Yes We Can!
There has always been the misconception that women can’t do heavy labor because of their sex. It’s happened to me on numerous occasions, and, more often than not, I have to let it go. When the same kind of comments start to build up, however, I feel that they become necessary to address.

First off, for context, I work in a grocery store. As part of my job, I have to gather carts in the parking lot, stock shelves and break down pallets of product on a daily basis. This job wasn’t my first choice, but it pays money, something a poor college student who is accumulating student loans desperately needs. With that said, I don’t mind the daily workout at my job: it’s like a free gym membership where I get paid to exercise.

There are instances where I go and gather large amounts of carts at a time, partly because I dislike gathering carts and partly because I don’t feel like dodging the insanely-driven cars that are lurking around corners and threatening my life every other minute. I have received numerous comments of concern and surprise that I am able to do such a “laborious task.” Men have offered to help me, which as kindly as I can, decline.

In another example, an elderly woman needed a carryout because she had two carts of products. When I was told to go help her, she refused and requested the help of a man instead because I was “too delicate and weak.”  Instances like these occur at least once or twice a week for me.

Last time I checked, women were equal to men. We can vote, work the same types of jobs and some women even hold places of power in our society. Why is it that there is the misconception that women cannot hold an equal position in careers that require labor-intensive work?

It’s offensive to think that there are people who feel that women are delicate flowers who shouldn’t do certain kinds of work If only there were a way to be that delicate flower and not have to work and earn a paycheck at the same time. Until that happens, I will continue to hold my own and remain an equal part of the intensive labor workforce.

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