Women are moving into historically male-dominated industries in record numbers in recent years. Of course, we’ve always known that women are just as capable as men at nearly any job, but this news came as a surprise to many – particularly during the World Wars. With men away fighting in battles and the fate of the economy suddenly at risk, women were left behind to pick up the slack. Jobs typically considered unsuitable because they were dirty, difficult or dangerous were now being handled by women. Working in factories, running farm equipment, driving coal barges, assembling jeeps and warplanes all fell into the capable hands of the ladies.

I started this project in the summer of 2019 when I realized how many of my friends and acquaintances were doing what was considered traditionally to be “men’s work”. The body of work inspired and is featured in The Women’s Issue of Local Exposure Magazine that I edited and curated in the fall of 2020 to highlight and honor badass women in Appalachia. This on-going project is a nod to them and all the women who have been simultaneously wildly capable and grossly underestimated for centuries. Cheers to all of you.