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It's worth noting that the "Why don't feminists try and push for gender parity in coal mining?" is a very tired question (and rather silly meme) and it's got without a variety of answers from casual feminists. A cursory Google search for this question on Reddit has thrown up a variety of answers:

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskFeminists/comments/3bjr41/why_ha...

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskFeminists/comments/2rpbil/why_ar...

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskFeminists/comments/3inzi0/lookin...

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskFeminists/comments/97f59k/are_fe...

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskFeminists/comments/63lydf/why_do...

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskFeminists/comments/5z79oe/are_fe...




Most of those answers boil down to 'because they are more desirable', is there any specific one you think nails the answer?


Not any specific one, but I'll try and summarize the points:

* Feminists really do fight for representation in these jobs[0][1][3] to the point where one of the largest sexual discrimination lawsuits was brought up by women trying to get into the coal mining industry.

* Women already have significant representation in such jobs and especially in other low wage jobs, such as textile manufacturing (in sweatshops, for instance[2]), nursing, fast food work, oil drilling, childbirthing (and other thankless reproductive labour), janitors/sanitation etc.

* These jobs are generally seen as undesirable anyway, and there isn't a social push for men to enter them. It's expected that with less push for dirty (and trade) jobs in general, there would be less of a liberal feminist push for them too. This is consistent with the fact that second wave feminists argued for any involvement of women in the workplace, even blue collar jobs, but now such activity is less prominent.

* It's a class issue too, and the perceptions, biases and elitist attitudes which prevent entry to such jobs for both men and women have been challened by intersectional and Marxist feminists.[4]

* Part of feminism is challenging essentialist and elitist narratives about women and their capabilities, which managers in such industries cite in arguments against hiring women

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/your-money/sweet-smell-of...

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/AskFeminists/comments/3am8ri/if_the...

[2] http://www.feminist.org/other/sweatshops/sweatfaq.html

[3] http://the-exercist.tumblr.com/post/105284613217/is-that-so-...

[4] Sean Sayers, "Marxism and Human Nature" discusses this elitism at length as both a gender issue and a class issue


Your two comments don't really answer the question I posed. The first one denigrates it and attempts to outsource the task of answering it to Reddit. The second one is, I guess, mostly a recitation of various things feminists have done or not done in relation to this question, among other issues. But nowhere do you make a clear statement about whether you would advocate for pushing women into these jobs, and why or why not.


I didn't know the question applied to me personally. I'm not entirely sure myself, which is why I gave various reasons (some conflicting) for what other feminists think. I'm not even sure I'd advocate 'pushing' women anywhere, I think that we should try and counter bias that may set in from society or parents from a young age, and also make clear that various opportunities are available to all, including opportunities in jobs which are unfashionable nowadays.


That's a fair response, thanks.

I used the word 'push' because I was responding to a comment which identified 50/50 representation in all occupations as potentially a reasonable goal. It would surely take a big push to achieve gender parity in garbage collection, which is 99% male in the US!




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