I was just surfing through Amazon.com and came across this book called Easy to Make Organizers: Woodworking for Women. Now, I know I’m a guy, so perhaps I should just keep my mouth shut, but I suspect by now that some folks here realize that that is just not my style.
Frankly, this title bugs the hell out of me. First, there is the implication that women are more likely to be interested in things like organizers rather than coffee tables. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that might be a hypersensitive reaction, but here’s the thing…why specify “woodworking for women”? Why not just call it Easy to Make Organizers and leave it there? I know I could use more organization in my life, but hopefully they have an Easy to Make Organizers: Woodworking for Guys floating around also.
As a guy, perhaps I’m missing the boat here. Are women different in some way where they need a different set of instructions to build something? Are women wired in some way where they need to be taught how to do a dovetail in a different way? Honestly, I don’t get it…is there some difference that I’m missing?
Male or female, woodworkers are woodworkers. Techniques are the same, the materials are the same, and the designs are often the same. If you take a man and a woman with the same experience level, give them both some lumber and some plans, some tools, and let them loose, they are both going to produce the piece. Any differences between them will probably be because of the individuals in quesition, rather than which bathroom they go into at Cracker Barrel.
Perhaps the “Woodworking for Women” is less threatening to some women? If so, then perhaps the problem isn’t the title, but that the idea that a woman can’t pursue a “man’s” activity is still floating around. Before my son was born, I joked that if it was a boy, he would be a Noble Prize winning physicist. If it was a girl, she would become the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcon’s. Here’s the thing…I’m one of those wierd people who actually think a girl can be a football player. So it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that women need seperate books for woodworking, or that magazines for women woodworkers should focus on small projects like plant stands instead of dining room sets.
I honestly don’t understand it. If someone does understand it, please explain it to me. There are far to many women who’s stuff kicks my butt for me to think there’s some difference requiring seperate books, or that women require easy projects (see here for examples). I’m sorry, but I just can’t buy it. The wood don’t care what’s in my underwear, just how I work it.
-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!