When I was entering junior high school, I had a choice: Home Ec or Shop (which included welding). I chose Shop.
My guidance counselor, however, chose otherwise. “All the girls take Home Ec,” he said.
So like most young girls of the 70s I learned to sew a wrap-around skirt and make jello salad. Two skills I have never had the need for nor were they a pathway to a good career.
If I knew then what I know now, that Title IX means schools have to offer the same opportunities to boys and girls, and that learning to use power tools could have led to a decent career, I might have stood up for myself. I would have told that gruff old geezer of a counselor to stuff it.
What I know now is that it doesn’t have to be a choice. Brittany Kerr may have preferred welding rods to Barbies, but that’s not always the case. We’ve featured many women for the New Rosies column who like girly things, and like welding too.
Whatever your preference, check out this article, “Barbies? No! But Welding Rods? Yes! by Crystal Dey:
HIBBING — While other girls were playing with Barbies, Brittany Kerr was sparking welding rods. She dreamed of working in Minnesota’s iron ore mines when she grew up.
“I wanted to be a welder in the mines since I was really young,” Kerr said.
She remembers learning to weld in her father’s garage at an early age. Brittany’s dad, C.J. Kerr, a welder/fabricator, and her uncle, Jim Aimonetti, also a welder, were major influences in her decision to pursue trades.
“I didn’t hang out with a lot of girls in high school or do typical girly things,” Kerr said. “I always wanted to just be in the trades or the industrial field.”
After high school, Kerr pursued her dream and enrolled in the Industrial Systems Technology (IST) program at Hibbing Community College (HCC). Although, the future she once envisioned as a little girl changed. Continue reading at the Hibbing Daily Tribune–>
For the record, I love Barbie® and over the years she has really expanded her role. She has been everything from aerobics instructor to paleontologist, has served as a Canadian Mountie, police officer, fire fighter, teacher, and lifeguard, drove for NASCAR, has been a chef and a computer engineer, served in all four branches of the military, and as ambassador for world peace (and much more). Sadly, though pictured above with a welding helmet, Barbie® has never been a welder.