worker, Camille, told me. She said that when she went to Firestone High School in the 1960's, girls weren't even permitted to take shop. Boys went to shop; girls went to home economics to learn how to cook and clean.

What a crock!

Again, maybe I'm showing my youth, but coming from a man whose drill sergeant at Basic Training was a woman (SSG Amerol, she rode a Harley and would kick any man's butt! .. probably still could) and who has worked for women in broadcasting and in the Army his whole life, I just can't fathom that kind of open discrimination.

For what it's worth, I know a lot of men who could use some time in home ec .. especially when it comes to cooking and cleaning (and yeah, I can probably use a refresher myself), but shouldn't a teen girl in Akron have at least been given the opportunity to learn how to use a screwdriver?


Anonymous said...

I graduated from Firestone in the early seventies, and it was the same. They told the girls that we couldn't take shop unless we could line up an entire class-size group of girls who wanted to take shop and could fit it into their schedules. There were a few guys who were allowed to take the cooking part of home ec classes.

Anonymous said...

Also, the girls weren't allowed to join the audio-visual club.