Ordinary and Extraordinary Lives of Alaskan Women, 1880-1960


Crossing Gender Boundaries


Women’s work, men’s work. At various times and places in history, the line between the two has been strong and clear. At other times and in other places, the line is less strong or even non-existent. Many of the women pictured in this section were doing work that—at the time—might have been seen to be crossing over the line between gender roles. But were they really? And did they see themselves as defying societal expectations regarding their behavior? No doubt they were just doing what had to be done at the time, whether to support themselves or their families or simply because they enjoyed it.

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Starting an Alaska Highway trip, 1944. Rusty Dow poses by her army truck as she’s ready to leave on a trip down the Alaska Highway and back. Mrs. Dow had a contract as a driver/trucker for the U. S. Army during WWII.
[Benzie Ola “Rusty” Dow papers, HMC-0397]


Ending an Alaska Highway trip, 1944. Rusty Dow poses atop her army truck after she arrives in Dawson Creek
[Benzie Ola “Rusty” Dow papers, HMC-0397]





Crossing Gender Boundaries:  

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All photographs taken from the holdings of the
UAA/APU Consortium Library’s Archives and Special Collections Department.

Crossing Gender Boundaries :: Ordinary and Extraordinary Lives of Alaskan Women, 1880-1960
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