A middle aged man (we’ll call him Jim) and a twenty-something woman (we’ll call her Jane) are engaged in conversation. Jim mentions that he has found himself a job for the winter seasonal break. Being friendly, Jane congratulates him and asks what kind of job he’s found. Jim happily informs her that he’s going to go ‘work on the boats’. Having grown up in Nova Scotia, Jane knows this means working on the fishing boats specifically, something she knows only a little about but finds interesting. Continuing to make friendly conversation she asks how long the fishing trips usually last on ‘the boats’. Jim tells her that he’ll be going out for 10 days at a time, but that’s ok because the boat he’s going on is new and has a shower and everything. He continues to tell her about the boats and that the last one he was on didn’t even have a bathroom, you had to do your business in a bucket then toss it overboard. Jane laughs and inquires whether there are many women on these boats. Jim quickly shakes his head and firmly states that women don’t belong on boats, they’re bad luck to the fishermen. Jane laughs again outwardly but on the inside she begins to rage.
If you think this sounds like a story that came from a century ago, I wouldn’t blame you. Unfortunately it was a conversation I overheard a couple days ago.
Equality has a long, long way to go yet.