"...this is the most unusual story


of a most unusual girl..."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Girl Pallbearer

At my friend's father's funeral last year, there was a Girl Pallbearer. It stood out to me at first because I had never seen a girl pallbearer before. Then again, there's no reason it can't be a girl, right? I guess it's just another one of those things that we typically think falls to the men. I think it's sort of cool, actually. Have any of you seen a woman pallbearer before?


That brings me to another question. What other "jobs" do you typically see fall to a man, even though there is no reason a girl couldn't do it? (and I'm not talking about a man in the workplace, woman in the kitchen type of debate discussion...so don't go all women's lib on me here...)
Ok, so now that I've got Pallbearer on the brain, here is a phrase from a song that is now stuck in my head!!! (Bonus pts if you know the reference!)
I had a dream that I had to drive to Madison
to deliver a painting for some silly reason
I took a wrong turn and ended up in Michigan
Pallbearer road took me to a giant tire swing

24 Musings...:

Deborah said...

I'm impressed with the woman pallbearer ... my understanding is that those coffins are heavy! I'm not sure that I would trust my upper body strength to hold up my part, and the alternative would be a disaster.

I tend to think of all jobs requiring physical strength as being men's jobs (construction worker, firefighter), also jobs that are dirty (garbage collector, plumber). And the more controversial one: jobs (like engineering) that involve a lot of math and "hard" science, "hard" natural sciences like physics or chemistry as opposed to "soft" social sciences, like psychology or anthropology. That isn't because women can't do those jobs, but because women tend not to be as interested in them, and therefore the jobs are dominated by men. I grew up thinking that I was capable of doing whatever I wanted, with enough study or other hard work, but those are all jobs that I never even considered. I wasn't willing to put in the exercise to get strong enough for labor-intensive work, I wasn't willing to get dirty enough for dirt-intensive work, and I wasn't willing to study math and hard science enough for those jobs (I preferred language and soft sciences). It seems like most women are similar to me in that way--we think women can do it, whatever "it" is, but we personally don't want to, so it remains a male-dominated job. If women develop an interest in them, they should go for it, but I'll happily stay out of those fields.

Yaya said...

Don't know that song, darn.

I've seen woman pallbearers on tv, does that count?


ps your profile shows up again, yay!

Cindy said...

I don't think there is any job a woman can't do.
That being said, I think it would be hard for me to be a pallbearer, just for the strength side of it.

Debbi said...

I always find it odd to see Dad pushing the stroller. Don't know why, but apparently my head thinks the stroller-pushing-job is meant for females.

EmmaP said...

Deborah... I think you're probably right. Makes perfect sense to me. Those are the reasons I wouldn't do those jobs. And I have *no* upper body strength so I could not be a pallbearer. And Yaya...of all people...I know that you know that song! Ha! Its from your fav movie ever! Lol!

The Willeyes said...

I think a woman can do anything a man can do. Some jobs just seem odd to see them doing, the same as men :) I think it's awesome to see women as police officers, doctors, in the military...just doing whatever they want to do!

Ronnica said...

I agree with the others...I wouldn't want to be a be a pallbearer because of the strength required. Plus, if it was someone I was close enough to be a pallbearer for, I probably couldn't be (emotionally) stable enough to do it either. No one wants a bumpy ride, even if you're dead!

mrbusdr said...

I think those pallbearers are going to trip with their faces blacked out like that. I only know one female bus mechanic.

Ruthykins said...

i don't think i've ever seen a woman pallbearer. i've also never seen a woman garbage collector. women can do anything, as a group, but not every woman individually. i think that if a woman wants to be in some field that is mostly men then she should qualify for it the same way men do. like the army. no girly pushups. no shaving time off runs. if i'm in trouble and need help i'm not gonna be understanding about gender allowances. anyway, those are my thoughts.

greenolive said...

well that lady pallbearer looks like she can handle it. I also believe that a woman or a man can cross the job divide and perform tasks generally left to one sex. Even though I believe that, whenever I see somebody who's done it thoughts immediately run through my head about how odd it is. Then I remind myself, "Why not?" Some men have a nurturing nature and some women love to get their hands dirty.

Puphigirl said...

There is a female body shop worker here and I have seen a female cement truck driver. The strange thing is I have never seen a female drivers ed. teacher.
-Kyle

Puphigirl said...

Spider killing is the man's job.

After giving birth, one of my recovery nurses was a male nurse. Also, when I worked at the care facility one of our nurses was male. We generally think of male doctors and female nurses.

Deborah said...

Ruthykins-you're absolutely correct. I agree wholeheartedly!

Cassie the Sassie Lassie said...

Men mowing the lawn. They're not the only ones! I LOVE mowing the lawn, and i HATE ironing shirts... I'm terrible at it.

erasundar said...

I always think of women being able to do any job but pallbearer never crossed my mind. And I am still waiting to see a woman president.

Tulsi said...

Yea, I think of mechanics too. Even though my dad, brother and mom can rebuild an engine. I don't know where I was to have missed all of that. I was WAY more girly. Why do it if all you have to do is say "Hey, my car is................." and they fix it. I tend to forget I can mow the lawn or put gas in my car sometimes. Steve cooks way more than I do, and I'm a stay at home mom. SAD.

Susie said...

I have seen women pallbearers before but I always that it was weird. I guess the question is not what women can do but what women should do.

Kaye Butler said...

We have girl casketbearers all the time here in the south. Of course this seems natural to me since I work at the funeral home. A lot of times families choose to use the grandchildren as casketbearers which is where the girls come into play.

I hear people talk...some can't believe that women are funeral directors and embalmers...we are more compassionate, so why can't we meet with families and sell funerals? We know what looks good, so why can't we embalm? The guys around here are always asking me to come tie the scarf right, check out this necklace, makeup, hair, etc.

Anything guys can do girls can do better....nanner nanner boo boo

Kaye Butler said...

Okay, I so should have read the comments before I commented.

I move caskets all the time. They are lighter than you think. We use what is called a church truck from the building to the car. The casketbearers pick up the casket and set in the funeral coach. Then at the graveside, depending on the situation of the grave, normally, you should only have to pick up and carry a few steps and then set it on the lower device. With 4 on each side, there's hardly any grunt work. Whole lot easier than it looks. I would suggest, no heels, they sink, with a quickness in the cemeteries no matter what time of year.

Its an honor to serve.

okeydokeyifine said...

I think the "girl" pall bearer is really a guy in drag. No?

How about a boy CNA, or a girl dentist, or a girl funeral director.

Vickie said...

I was a pallbearer for my husband's grandfather. I was very honored to do it. The thing was they had put me and my sil in front. She has a bad arm, so when it was time to put the casket in the car from the gurney, she absolutely did not use any strength to help lift the casket! I had to use my other hand and I struggled to get the casket in the car!

I don't know the song, but hey it is my state!

RhondaLue said...

no idea about the song..but I love the girl pallbearer. Now I wish that I had been one for my dad!

The Gouldings said...

Kind of funny you talked about a girl pallbearer. When my mom passed away in 2005, we (her 4 daughters) actually contimplated being some of the pallbearers. I think it stemmed from my mom mentioning it before she died. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. So what if it a little "different". Glad to see there are some women out there who will do it.

The Gouldings said...
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