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Conforming to Masculinity in The Trades

At the beginning of my apprenticeship, I struggled with choosing whether to conform to a more masculine image (to gain acceptance and belonging) or to stay true to myself and embrace my femininity (but risk being an outcast or harassed).

Yes. I say “like” a lot and have a “valley girl” vernacular.

Yes. I am bubbly and express myself in a very feminine way.

Yes. I like wearing make-up and looking presentable at work.


Yes. I’ll carry a sheet of plywood across a construction site.

Yea! I’ll lug bags of concrete until my arms want to fall off.

Hell yea! I’ll work outside, all day, in the snow and rain.

Women are multi-faceted human beings. It’s clear that we wear many hats. We have hobbies and interests that may be considered by society to be “feminine” or “girly” (and unfortunately dismissed as inferior) but we ALSO have interests that align more with society’s idea of “masculinity”.

And Men! Y’all are multi-faceted too! Don’t let society dictate what your interests are and don’t let it shame you away from things you enjoy that are stereotypically “feminine”. Society is better off WITH diversity. And that means letting people be whoever they want to be 💞.

Cheers to all the ladies out there who remain true to themselves AND manage to kick ass every day! #EmbraceFemininity.

Sidenote: Check out this cute Pixar short. The animation portrays the temptation to conform and the good that comes when, instead, you choose to be yourself.

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Jelissa De Torres (she/her)
Secretary, BC Tradeswomen Society
Carpenter and Welder
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