I'm a young woman working as a bartender to fund my schooling and future career in travel photography. In my job, I hear a lot of crazy comments every day from remarks about my physical appearance to getting inappropriate questions about my personal life.
But no comments can compare to the negativity I get towards my career choice — from figures that are supposed to be shaping my career in the first place — because I am a woman and the field is dominated by men.
Lately, I have been getting a lot of sexist, old-age thinking thrown my way, and it is not only by people but the media too.
Years ago, in an issue of an outdoor lifestyle magazine that was geared specifically towards female adventurers, there were many articles, polls and titles that were drenched in stereotypes of women created from a man's perspective of the "delicate female." Ranging from polls asking women in the field what their backcountry beauty routine was to articles about "how not to pee on your shoes."
Since when has a sense of adventure been just “a man’s thing"?
Or something that men have to hold a woman’s hand through?
Who said women can’t travel, hike or be alone?
Everyday, women in my field, and even just in general, are told they cannot do something because it’s too dangerous or they are too delicate, etc. Many men are taught, growing up, that women need to be protected and kept safe. Now I am not saying that is a bad thing, but it easily turns into something else.
Men thinking that women aren’t as able as them for a certain career and women believing they aren’t strong enough to do it on their own.
Now, let’s set the record straight.
Yes, it is nice to be protected sometimes and to feel safe, but I am a strong, independent woman.
I am resilient.
I can protect myself.
I don’t need to be saved.
And I definitely don’t need anyone telling me that I am not as capable as a man to do my job, especially from other women.
Just because I am a woman does not mean that I am delicate or less capable than a man, and it especially does not discount my ability to pursue travel and adventure photography in a way that any man can.
I am just as capable as any man in this field, and I am proving that every day.
Today, there are so many adventurous women making headway in the world like Cheryl Strayed, Krystle Wright, the women on Naked & Afraid and numerous more in our society.
One day, I could be one of the names on that list.
So I’ve just got to say, stop the criticism and comments about it being “a man’s field” for adventure and not for women.
I can’t wait to prove you wrong.