Saturday, July 23, 2011

Before and After…

The field of nursing is a probably one of the most "gendered" careers out there. While historically, prior to the 1800s,  male nurses were the norm, but with the advent of modern warfare, the role of nurses shifted to a profession of women. A number of reason factored into this--economics, redefinition of appropriateness of tasks, and the a division of labor occurring. Doctors and nurses weren't clearly defined, the nurse was once the apprentice to the physician, the physician was almost always a man, thus male nurses. When apprenticeships went away and people trained to just be surgeons and doctors, a need for nurses developed and the poor took that place. The poor at the time were women. And since that shift, it has been practically defined as a women-only career. The establishment of gender bias in careers is complex. But at least it isn't as grossly sexist as what is probably the absolute, most gendered profession in the world, the Hooters wait staff.

In any case, a couple of weeks ago, as part of my nursing school program, we learned how to perform nursing assessments on young children. Working with pediatric cases is probably one of the most difficult tasks a person can do. And to placate them, we provided these tots with pictures they could color. Pictures of nurses.

Here is one...

Being a future male nurse, I was a little miffed to find every representation of my future career to be a stereotypical image of a woman wearing the pill-box hat and uniform. How unfortunate! I needed to make some type of change to let these kids know that this is not was a real nurse is. 

So, I made some subtle changes to their pictures.

See the difference?
We go from stereotypical female nurse to stereotypical, Italian male nurse. Or perhaps he's French. The mustache is vaguely ethnic.

And who says they have to be human? This male nurse is obviously a cross-dressing Dinosaur. And if you say anything different, he will kill you. Either with a morphine overdose or by biting your head off. He is a T-Rex you know.

And who says these male nurses have to be classy? This male nurse has a mullet. 
So there.

These are the male nurses of the future. Male nurses with mustaches. Breaking the gender glass ceiling by throwing rocks and other objects.
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