“ Greg’s in medicine too.”

“What field?”


“Ha ha ha ha. No, really, what field are you in?”


The dialogue above comes from a popular movie that came out in the early 2000s starring actors Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro called “Meet the Parents”. However, the one aspect about the movie that really bothers me is that the main male character is constantly criticised for being a male nurse.

I believe that today men and women should not still feel like there are stereotypes and gender roles in occupations. Here at Keene State College we challenge them everyday. Keene State has a nursing program and, although dominated by females, it does have a male presence. Just like Keene State’s occupational safety program which is largely made up of male students, it does also have some incredible young women in the program.

Job after job – it doesn’t matter where you apply – I guarantee you will have to sign documents that outline that company’s discrimination and harassment policies. Yet young men and women are still subject to these because they are pursuing a career outside their gender norms.

For example, KSC senior Ellen DeCotis is an occupational safety major and said that being a woman in her field is not common and can at times be intimidating.

However, while working at an internship over the summer DeCotis said she was able to focus in on her career goal and make sure her voice would be heard.

“Both of the directors and safety specialists I worked for were women and although I worked closely with the male supervisor it was kind of cool to see that there are companies with all females,” DeCotis said.

She continued, “They helped me a lot and gave me more confidence.”

George Amaru/ Art director

George Amaru/ Art director

DeCotis said that during her internship she learned she wanted to work in a team oriented setting. In the meantime DeCotis said that the classes at KSC have taught her to use her voice and be heard, but said she believes that gender roles still exist in all careers.

“I think a lot of people view safety [major] as just construction and hard hats but there’s so many more aspects of it that women do just as good if not better than men,” DeCotis said.KSC sophomore and nursing major Peter LaRiviere said the older generations still give him a hard time for his career choice despite others being supportive.

“My grandparents were in and out of the hospital pretty much my whole life and while visiting them I got to see how the nurses and doctors took care of them which made me want to do it. They made my grandparents feel safe and comfortable and I want to do that same thing for other people,” LaRiviere said.

LaRiviere said he wants to work in the emergency room because of the high-pace activity level. However when it comes to working around mostly females LaRiviere said he’s used to it.

“In high school I just happened to take a lot of classes with girls. Along with the way my mother raised me, plus I have a lot of girl cousins. So I’ve just kind of always been surrounded by them, the interaction really isn’t different for me,” LaRiviere said.

Even though the dynamic between classmates has not been tainted, LaRiviere said he does sometimes feel like teachers go easy on him.“I feel like some professors have been nicer to me since I’ve been the only guy and I don’t know how I feel about that since I want to be treated the same way,” LaRiviere said.

He continued, “My mom also just finished nursing school and said she saw the men in her class get treated the same way.”

No matter what job you plan to pursue your gender should not matter as to how your intelligence or competence in that field is perceived. Men and women should not have to feel intimidated or embarrassed when applying for jobs or discussing their dreams.

Kendall Pope can be contacted at kpope@kscequinox.com

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