Podcast on Fishermen’s Wives: Coping with an Extraordinary Occupation + WorkBoat Show Update ’23

This podcast is one of my favorites because it is so DAMN EMPOWERING. In this episode, I read from a study done in 1978 on New England POCFs called “Fishermen’s Wives: Coping with an Extraordinary Occupation.” I wanted to share this with you because it COMPLETELY VALIDATES our existence and the service of partners of commercial fishermen worldwide!

Check out the email I received from a listener about this episode: 

Hi, Megan. I hope this message finds you well! I am an avid listener of your POCF podcast and really enjoyed your episode this week. The book you mentioned this week, ‘Fishermen’s Wives: Coping with an Extraordinary Occupation’ is from almost 50 years ago, but so much of it remains true!
I both enjoyed and appreciated the positive framing of this book and your subsequent episode. It delights me to see a seasoned POCF, such as yourself,  taking so much pride in your work in this industry. All too often, ‘women’s work’ is undervalued in our society; this goes for the commercial fishing industry too.
I think this might really interest you, particularly the sub-section Women’s Unrecognized and Undervalued Contributions to Fishing Families and Communities.
 
My boyfriend fishes out of Cordova, AK, and Bristol Bay, and we have been dating for about a year and a half. I’m an Aussie girl who has lived in Hawaii for almost a decade, so to say it has been a big learning curve for me would be a colossal understatement. To my surprise, as a feminist scholar, it has also been a learning curve for him! I show him research articles such as these, and we discuss them and talk about the implications of the gendered division of labor, women’s invisible labor, and how we will try to build out life together, keeping concepts like this at the forefront of our planning.
Anyway, I thought you might like the article if you haven’t already seen it! Please reach out if you would ever like to discuss other topics surrounding women’s labor and the commercial fishing industry or anything else POCF-related 🙂
With love and thanks, POCF Podcaster
*I reached out to see if she’d like to be a guest on the podcast to share her experience as a feminist scholar navigating the commercial fishing life. I hope to share her story with you soon!
In my reply to her, speaking of gender gaps, I mentioned that I’m currently at the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans, and there are so many DUDES at the conference. Much different than other male-dominated situations I’ve been in. I don’t know if it’s the sea of navy suits and collared shirts or that it’s a different business side of the marine industry, or because it’s the South (I’m a Southerner, so I speak from experience), but it’s different.
So much so that the first day made me pause to recognize the energy shifts that occur in a space like this for myself and other women attending; it’s a combination of keeping your head down and not making eye contact for uninvited conversations but owning your space and being a strong presence that people pay attention to you when you visit a booth. 
It’s its own kind of wilderness. Trying to be invisible and visible at the same time. 
I’ve met people who are open and helpful and others who made no effort to acknowledge me. No brand or company is worth the time if they don’t align with your values and ESPECIALLY if they pay you no mind. Byeeee. On to the next…
Anyway, that was a brief of day one. I’m sitting on the couch of my Airbnb in the Irish Channel, conveniently a block from one of my best friend’s houses. I plan to hit up the conference, then go to lunch with my friend. I’m staying through to next week, so I can hunker down and gather my notes from this past year and get a new game plan together for 2024. 
If you have any recommendations on what you’d like more of, please leave them in the comments! I’d love to know how I can better serve you!
KEY POINTS OF EPISODE: 
  • How forced independence of our lifestyle benefits us in the long run.
  • The key to a fisherman’s success in the industry.
  • The specific reason why POCFs are so important to the industry. 

RESOURCES:

[Pre-Order] WE NOW HAVE GEAR! We recently got a new logo, and we are STOKED to represent our crew! Show your POCF pride by rockin’ our new T’s and vinyl stickers. Check out the new POCF gear here!

[FREE] Are you a POCF who struggles to feel connected to their fisherman at different times of the fishing season? Grab the Guide: 💝 6 WAYS TO RECONNECT WITH YOUR FISHERMAN BECAUSE SOMETIMES IT’S WEIRD 🥴 and receive tips on navigating your relationship through seasonal transitions that will benefit you, your fisherman, and your family to have smoother homecomings.

[Join] Want to connect virtually with other POCFs in our community? We’d love for you to join us in the private forum! The forum lets us chat with POCFs worldwide and share experiences and feelings without judgment because we get you! There are also monthly Zoom chats, private podcasts, an ongoing resource bank to help make the commercial fishing lifestyle easier, plus more ways to connect and feel supported in the on and off-season. If it feels aligned for you, click here to join the private forum!

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