Alaska’s Female Fishermen (Yes, That’s Really a Thing) On Gender Labels, Finding Zen and Weathering Life’s Storms 

There’s a hashtag going around twitter to #DressLikeAWoman. It’s pretty much an invitation to challenge the ideas of how women dress, and how what they wear does or does not define them in life. To that end, I spoke with two Alaskan female fishermen (yes, that’s the correct terminology!) to find out about the challenges of being a woman in an almost exclusively male-run industry. Why Fisherman and not Fisherwoman? When I asked why they prefer the term “fishermen” and not “fisherwoman,” Marsh said, “You earn respect as a male or female fisher, so the gender labels are not necessary. You work hard to be one of the crew and respected, not one of “the guys”—there’s a big difference.” Becker weighed in by saying, “My sense is that both men and women who fish have to prove themselves. It’s not an easy or forgiving industry, because mistakes can be dangerous, if not deadly. To rename the category “fisherwoman” or “fisher” could take away from that elite status that we’ve worked just as hard to attain (and sometimes, harder, as with most occupations in the world).” Read the story here 13:39