Women in Ranching: Starting 2022 with a View from the Other Side of the Cow Lot

By Martha Crump | marthacrump@comcell.net

In any of the old western movies you might like to indulge in now and again, the portrayal of the female rancher is of a woman whose main job was feeding her worn out, parched cowboy when he came home from a long day of doing the “hard work.” She was the one who hung the laundry out back, raised the kids, cooked for everyone, gathered the eggs, and waited on her man. Despite the fact cowgirls could, did and still do work just as hard as cowboys, they have not been represented as equals. Especially in the Hollywood, “old West” version of what the American frontier woman actually did. In fact, the reality was we did not see cowgirls much at all. While that might be the cinematic version of women in ranching, the reality could not be more different. Women have always been and still are sharing in the work that needs to be done. Oftentimes, that is also while taking care of all of the above mentioned chores.

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