Boy Jobs, Girl Jobs
(Ann from California writes...)
I am finding more and more that some campgrounds are displaying a sexist attitude. When we got our recent job we were told the girls work the office and the boys outside.... Here it is 2010 and we are going backwards once again.
What if a woman has better outside skills than a man? And what if, like our case, the man has a business system degree and outshines me in the office? Pretty bad.
My friend, a female and single work camper, has a horticulture and landscape design degree but is always shuffled into the office to do the girl's job.
What's up with this?
Coleen, the working editor replies:
I'm curious as to what the campground owner or manager told you when you asked them if you could switch places, with you doing the outside (boy's) job and your male partner doing the inside (girl's) job.
I agree with you, it is sexist. It continues because it works. Many of the couples volunteering at parks or bartering work for an RV site are older, and come from a time when "men's work" and "women's work" was the norm.
Workampers reinforce the stereotype in their Work Wanted ads and resumes, too. They often write about the woman's qualifications to work in the store or office, and her desire to work there. And, they point out the man's skills doing maintenance and outside chores.
One way to deal with it is to leave out your sex when responding to the ads. Simply say that "one of us" can do such and such and "the other of us" can do this and that.
If you can muster it, you might approach it with a bit of humor. When you point out that the two of you can handle the tasks that need doing, but with the roles reversed, the campground owners may be embarrassed that they worded it the way they did.