Some guys don't believe half the crap I put up with. Here's an e-mail I received--unedited--and my response. Grrr. The grammar's terrible to boot.

I was confused by your quiz questions were you complaining?
Of course men are not going to want to do Ironwork with a women! Just like women don't like help cleaning the house.
There is men jobs and women jobs. if you need an income instead of raising your children and taking care of your ironworker become a teacher or a secretary.
If you insist on doing a mans job then don't complain when they treat you like the weaker sex because you are.
-wife of an ironworker {e-mail address removed due to her excessive harrassment. she won't take responsibility for her own comments, but expects me to shut up about mine. }

yes I was complaining. Because people ought to treat people like they are capable of what they are able to do. I am very capable at my job. I don't think I do well because I'm attractive, or because of my breast size, or because I think I ought to but because I am strong enough and bright enough to accomplish the work. This is why I participated in the 1998 International Apprentice of the year Competition in Anchorage, Alaska. Men are not necessarily used to working with women, but that doesn't mean that women cannot do the job. How else was industrial work accomplished during WWII when the majority of men were overseas? Women worked because they had to, to keep this country going, and apparantly they did well enough that men had jobs to come home to.

I don't need help doing much of anything, and I am very self sufficient. When I have time, I cook and clean and provide for myself. So do many of my co-workers. And many of them have wives that work, so they share responsibilites. Men make very good chefs--not very many women's cooking shows, are there? And many butlers are men, window washers, professors, executive secretaries etc, etc. Being a teacher or secretary to me is boring. Men do those jobs too.

Are you trying to say that the only job women have is to take the money off of hard working men? Most of my co-workers have been burned by women who think they deserve the world from them for doing next to nothing. An ironworker I've dated was divorced once because he forgot to get his ex-wife a Christmas present because he was doing overtime. Yes, there are hard working housewives, my mother is one. But she also used to have a career, and her own dreams and ambitions that were put aside. Perhaps that is why she is so bitter. And why my parents argued so much. Also, raising children has become very dangerous in this world, and I am not willing to raise a child I cannot adequately provide for or spend the necessary time to raise with love. Considering the divorce rate, and the many deatbeat dads (even some of my favorite co-workers), I am not going to trust just anyone to help and provide for me.

I am not the "weaker sex." I am my own person. If you like, I'm nearly as tall as my foreman, and outweigh him by at least 20 pounds. (Not that he's huge, anyhow.) I work out at the gym 3 times a week. I'm not into the body building, but I enjoy my job and do what it takes to do it well. I've bolted up, climbed columns, rivet busted, decked, work to blueprints, weld, and anything they give me to do. And since I do my job well, I resent that people who don't know me, like yourself, feel they have the right to criticize myself and my job choice.

I also am able to sign my own statements.

Jeanne Park
proud member of
Local 377

Oh, also: My favorite ironworker at the bar has a faster typing speed than I do. But he has a bit of a temper for that kind of work. And Ronnie cleaned and vacuumed my living room and it was one of the sweetest things a guy has done for me.