Sexism and Homophobia in Arborculture/TreeLife?

metaspencer

New member
Location
Urbana, IL
In light of a recent thread on these forums about a female tree worker in an Echo ad, I'm wondering how others experience arborculture/treelife in general in light of sexism and homophobia?

My tree business is a solo operation, so my in person contact with others in the field is limited, but online on various sites like this one I get the sense that there is a powerful undercurrent of masculinist sexism, homophobia, and heteronormativity in the field. Other perspectives?
 

flushcut

Branched out member
Location
Delavan, WI
I have a simple rule: don't be an asshole and we can get along. I could care less what your sexual preferences are or what you identify as, makes no difference to me what so ever.
That Echo thread turned into a shit show. BTW good for her she seems to have it going on.
Heteronormativity? I don't even know what that means. Nor do I care.
 

Fivepoints

Branched out member
I have a simple rule: don't be an asshole and we can get along. I could care less what your sexual preferences are or what you identify as, makes no difference to me what so ever.
That Echo thread turned into a shit show. BTW good for her she seems to have it going on.
Heteronormativity? I don't even know what that means. Nor do I care.
This. I personally couldnt care less if you are purple and like screwing Smurfs. Also, no matter your preferences all your co workers don't need to know your bedroom experience details.
 

Njdelaney

Branched out member
Location
Detroit
Heteronormativity is a fancy word for an easy to understand concept. It is the belief that being heterosexual is the default, normal, or correct way to be, and that any other kind of sexual expression or orientation is the "other", and things like marriage and parenting are only meant for straight people. It's a garbage idea that is dying a slow and ugly death in this country. I'm really glad to see this addressed in a topic directly, rather than as a consequence of another topic. It is certainly a subject worthy of it's own place. This is a clear sign to me that the Buzz is a healthy and tolerant community for the most part.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
Arborculture is a slice or layer of society. World wide or United States, no difference. The sociology is the same no matter what piece is examined.

There is acceptance or rejection of anything that isn't any different than the society at large.

Look at the political mixups that have gone on in some of the Off Topic threads....whew!
 

Serf Life

Carpal tunnel level member
Location
Maine Island
I’ve encountered more homophobia and racism than sexism in the trades. All of it just talk, mostly by folks who would be perfectly pleasant to an individual, one was a part time pastor(said some damn racist stuff), and this is Maine. Grew up in a fishing town where the worker baiting lobster traps etc (sternman) was still occasionally called n-wording, anything stupid was “gay,” and during the Afgan and Iraq wars many phrases I’d prefer to forget. I don’t think this profession has more of it than other trades around here, thankfully talk like that is lessening but still prevalent.
 

flushcut

Branched out member
Location
Delavan, WI
There is an Echo commercial that one guy wanted to know who a female climber is. And a bunch of others started bagging on the OP as a stalker and some other off color comments.
 

Jonny

Been here a while
Location
Buffalo
There’s already too much hate and not enough love in every day life. Damned if I’ll be adding to it or teaching my children to add to it.

If two people love each other then that’s beautiful enough. Life is too short to pretend otherwise.

Sidenote, Buffalo puts on a CRAZY party/ rally/ parade for Pride week (or Pride Month now). It’s a trip, and I feel like folks are doing themselves a disservice and denying themselves a really good time if they want to not participate. But that’s ok too... Protesting it in the name of hate looks fuckin miserable though. Have a drink, buy a T-shirt, and live a little. Wait til the sun goes down, follow the sounds of EDM and maybe live a lot!
 
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rico

Been here a while
Location
redwoods
I have been in this game a long time and have never worked with a female arborist...That was until I began training a young female climber a couple months ago... Simply put, I have never enjoyed working with an aspiring climber more than this young woman. They should all be this gifted, attentive, and hardworking..

IMG_2831.JPG
 
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Birdyman88

Branched out member
Location
Arlington
As for the sexism, my wife gets lots of comments about her gender when she works ground. Most of it good. But I've also been told by a stump guy she doesn't need to be lifting some of those logs - like 40 pounders. As soon as I find another good stumper, he's gonna be history. I've had another guy tell me he can use me but not her on jobs. He also likes to throw the n-word about pretty openly. I bumped up the climbing rate on him $10/hr, and he pays it, so he's paying for half of her pay while she stays home. She is an awesome groundie in almost every respect.

The worst sexism I ever saw though was while raising a girl golfer. That is the honest truth.
 

colb

Been here a while
Location
Florida
I appreciate getting to know the uniqueness of people. If they want to make a non-heteronormative joke in decent taste that reflects their orientation, I appreciate them coming out of the wood work to do so in a world that too often bites them in the ass for not being heteronormative.

The big thing for me is making sure I listen closely to more people rather than steamrolling them or passing over them. And, I generally choose to believe what people say if the consequences are fairly mild. Usually, the consequences are mild. Conversations about nonheteronormativity do not generally claim your dog's life nor suck your soul out through your... whatever.

I notice widespread difficulties in our field in acceptance of just about everything that deviates from the white male patriarchy structure.

I hope that over the shortest time, more of us will seek inclusion of others, seek equality and fairness, and do what we can to repair the effects of what was done to so many people in the past the past.

Lastly, I'll note that sometimes the white male patriarchy is responsible for this inverted quid pro quo where judges (usually white, male, and executing laws made by a white male legislature that seems elected in large part by the pressure exerted by the white male patriarchy...) order unequal time for children and their parents, basing it on whether the parent is female or not. Alongside procuring equal pay for women and ending race-based hate crimes, I want to see equal rights for (often white) male parents and their children.
 

evo

Been here a while
Location
My Island, WA
In light of a recent thread on these forums about a female tree worker in an Echo ad, I'm wondering how others experience arborculture/treelife in general in light of sexism and homophobia?

My tree business is a solo operation, so my in person contact with others in the field is limited, but online on various sites like this one I get the sense that there is a powerful undercurrent of masculinist sexism, homophobia, and heteronormativity in the field. Other perspectives?
I don’t get out much, and more so cross industry to make a current comparison to other industries. But it does seem to have improved (at least in the pnw). However it’s very far from where it should be.
 

Birdyman88

Branched out member
Location
Arlington
That was until I began training a young female climber a couple months ago
Man, the best times of my life were hanging out with my daughter watching her become an accomplished golfer. The girls are so much fun to watch. Once you see their spirit and spunk, you'll never want to watch the guys again. Suppose same is true in climbing and everything else.
 

Stumpsprouts

Branched out member
Location
Asheville
I have been in this game a long time and have never work with a female arborist...That was until I began training a young female climber a couple months ago... Simply put, I have never enjoyed working with an aspiring climber more than this young woman. They should all be this gifted, attentive, and hardworking..
Rico, thank you. I recall just a few months ago in a thread you had mentioned you hadn’t worked with a female climber before, at the time I was going to say something to the effect of, ‘well that’s your loss,’ and look at this.



The recent contributions to the discussions have given me more optimism about this community. I’m glad I took a few days away but I am glad to circle back and join up again. Still not sure how to address the dark hole that is the ‘echo thread’

Thanks for making this thread. The basic truth is that this continues to be a male dominated industry in a country that maintains a male dominated power structure in most circles and industries, and honestly from what I have observed there are better work environments in tree care than other industries such as construction. Maybe it’s bc we have to rely on each other for our safety, it cuts through the BS and you are forced to see someone for their actions and ideas rather than their race/gender/etc.

I have seen women more qualified than me be called girl, asked stupid questions, assumed inadequate, always by the clients, never coworkers or owners of a business. And I’ve had the pleasure of working almost always with at least one female. I’ve worked with a CA who transitioned from male to female and experienced a huge change in how people treated her ideas- that is, with more skepticism, less respect and attention.

Also I am just another male bodied individual trying to give some perspective on what being a female is in this industry, which is a problem in and of itself! The lack of female voices on here is something to reflect upon...

I have much more to say but my groundie is getting restless and we’ve run out of coffee so it’s time to jump up this walnut...
 

moss

Been here a while
I’ve encountered more homophobia and racism than sexism in the trades. All of it just talk, mostly by folks who would be perfectly pleasant to an individual, one was a part time pastor(said some damn racist stuff), and this is Maine. Grew up in a fishing town where the worker baiting lobster traps etc (sternman) was still occasionally called n-wording, anything stupid was “gay,” and during the Afgan and Iraq wars many phrases I’d prefer to forget. I don’t think this profession has more of it than other trades around here, thankfully talk like that is lessening but still prevalent.

A long time ago I was looking at some "yard junk" for sale in Owl's Head, ME, my father-in-law who spent a lifetime on the water, offshore on trawlers etc. was with me. He pointed out a large sheave on a curved steel pipe/piece and with great reservation told me what it's called. Used to redirect a winch line to pull lobster traps. The name of it is a reference to hanging black men by the neck. It is yet another casually and mostly unconsciously used term that carries so much difficult history.

Great thread, agree that it's a problem in general, not specific to tree work. Doesn't mean that tree workers can't smarten up about it and take the lead in our work environment and in public forums wiping out the B.S. around sexism and racism.
-AJ
 

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