Item no. 30035
New York
Occupation: Public employees
Collection: NYU Tamiment Library

Safe Space at FDNY

FDNY candidate Cathy Lohan beams next to a sign for the women’s locker room at the Training Academy, 1982.  Exclusively-female spaces, like this locker room, were important in harboring a sense of safety, community and comfort among the female trainees.  

The social climate of the workspace was marked by hostility and opposition from many male Academy members.  Female members often faced acts of hate and sexism within the Academy; one female firefighter recalls a group of male Academy members urinating on a pile of newspaper articles featuring female firefighters in front of her and her female colleagues. 

Read more about the admittance of females to the academy and the sexist backlash following this decision at Women Firefighters in New York City.

LaborArts' exhibit On Equal Terms highlights the problem, similar to that which many female FDNY members faced, of policy enactment not necessarily correlating to equal and fair treatment on the job. 


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