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Elizabeth McNamara Trans-generational Conversations with Activists in Keene, NH Chris H. Hard This interview with Chris H.

was part of the oral narrative process for our Womens and Gender Studies capstone class. This dialog with Chris is one that focused on the aspect of intergeneration conversations. An intergenerational conversation is an oral dialog that occurs between individuals that are born in different generations, thus creating a unique dialog with a plethora of different points of view and outlooks on life. This was important to us as a Womens and Gender Studies class because it is vital for us as a society to converse with people who are older and younger than us to gain different perspectives about the world around us. This particular story was great to us because the gender connotations Chris observed and brought to our class. It is called: A Pink Hard Hat for Safety at Work- El casco rosa para seguridad en el trabajo. Interview with Chris: Well, I am a retired carpenter from the McMillon Company in town here and actually when I was working I did some work on this building, when this building was being built. Not very much of it, but I did do a few days here. One of the things that was always an issue with our company was safety, and the requirement on all the job sites was that everybody have a hard hat. So, the subcontractors were often not as careful about having their safety equipment and some of the job sites the superintendent would supply himself with pink hard hats, and if

somebody showed up without a hard hat he had the option to send them home and say you cant work here without that but he found it, on a number of occasions that it is more effective to have a pink hard hat and say okay, you do not have a hard hat so you wear the one that we provide you. Usually, the gender stigma of wearing pink for a man on a construction site was enough to get them to remember their hard hat the next day. But it was an interesting thing for me to observe that and I brought it to the Womens and Gender Studies class that I took last term, because it sort of rang a bell about how significant the stereotype were in putting pressure on supposedly adult, independent, free thinking people that just to say you have to wear a pink hard hat to work here and I know you are going to be embarrassed to do to that, would be an effective way to motivate somebody. You could maybe say you know you might get killed if something falls on your head, you should always wear your hard hat and you would think that an intelligent human adult would understand that and would provide himself with the safety equipment that he is supposed to have, but in a lot of cases we all have phases in our lives that we think we are invincible and nothing is going to happen to us. We do things that are maybe dangerous and self disruptive and potentially dangerous. Including, not provide ourselves with the safety equipment that we are supposed to have. So, this was just an interesting revelation to me to think about this practice where I used to work in connection with the Womens and Gender Studies class and how strong the social construction of those stereotypes was to be that effective with somebody. Also, I wore my pink shirt for the show and tell for the same reason. It was just so interesting how deeply engrained in our thinking all of that that color association with gender is and we see babies in a newborn nursery and we know which are the boys and which are the girls because they have a pink hat or a blue hat or a pink blanket or a blue blanket. It starts so early. But, the other part of it that was

revealing was how much of a negative association is given to men to be associated with the pink color; the gender associated pink color. I was always wearing my own yellow hard hat, so I never had to wear the pink one. Although maybe I should have asked for one just to be rebellious about it. (*The historical Chris Pink Hard Hat was donated from Chris to our teacher Patricia Pedroza)