Item no. 30027
New York
Occupation: Public employees
Collection: NYU Tamiment Library

Ruth Russell Drags Dummy During Physical Exam

Dummy-dragging is the portion of the FDNY physical exam Ruth Russell  is completing here.  The test was improved following a class action sex discrimination lawsuit.  It was altered in order to test job-related tasks, rather than measure abstract demonstrations of physical strength as the previous test did.  Applicants were charged with completing physical tasks similar to those they would encounter on the job as a firefighter.  The new physical assessment proved that women were capable of completing the physical tasks necessary to be a firefighter, despite the common conception that this was a “man’s job.” 

Learn more at the LaborArts exhibit- Women Firefighters in New York City. 

Read more about women working in male-dominated industries and arenas at LaborArts' exhibit Sisters in the Brotherhoods. 


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