Wildfire Feminist: I Can't Keep Quiet

I have been fighting wildfires for the past 9 years. Recently, I heard a rumor that one of my direct co-workers, a fellow firefighter, does not like me because I'm feminist. I can only think of two ways (feminism failures, if you will) to see this, and they both terrify me a little.

1. He does not know what a feminist is.
2. He knows what a feminist is and does not believe that men and women should have equal rights.

I will address both of these feminism failures in future posts, but I want to make it clear that I do not care what others think of me. If my coworkers don't like me, that's fine. I don't need to be liked.  I know I do a good job. I do, however, want to work in a safe environment. I want to be respected for my work ethic, my abilities, and for simply being a human. I believe that all humans deserve respect.

Regardless of which option it is, I feel very deeply that something needs to change. Over the past 9 years I've worked in fire I have experienced discrimination, harassment, and even sexual assault. I have not learned how to speak up about it or how to change it. I know I am not alone. This website is my attempt at telling my stories, generating discussion, creating a safe space, and empowering women and men in wildland fire.

After being silent and respectful and doing as I'm told for far too many years, I've finally realized that "I can't keep quiet."


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