women in woodworking VS woodworking 101 for men

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Forum topic by mike85215 posted 05-02-2010 04:50 PM 1836 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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127 posts in 2565 days

05-02-2010 04:50 PM

There is a forum that has been going for a couple of days now about a retailer in the Seattle area that had chosen to offer a woodworking class that was exclusive to men only, and they had another class that was offered to women only that was called sawdust therapy for women.
I have followed that forum and found it interesting to say the least. As one might expect from a site as large as Lumberjocks there are all kinds of views on this subject. From very pro supporters of diversification to those who shielded their comments in what I would assume “I don’t want to be labled sexist” view.

What I have found the most interesting however is the comments from some who believe that there should never be an area where women are prohibited to the same areas that men are permitted, but yet these same people have no problem with excluding men from the women’s areas. Case in point…it is wrong for the above mentioned store to provide separate classes for men and women…but yet it is perfectly acceptable maybe even encouraged to have a woodworking site that is designed exclusively for women.
I simply cannot understand that concept ( well I guess I do understand the concept but I will never agree with it). In my mind you are either in or you are out.
This idea that we need to be diversified…but then it is okay and acceptable to have the segregation when it benefits the minority is wrong….and cannot be made right.

Then there were also comments from what I would consider to be well intentioned that explain how women can not only be equal but are actually better at many many things than their male conterparts…if that is actually the case then to be perfectly frank and honest one would have to admit that then yes there is a difference and women are superior to men.

Now to set the record straight and to be perfectly clear on this before I am labled as a sexist pig…I believe that women should be allowed the same opportunities as men but they should never be given any advantages sither…If it is to be a LEVEL playing field then by all means make it level.

20 replies so far

View Roper's profile


1370 posts in 3134 days

#1 posted 05-02-2010 04:56 PM

come on , we all know women are better then men, thats why we call them our ” better half”

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View AaronK's profile


1436 posts in 2885 days

#2 posted 05-02-2010 07:25 PM

this is pretty much the affirmative action question.

the way i see it, the answer is this: the minority group – be it based on sex, gender, ethnic minority, or other – should have a level playing field. This is what rational people all agree upon. The issue of affirmative action arises because in lots of cases it is difficult to actually have a level playing field without first actively promoting members from historically repressed minorities. Affirmative action, or in this case, women-only classes are a way to promote woodworking by women and might attract people who feel intimidated by a mixed-sex class… and having a male-only class further reinforces the male hegemony in this craft.

of course, that also depends on how the female-only class is taught – it could be supportive without being patronizing, or it could be taught by some old and bitter dude who it teaching it as punishment for pissing off some administrator and couldnt care less about teaching a bunch of broads how to swing a hammer.

i guess to sum it up: in order to make it a level playing field, the minority has to be given some temporary advantage. a handicap basically. change doesnt happen overnight, especially not cultural change.

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3069 days

#3 posted 05-02-2010 07:34 PM

a bit off topic, but yet related – I do not understand why when 2 things are considered ‘different’ – there is the necessity to mark one of those as ‘better’ – why can’t 2 different things just be – different.

like ‘yellow’ and ‘orange’ – different.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3639 days

#4 posted 05-02-2010 07:56 PM

Hey, Sharon…. Red Sox and Yankees. Two different teams, but neither is better than the other, right? :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View tooldad's profile


659 posts in 3136 days

#5 posted 05-02-2010 08:08 PM

Then why do we make separate restrooms???? LOL

Actually my female students a lot of the time end up with projects that have more attention to detail. At the age of teenager, the patience and attention to detail in males has yet to mature.

Why do people have a problem with separate woodworking classes for men and women, but not workout classes? What if I want to do yoga?

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3667 days

#6 posted 05-02-2010 08:44 PM

And you can get into the argument is affirmative action working. I’m just playing the devil’s advocate and in no way does this mean I believe this, one way or the other.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 2740 days

#7 posted 05-02-2010 09:01 PM

I’d like to think we have gotten to the point where the playing field is trying to get as level as it can. Honest, logical folks will admit that there ARE areas that will never naturally be level (men don’t have babies, women don’t play lineback in pro football (as don’t most MEN!)), but when it comes to matters of EDUCATION there should not be barriers.

That said, I am very old school. Women should be treated like Ladies. Open doors, walk on the outside, hold chairs, etc,etc,etc. This doesn’t make me misogynistic or chauvinistic. I’d LIKE to think this makes me a gentleman. I reserve the right to not act like a pig.

Enough rambling…. NEXT!

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3667 days

#8 posted 05-02-2010 09:22 PM

Well said!

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Roper's profile


1370 posts in 3134 days

#9 posted 05-03-2010 12:18 AM

i find it funny that people have to tell us it’s the last time they will comment on something instead not commenting.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View SteveMI's profile


946 posts in 2715 days

#10 posted 05-03-2010 02:10 AM

What gender is the “the minority group” in this? Wikipedia has ratio at 105 males to 100 females, not enough difference to me for a minority status.


View AaronK's profile


1436 posts in 2885 days

#11 posted 05-03-2010 03:14 AM

oh sorry – replace “minority” with “historically oppressed.”

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3314 days

#12 posted 05-03-2010 05:31 AM

where there are women, just like some men

there is “drama”

occasionally there is a “freak” of nature, a tempered beast that gets along with its kin.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 2565 days

#13 posted 05-03-2010 05:24 PM

The problem is easily solved. If you insist on having two courses, one taught in a certain style and the other in another then list that in the course description. Regardless of intentions, calling one class for men only and another for women only is a lightning rod for discord.

View WoodNuts's profile


74 posts in 2369 days

#14 posted 05-04-2010 03:28 PM

Are we looking for an explanation?

-- ...there's a fix fer dat...

View MadJester's profile


1938 posts in 1851 days

#15 posted 09-18-2014 01:51 AM

I don’t see the point in excluding either one from the other…when you have different levels of expertise, different levels of interest and a mix of both men and women in ANY class, it promotes competition, encouragement and a desire to do your best…it becomes a challenge when you see someone who excels, and if you are human enough, you can help those that aren’t as creative….it matters not which gender you are, just that you learn and share and strive to make objects from wood…that’s the common denominator….not male, not female…just wood….by making it all one or the other, you take away the opportunities for expansion…you limit your field of vision, and you limit yourself…

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

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