|Forum topic by Lisa Chan||posted 1315 days ago||4641 views||0 times favorited||193 replies|
1315 days ago
There are only two stores in my city that specialize and offer classes and demonstrations. I opened a flier for one of them looking for a class on tool sharpening.
What I saw made me sick to my stomach.
Woodworking 101 FOR MEN, offered only to men. And Wood Therapy III offered only to women.
There are two things (actually a lot of things) that I find problematic about these offerings.
There was only one introduction class offered (and it was offered only to men)... and the instructor decided to call the women’s class “therapeutic”. I found it offensive. Sure, woodworking is relaxing… but you don’t ever see a general woodworking class marketed as therapeutic.
I looked a little closer and discovered that both of these classes were being held by the same instructor. There were other classes offered by other instructors that had no gender qualifying clauses for attendance.
I decided on my own that this guy might be a fluke. I wouldn’t want to be taught by an instructor who assumed that I might be going into any class expecting special consideration (or a change in his teaching style) based on my gender assignment.
This whole thing surprised the heck out of me considering I live in a VERY liberal city. However, sexism is still alive and very well in the woodworking community. Even here throughout the forums I see sexist stuff that bothers me too. Stuff I wouldn’t want my daughters looking at (if I had them). Or my sons… either. We tolerate it because… I don’t know why? I dunno… Why are people allowed to post pictures of half naked women modeling tools around here anyway? It makes me uncomfortable… and I can choose to look away. And I do. But it does distract me from the community and the woodworking… I’m looking at tits, not the tools. I’m thinking about the sexist promotional group that is using that picture to manipulate men into thinking those tools are valuable… or to give them something to “admire”.
Anyhoo… I know that in a few generations those models will be looked at differently, I feel sorry for those women actually. I feel sorry for the men, and men’s wives who have to tolerate their men oogling that garbage… and they think they have to tolerate it.
Anyway… this is going on to blabbering. Please keep this discussion civil. Share your opinion, but remember that we’re all feeling, living breathing and yes “sensitive” people who deserve respect. I didn’t bring this up for a debate… I’m bringing this up as a place to share your own stories about how you feel or experience gender stereotyping in gender dominated trades.
Conversely, I teach knitting and have male clients who tell me about how they experience sexism/discrimination all the time and it makes them uncomfortable. Clerks in stores assume they are there for their wives and treat them without respect. They feel like they can not knit in public without hearing or feeling remarks from both men and women that imply that they might be homosexual… or it draws unwanted attention. They are true fans of the art… and the feel limited because they are carrying a pair of stones instead of melons.
-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories, http://www.grippingyarn.com