The macho fireman image is still a hot topic
When it comes to macho jobs, there are some that immediately stand out. Sadly, although not entirely surprisingly, being a journalist wouldn’t be included on the list.
But most of us would look at firemen as a pretty tough bunch.
Let’s face it, if you’re going to rescue people from burning buildings, and put your life on the line to save strangers, then it’s no surprise that the job is considered to be heavily laden with the ould machismo.
But this has to stop! We can’t have people thinking firemen — sorry, firefighters — are big and tough and strong.
No, apparently we want the modern fire crews to be an open and tolerant pace, welcoming to young women.
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton is sick of the way firemen are portrayed and she has been quick to condemn Love Island for a ‘sexy fire man challenge’ (pictured above).
According to her: “When popular shows like Love Island roll out every offensive cliché possible for their so called ‘fireman challenge’, it reinforces the misconception that all firefighters are musclebound men. No wonder so many young women are put off by that.”
Frankly, I would have thought the prospect of meeting so many ‘musclebound men’ would have been an attraction for young women, but Cotton has gone on the offensive against the offensive, as it were.
But here’s the thing — when you’re stuck in a burning building, or you’re trying to rescue someone who is stuck in a burning building, you don’t have time to fret over what is apparently offensive or not. Firecrews just go in and do their job, for little money and even less thanks.
If you’re a young woman and are put off from becoming a firefighter because of a few musclebound hunks on a stupid, vapid and obnoxious dating show, then maybe you were never cut out for the job in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate that bloody programme as much as anyone else with a brain, and the show really does represent the worst aspects and most moronic, infantile elements of modern culture.
But surely taking it to task over whether young women will feel excluded from the traditional boys’ club that are fire houses is a bit of a stretch.
Frankly, watching Love Island should be an immediate red card for anyone who wants to go into any sort of grown-up job, but there are some gigs where enforced gender equality simply won’t work.
Obviously, there are some women who would be better suited to the fire service than some men. Nobody’s denying that.
But I rather doubt they’d be the kind of women to be put off their chosen career by the image of firemen as hunks.