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I never thought about the considerable decline in men working in health care and education. “I didn't know that men could be doctors,” Throughout my life, every single one of my doctors has been a female doctor. As a matter of fact, I have never had a male doctor, so I never gave it much thought. “In early education, men are virtually invisible. It ought to be a source of national shame that only 3% of pre-K and kindergarten teachers are men.” The only male teacher I had was in 9th grade and he was the only one out of all my teachers to be male. In the U.S. military, there are more women piloting planes than there are male kindergarten teachers. In the 1980s 33% were male teachers and this went down to 24%. Generally speaking, females are more nurturing than males based on the serotype of being a woman. It has always seemed to me that this makes sense, however, I realized that men used to dominate both fields in the past.

Victor Watson

In this article by Richard V. Reeves, he discusses why men need to be recruited in positions that mainly are viewed as female jobs such as teachers, nurses and care workers. Women earn 20% less than men and men are less likely to take jobs that are seen as “women's work”. There are stereotypes which people view men differently if they perform so-called female job. The other side could be argued as females that could enter the workforce in male dominated jobs. As a child I do not remember any male nurses or even in my pediatrician office there were 3 female doctors and 1 male doctor. In elementary school there were no male teachers except the gym teacher. One of my career choices that I am investigating is being an X-ray technician. This is looked at as a female job. I feel whether male or female it still takes the same amount of time and brain power to be successful. In this example the strength of a male could be an advantage when it comes to lifting or helping moving patients. This in my eyes is not feminine. Teachers have the same classification as when you think of a teacher, you think of a female. It still takes the same amount of time and brain power to be successful as a male teacher. Sometimes students relate better to men than women or vice versa. If a child comes to school fatherless or needs a male image in this case he/she would most likely prefer a male over a female. At the very least it should be an option.


After reading this essay, I never took into consideration how much women are taking over the jobs of men but the men aren't doing the same. As I look back on my childhood years, I tend to realize that I hardly encountered any males in the fields that were stereotypically dominated by women, such as education. Although, I do strongly believe that men should be in the world of these so call "women-dominated jobs" because even though I didn't encounter many male teachers growing up, one of my favorite teachers was in fact a male. He was my second-grade teacher, and the first male teacher I had encountered, he will always be my favorite teacher because he brought new ideas to education that no other female teacher at the time had exposed us students to. By having males go into these women-dominated fields, it opens a new perspective to what the men have to offer and it can often better the field and grow it as a whole. Overall I do agree with the concept, that more males should be obtaining jobs such as teachers and nurses because it not only helps eliminate the barrier between what men and women can do as their job occupation but also brings new and fresh ideas to these jobs that have dominated by the same people for years.

L.M. Fusco

In a hyper-feminist world, Reeves article that recommends the inclusion of men is refreshing, and a great start to allow men to be part of the solution in our communities. I couldn’t agree more with Reeves. He touches on a controversial topic about men being nurturers in a world that historically would deem that behavior as weak. The mental health community needs caring professionals who will commit themselves to the healing of their communities. Men are healers! Just as woman can be. I have worked with many men in the mental health field, and they are discouraged from expressing their emotions. It is no wonder that they are also absent from positions where they could be demonized for having an interest in what is now called “a woman’s field”. Men as just as capable to undertake a position in the mental health community as a women, or non-binary person. This idea that men are not good enough could be viewed as a damaging, and fanatical aspect of society that excludes men from mattering. Reeves’ is a shining voice for the community at large to consider, and re-consider the perspective, and narratives that men are not good enough. That idea is just as damaging as when that narrative was pushed during the Women’s Suffrage movement. It holds no substance, and frankly is also outdated. Society benefits when we encourage, and include others in the areas of our communities that deserve the intelligence, logic, and understanding men are capable of providing, especially in the mental health world where care is needed now more than ever. We still have yet to see the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As those effects continue to reveal themselves, we need people on the frontlines alongside female mental health providers. We cannot do this all on our own.

Jasmarie J, Courtnie P.

The blog Richard V. Reeves "They Say" is started off with a quote made by Gloria Steinem that states “The way we get divided into our false notions of masculine and feminine is what we see as children.” This is a good approach to the "They Say", but the way the authors introduced this quote from Steinem was ineffective. Instead, Reeves could have introduced his "They Say" as more of a debate for readers to infer what Reeves is stating from what others are saying. To reword Reeves original "They Say" statement he should start off by saying:
In discussions of Gloria Steinem, one controversial issue has been the separation of masculinity from femininity. Others even maintain that gender stereotypes have decreased. My own view is there is slow progress but stereotypes are increasingly changing the numbers for occupations to genders.

Female occupations which Reeves refers to as HEALS include healthcare, education, administration, and literacy. Reeves believes that males should enter these fields more often because the blue-collar is disappearing and not enough men are entering HEAL fields, there are more people leaving these fields than entering, so more men can be available to help other men. Not enough men being in the HEAL fields are most important in creating an uncomfortable environment for other men who may not have the option of a male nurse, for example.

Alicia Bertolero

In Reeves' article, he defines traditional male occupations as those in science, medicine, engineering, law, and the military. These sectors require either extensive education or physical strength. I found the 1966 statistic for female law students (4%) particularly interesting as I am a female who intends to become a law student within the next two years. When I travel to Spokane County for work, I notice predominantly male attorneys in the courthouse. I also work for a male attorney. In contrast, I observed a noticeable difference when I was working in California a year and a half ago in that the gender gap was not as obvious as it is in Spokane and North Idaho.
I looked up the gender wage gap for both Idaho and California. I wasn’t incredibly surprised that the gender gap was less than $10,000 in California, but the gap grew to between $10,000 and $12,499 in Idaho. While I do not have enough information to draw a solid conclusion, I have a theory that, at least in part, the gender wage gap is fueled by the culture within the region. California, for example, trends as more liberal and more accepting or supportive of women in the workplace. Idaho, at least the Coeur d’Alene area where I am living, seems to trend more conservative. Even in the relatively conservative Spokane County court system, there is a trend to favor mothers as primary caregivers according to the traditional tender years doctrine.
Many of the families I have encountered in my neighborhood have mothers who manage the household exclusively, with husbands who work outside the home as exclusive breadwinners. Many children are homeschooled. It seems, then, that when there is a strong presence of women in the workplace who are supported by the culture, the gender gap begins to close. In a more conservative area where it’s expected that most women will be exclusively family and household managers, the gender wage gap increases. Perhaps this is because the cultural shift from one household breadwinner to two household earners isn’t just a simple transition. There must also be a shift in the job market to support this, and oftentimes, it’s the undereducated women who will fill those jobs, at least initially. I believe this may be a large contributor to building the precedence for HEAL jobs to be seen as traditionally “female”.
Aside from the necessary shift in the job market to begin supporting two-earner households, I believe there are other reasons why fewer men are entering the HEAL fields. May I be so bold as to bring religious culture into the discussion? Many religious communities defer the caregiving responsibilities to their female members. Meanwhile, men are expected to suppress all displays of emotion or anything appearing effeminate that would tarnish their image of being strong leaders for fear of not being respected in their communities. This means taking a job in the HEAL sector would be discouraged. The weight of providing for their families also lays on these men's shoulders, so men in this culture are drawn away from the lower-paid HEAL sector jobs and instead turn to the higher-paying positions. Nurturing is seen as a female attribute, and the idea of a nurturing male is foreign. I personally left a church culture that frowned upon women in the workforce, sending children to public schools, and men who displayed strong nurturing attributes. The shame placed on men in the religious culture for pursuing traditionally female jobs is a heavy motivator to overlook those jobs.

Alicia Bertolero

L.M. Fusco outlines one of the most prominent reasons why there are so many male vacancies in the HEAL sector jobs, and that is that men who pursue jobs viewed as nurturing might appear somehow weak. I agree with Fusco that men can be wonderful nurturers. In fact, I find it interesting that as I’m reading the other comments posted here, I see that many have said that they have never had male nurses, doctors, or therapists growing up. In fact, Reeves mentions therapists specifically, stating that men would be an asset in the mental health community, especially for male clients who would be more than hesitant to disclose something as sensitive as a pornography addiction to a female therapist. Moving out of a more progressive state, I did not experience this dynamic of female-dominated healthcare, and I never gave it a second thought that jobs in the medical and mental health sectors were somehow “female.” My primary care doctors were male, my children’s pediatrician was male, and my son’s therapist was also male. Moving to North Idaho, my OB/GYN doctor is male. I have had more exposure to male doctors and therapists than females in these professions. Fusco points out that it is damaging to exclude males in these professions simply because they are not seen as qualified to nurture, and I agree from personal experience with our family’s male providers. My second husband is also an incredible nurturer, and perhaps even more than I am. I believe our society benefits when both genders excel in their personal gifts instead of being constrained to what’s in the “traditional” box.

Jeremiah Williams

I think that we do need more men and women to work with children and to work in hospitals because there are a lot of people that need help and if there are people that need help recruiting they can ask the people who they are working with different ways to improve there recruiting technics.


The subliminal messages that society frequently sends, categorizing people into two binary groups and implying that gender has a limited range of experiences, including in the workplace, have really opened my eyes. Gloria Steinem stated in 1995, "The way we get divided into our false notions of masculine and feminine is what we see as children." This is extremely impactful for us as children because it can become the foundation of many of our beliefs regarding similar topics, such as gender identity and gender expression. Many people are compelled to conform in order to avoid exclusion, despite the limitations society has placed on the subject. Many of the gender stereotypes associated with several traditionally male professions have been shattered in recent decades. This, of course, is only the beginning, as terms like "female doctor" and "female police officer" sound outdated.

Olivia Smith

In Reeve’s article, it first started out saying that women are in healthcare jobs more than men are. The stigma that only women can be healthcare providers such as nurses and doctors has started to become more noticeable. He gives a story about his child saying he thought only women could be doctors. The reason men do not go into these professions is because we are see when we are little what men and women should go into. He gives and explanation that women have gone into man dominate fields, but men have not gone into women dominate fields. In the healthcare world, the nurturing job is seen as weak or soft. Men do not want to be seen as someone who nurtures because they do not want to be seen as soft. In my opinion, nobody should be judged based off of the career they choose. We need more men in healthcare and schools because other men and boys can relate to them when they need it. At the very least, they should be able to have the option to having a male therapist. I would want a woman therapist because I would be able relate and open up to her more. Everyone should have the option to do what they want in this world. We need to break the stigma.

Maria Sampson

In Reeve's article, it talks about how woman are in health care and education jobs more than men are. When we are little, the jobs we see men and woman doing are what we eventually think is normal. When I was little, I didn't think women could be firefighters, and I didn't think men could be nurses. This is because I never saw any female firefighters or male nurses when I was little. However now, more women are going into "men jobs" such as STEM jobs but, men are not going into "women jobs," such as healthcare and teaching. Men do not want to be seen as weak or too caring which is why they typically don't go into the female dominated careers. This stigma is something that our society has struggled with for ages, and in recent years more men are falling out of female dominate jobs than in past years. Personally, I think this is because of social media and the effect it has on so many people to act a certain way and be a certain way based on your gender.

Kate Dobson

It’s such a shame men are not in much female dominated professions. Females have been dismantling gender stereotypes for decades. Men can do the same if they tried. It is important to teach kids from a very early age that you can work in whatever profession you want. Low rates of men working in females dominated jobs would be gone if we taught males from a young age that gender stereotypes are not relevant. As Gloria Steinem said “The way we get divided into false notions of masculine and feminine is what we see as children.” That statement is very true. As young kids, their brains are much a like a sponge and take everything in. They learn from what they see. Let’s face the fact that blue collar jobs are disappearing and that we need males in the education system, healthcare, and etc. Men account for 24% of K-12 teachers and that percentage is much lower from the early 1980’s. One in ten elementary teachers are male. To get more males into female dominated professions we need to have a major culture change, so men can work “women’s jobs.” Woman have had to smash the gender stereotypes for a long time to enter male dominated jobs. Men will have to do the same to enter women’s jobs.

Mackenzie S

I think HEAL jobs are traditionally seen as more of a female profession because historically thats what they were. Jobs in healthcare like nursing and jobs in education like teaching were at times all women were allowed and able to do. The men were doing the big jobs, they women had to do the jobs the men didn't want. Now in days as Reeves stated there are ways in which we have made jobs more fair, through scholarships and opportunities women have gotten a more fair playing field when it come to professions then they have had in the past. However that does not mean the past will not remain. Men still hold the jobs they held throughout history and so do women. So yes healthcare and education is predominately women because it has almost always been that way. Education and healthcare overlap in many ways, they are both looking after people, both teaching people things, nothing using what they've learned for the betterment of others, and they do it for the betterment of society. They are selfless jobs. I agree with Reeves though, we do need more men in these fields. We need men for boys to look up to and see themselves in. Using tactics we used to equal the playing field for women is a great idea for this case, because its basically the same scenario.


I think that more men should be nurses and even though it is considered a "female job" with everything that has happened in the past 3 years with COVID and everything. There is a shortage on nurses. I think that men becoming nurses, doctors, CNA's, etc. will help inspire more and more guys to take interest in the healthcare profession. I also think that it will even out the field of it being just a "female job" and that it would be a more 50/50 job. In the article it says "Just 26% of HEAL jobs are held by men, which is down from 35% in 1980". So what this is saying is that men in the healthcare profession has gone down tremendously since 1980 and what they are trying to do is get that percentage back up. They want to help break "societal norms"

Madison M.

Growing up, I had the idea that girls could not be police officers or firefighters, and that boys could not be nurses or teachers. Having those role models in young people's lives are very important to show that you can have any job you want. Men tend to not go into jobs such as nursing or teaching because they do not want to seem too caring or weak. Society has dealt with this problems for many years, and it is a stigma that needs to be exposed. Men have been avoiding going into female dominated fields in recent years. I think that to fix this major issue, we need to expose children to they types of jobs they can pursue at an early age. Hospitals, schools, and other institutions need to aggressively recruit men in their programs.

Natalie Peters

Wow this essay really opened my eyes, and made me look back on my childhood. I noticed that as a kid, at my pediatrics my doctors were mostly women, there were only a few men there, but not many. In my grade school, and high school I have taken noticed that there are more women who are teachers, even the substitute teachers are mostly women. This article is about how there are less men in what we call a “woman’s workplace”. We have more women that are going into a so called “man’s workplace”. In the article he talks about how we all get caught up, divided into these false notions of masculine, and feminine. As children we are shown the professions for men and women, but anyone can do these jobs it doesn’t matter what your gender is. Hopefully this article shows people that are gender doesn’t go with our jobs, we can do any job, it shouldn’t be based on our gender.

Aubrey Hester

In Reeve’s article, it begins with a story that emphasizes the thought process of the way gender is seen through jobs. Reading about how often young children view nurses and jobs in the healthcare field as women and teachers in the education field as women as well, made me think back to when I was in grade school and I questioned quite often why there were so many female teachers instead of male teachers. As I grew up, I understood that there actually are quite a few male teachers and it will only continue to develop over time. Different jobs are viewed as primarily a job that either women or men work as. Construction and yard work are examples of fields of work that mostly men are seen to be working in, and education and healthcare are two that mostly women are seen to be the primary workers. I find it interesting how at such a young age, children develop the sense of understanding how gender plays a role in the workplaces.

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