The life of Lynsey Addario, as told in It’s What I Do, can ultimately be characterized by the hardships associated with being a woman in the journalism industry. Although Addario is able to push past the double standards associated with her career, the life and work that she continues remains heavily influenced by the nature of the work. Addario has suffered many losses, but remains hopeful stating, “The trials I faced now seemed surmountable simply because I now knew there were people who had overcome much greater hardship” (151). The conflict corresponding with the life of a photographer is essentially the demand it has on both the physical and mental health of an individual. Addario would not exchange her career for the world, but she does have instances where she is almost forced to exchange her life for her career.
Addario’s cohort, Elizabeth, epitomizes the life of a woman in the workforce. Elizabeth is forced to hide her pregnancy to remain on the team because men would see her as “unfit” or as a “weak link”. Lynsey Addario is conflicted internally seeing as she wants to remain loyal to her friend, Elizabeth, but struggles due to the risks associated with the kind of work they pursue. While Addario was traveling along with the soldiers and Elizabeth, the two women were exposed to the weaknesses found among the men. Addario and a very pregnant Elizabeth were outlasting the men within the troop as they approached the Taliban in battle. This made Addario aware of how truly capable women were and this encouraged her to continue her life and career in the only way she knew how: moving forward. Women are often underestimated in male-dominated careers, so Addario addresses her audience in a way that influences individuals to take women seriously. By demonstrating their capabilities in several conditions, she is proving to her audience that it is necessary to consider all individuals equal.
Another instance occurred on the plane when Addario was asked to move from the fire exit since “a woman wouldn’t be capable of opening the exit door” (187). An elderly man was placed in her seat. This blatant sexism is what prevents women from succeeding in the workforce, and I believe that this conflict is faced both internally and externally by Addario.
Throughout high school, I took Advanced Placement course, and this ultimately placed me with the same, majority-male classmates day in and day out. Classroom discussions ultimately consisted of the males taking the lead and dictating what exactly was to occur in lab groups and projects. Many believed that my gender made me inferior, but little did they know that I was fully equipped with the same level of knowledge. I was often excluded from lab discussion due solely to their stance on my significance in the classroom. I relate to Addario in the sense that it would have been nice to have been taken seriously by my male counterparts throughout high school, but just like Addario, I did not let this stop me from continuing in the courses that I wanted to take to better myself and my education. I am passionate about learning, and I have learned to stand my ground in instances where I am not taken seriously. My upcoming passion blogs are going to highlight the role of women in the music industry because it is truly important to have representation in every place of work. Drawing attention to the significance of women in the music industry may encourage my audience to take women more seriously, just like how Addario encourages her audience.