Powerful Portraits of Women Who Do “Men’s Work” Are Challenging Gender Roles

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Mindy Gabriel, Firefighter (Upper Arlington, Ohio)

In his powerful series, Women's Work, photographer Chris Crisman explores and challenges the age-old idea of gender-based jobs. To promote gender equality and support feminism, he captures portraits of strong females who prove that all work can be “women's work.”

The inspiring photographs feature women posing in their places of work, including a fishing boat, a mine, and a woodworking studio. Each subject is dressed in what she'd wear on a typical day, from helmets and other protective gear to overalls and t-shirts. Additionally, the female figures are shown working with tools traditionally thought to be appropriate only for men. These implements include axes, shovels, mallets, and even heavy machinery.

Crisman was inspired to start the series in 2016. After learning that one of his friends knew a female butcher—and realizing that he had never met a woman with this profession—he decided to meet and photograph her. Pleased with the experience and outcome, he began documenting other inspiring women with male-dominated jobs. Furthermore, as a father to a young son and daughter, Crisman wanted to find a way to show them that “their dreams have no limits and that they have parents supporting them to dive into anything they feel passionate about.”

Fortunately for us, Crisman fully intends to continue the series, which he views as an ongoing piece of art. “There are so many people that we would still love to include in the project, but we’ll get there,” Crisman told APE. “I believe that Women’s Work is the type of project where the purpose does not have an expiration date.”

In his Women's Work series, Chris Crisman challenges gender roles by capturing captivating photographs of women doing “men's work.”

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Sadie Samuels, Lobster Fisher (Rockport, ME)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Leeann Johnson, Haul Truck Driver (Round Mountain Gold Mine, NV)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Carla Hall, Metalworker (NY)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Christina Burris, Brewer and Operations Manager (Philadelphia, PA)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Mira Nakashima, Designer and Woodworker (New Hope, PA)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Heather Marold Thomason, Butcher (Philadelphia, PA)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Judy Bowman, Process Operator (Round Mountain Gold Mine, NV)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Beth Beverly, Taxidermist (Philadelphia, PA)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Jordan Ainsworth, Mill Operator (Round Mountain Gold Mine, NV)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Kris Alvarez, Senior Geologist (Round Mountain Gold Mine, NV)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Nancy Poli, Pig Farmer (Saylorsburg, PA)

Feminism Portraits Gender Roles Gender Equality Photography Women's Work Photo Series Chris Crisman

Carol Warn, Leach Pad Operator (Valmy, NV)

Chris Crisman: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
h/t: [Bored Panda, APE]

All images via Chris Crisman.

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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