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  • 09/23/2003
  • WildlandFire.com Team
  • 0 Comment

Whoa, did that turn out to be a conversational hand grenade! Being a baby FF2, I have run into the baboons (“Can she really do it?” from an assigning officer, “Whoa, you’ve got a chick on your squad?” from a fellow firefighter on the line), but my crewmates and crew boss (I’ve never thought that was a gender-specific term) offered to beat anybody who pissed me off “like a red-headed step-child”, so it’s never really been a problem. The only person who’s made me really mad about gender issues is a fellow female (as discussed before) who insists on ramming her (and by extension our) female-ness down everybody’s throats. As I move on up the ranks, I’m expecting to run into it more, but I’m not worried. There’s always an *sshole, that’s life. You work around them, you convert them, or you steam roller them, whatever works best for the *sshole in question. And I haven’t found anything that works better on *ssholes than listening respectfully to their ideas (whether good, bad, or bass-ackwards) and then demonstrate that you can work hard and competently.

What feels really good, though, is when we walk in parades and such (we’re a handcrew; we don’t have an engine to ride) and women, or better yet, little girls, see that I’m a woman wearing the same uniform, carrying the same pack, and carrying the same tool as the guys. “Look, Momma, it’s a firewoman!”. Fire fighting is one of those things that every little boy, and increasingly I think every little girl, wanted to be a for a while and then decided was impossible for them; regardless of gender, I think it really comes down to that “never say die” attitude.

Nerd on the Fireline (adequately self-censored, Ab?
Ya done good.


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