A Very Short Magazine Review: Woodworking For Women

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wrote:

They've said the same about r/c model airplane builders and model railroaders for just as long. Both hobbies are bigger than they've ever been.
A non-scientific observation I've made in our local school is that few of the pupils fit with the statistical norm. Many are 30 and 40 somethings, a good number aren't white, and some are not male. It's rare to see someone over 55-60 in one of the classes.
Barry
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Ya see? **THIS** is zactly, g'damn why I'm for Stem Sell research! Cloning 'dorkers - can't be any tougher than sheep, right?

I think Monsanto just bailed on "engineered" wheat. My wife's cousin's son-in-law works the second shift security there. Think I'll call him now and plant the bug in their ear.
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wrote:

Well you probably don't have to scratch your balls as often when the shop gets all hot and humid. Then again, I don't have to dig clumps of sawdust out of my bra... :)
Unless you freehand a router with your pinkies extended, I'm fairly certain we do woodworking pretty much the same. ;>
Michael Who thinks the magazine in question is so condescending it's an embarrassment to the entire wwing community.
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On Mon, 10 May 2004 15:04:20 GMT, Michael Baglio

I've been having a hard time training my pinkie to stay tucked in when using a circular saw or router, but letting it free when holding a wine glass. ;-)
Renata

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wrote:

hey, everybody knows that woodworking is a guy thing. I mean it's obvious that gurlz can't use tools. besides, aren't they supposed to be off somewhere playing with dolls or something?
computers too. everybody knows that gurls can't use computers....
sheesh......
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On Mon, 10 May 2004 08:17:24 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@igetenoughspamalreadythanks.com wrote:

Hey Bridger,
    Shhh! Somebody might hear you! ;-)
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I guess it's because women who are in woodworking should be making things like dolls and pukey ducks. When they're not fetching their husband a cold drink while he's doing the real woodworking, that is. So, if you're making furniture, you'd better stop right now and call your husband to take over. If you don't have a husband, well, you'd better put the whole woodworking thing on hold for now and get that straightened out first.
todd
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Renata, you are more unusual than you might believe. I think the distance between women and woodworking has a lot to do with the female mindset. She believes she can't do it more than he believes she can't.
Societally we've been led to believe we have innate roles and interests. As a stay-at-home dad for 5 years, I've been bucking tradition - and have read many articles on men as primary caregivers - and have felt uncomfortable in public at times. When folks step outside their traditional roles, it certainly doesn't hurt to have others let you know it's an OK direction you've taken. As time passed, I become less and less concerned about my abilities and other's perceptions about stay-at-home dading; similarly, I'd guess that the women who continue with woodworking will gravitate to mainstream publications and worry less about being out of their "female" role.
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
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Interspersed, including a couple rants...
Renata
On Mon, 10 May 2004 09:38:46 -0700, Fly-by-Night CC

Actually, I never approached this particular hobby with that attitude. I got interested and just kinda started doing it. Never gave a thought to, "Gee, this is a male dominated hobby; maybe I'm in over (or is it under) my head".
But, I do realize it is a novelty to see gals pursuing it (and there are times when this is advantageous; & times when it isn't). The difference is between the attitude of novelty and the attitude that somehow, because I'm a woman, I have fewer skills, abilities, innate knowledge about the subject.

Gravitate TO??? I've been attracted to stuff like FWW from way back, and when I pick up one of those crafty magazines (intended for women only or not), I usually find little that interests me (that's ME - YMMV).
I like Charlie's "cash cow joining the herd" analogy. That perspective is understandable. What I have an issue with is thinking that particular cow is "stoopid" so we gotta gear our product to a lower level.
I do what I like and don't worry about being out of my "traditional" female role. Sure, there are (obvious & not) differences between guys and gals, but none of them precludes one from doing ww'g stuff.
The neighbor down the street tells me that he thinks carpentry knowledge is genetic. Well, if it is, it sure ain't based on the x and y chromosones. I've seen many a guy who wasn't sure about which end of a hammer to use (ok, so I exaggerate a tad), or who ran a drill bit (3/4" into a PT post) in reverse for literally 15 minutes, not understanding that there might be a reason why it wasn't going thru (started smoking and we put a stop to it; relegated him to none tool-using tasks).
Main point. See, if I were to get together w/ww'ers, I want to get together with a group of knowledgeable folks who share the interest. Usually, limiting it to women only eliminates a large number of folks (especially seeing as hw this IS a male dominated hobby) who meet those criteria. So, spare me the women-only retreats, workshops, etc. ad naseum.
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Renata wrote:

The knowledge and expertise is splattered about fairly unevenly here - but it's available.
I'm glad you're here. My own experience has been that men and women (perhaps because of biases introduced in our upbringing; but perhaps something else) frequently approach work, play, and problems with (slight to huge) differences in perspectives.
(That effect is also visible in multi-lingual problem-solving teams: a synergism of mental pathways - I wonder if the effects are related...)
Welcome to a forum where your knowledge, expertise, /and/ perspective will be valued.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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: Actually, I never approached this particular hobby with that attitude. : I got interested and just kinda started doing it. Never gave a : thought to, "Gee, this is a male dominated hobby; maybe I'm in over : (or is it under) my head".
: But, I do realize it is a novelty to see gals pursuing it (and there : are times when this is advantageous; & times when it isn't). The : difference is between the attitude of novelty and the attitude that : somehow, because I'm a woman, I have fewer skills, abilities, innate : knowledge about the subject.
But there are some MEN who feel that way about women doing woodworking. And there's the difference.
See the letter in the current Fine Woodworking, by a woman with a lot of experience as a woodworker, and who is now running a training center.
    -- Andy Barss
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Tell that to my 14 year old daughter after you see the dragon-head door plaque she cut on the bandsaw and freehand engraved with the router, and the pieces that she's pulled off the lathe.
djb
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wrote:

Renata,
You, my wife, and some women I hang out with are on the same page.
I'm probably gonna get hammered for this somehow, because somebody's going to misconstrue it, but here goes. Some women STILL, in 2004, feel intimidated to participate in certain activities if they are outnumbered by men.
One of my woman friends, whom I mountain bike with on a regular basis, also leads and arranges women-only rides. This woman will put an awful lot of men to shame on the trail, as well as the ski slope. She leads "chick rides" (her words) out of a sense of duty to the sport, not necessarily because it's her favorite way to ride trails. She has on several occasions described most of the women who seek these opportunities out as having "issues", usually of an inferiority complex type.
Barry
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I think they'd agree with you - albeit with some trouble on the word "intimidation". I'd offer they'd say that women often enjoy each others company in some situations.
And - the corollary is true to: men STILL, in 2004, feel intimidated to participate in certain activities if they are outnumbered by women.
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Well I won't hammer you - if you read my post to Renata you'll see that I've been doing a "woman's" job for 5 years now. I can tell you that it's certainly intimidating going into a roomful of women for some child-centered activity. Whether it was true or not, I felt as though everything I did and said to my daughter was scrutinized by the "moms". I can see how a woman might feel intimidated and conspicuous in a roomful of men, doing a "man's" activity. I give great credit to the couple of women in the woodturning chapters I belong.
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
  Click to see the full signature.
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Renata wrote:

I'm thinking maybe you'd need to ask a woman that question.
UA100
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Dunno' if Testosterone and Horsepower are really kharmically connected, in a Tim Allen, sense or not. It would be interesting to play Jane Goodall and watch an integrated woodworking class - as I'd suspect the XX participants approach problem solving differently than the XY's.
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Having read some of the more "he-man" type comments in this thread, e.g., akin to the woman's place is to get cold drinks for the man in the shop (which I somewhat graciously presume are tongue in cheek), I don't think gender has anything to do with the development, or lack thereof, nor execution of any of the skills used in working with wood. Its all a function of how much energy you want to put into learning and developing those skills. Yeah, maybe women as a class have smaller hands, and drills and the like designed for smaller hands would benefit estrogen-based woodworkers and not matter that much to the testosterone-based ones, but IMHO that's about it.
I also dispute any suggestion that individuals are gender-disabled from thinking about wwing in a way that men do; hell, my own brother can't sharpen a stick, much less make a Townsend Secretary or grandfather clock - he just doesn't get the time/space/material/mechanical/technique melding into a finished project concept, and never will. He's got X and Y chromosomes, but no ability to conceive and execute. Some women are the same way. Others prefer to use glue guns to make decorative items or do scroll saw projects because it makes them feel good; just like it makes me feel good to turn a rocking chair. A lot of men use their mechanical skills in other ways; one guy I know does needlework, and really nice needlework, but has no interest in wood as a raw material. He'd likely make a pretty good furniture project if he put his mind to it. Folks like Renata, I assume, make pretty much the same stuff that I do, and do it pretty much the same way, and I say great.
Now, as to the mag WWing for Women, well, hey, America's a great country, and if there is a profit in the mag, more power to 'em, but I don't really think that FWW, WWJ, Wood or any other "traditional" wwing magazine excludes women readership. Nor do I think W for W will last.
Mutt

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biggmutt responds:

Many years ago, I read some research that flatly stated--I think based on WWII assembly needs--that women were better at tasks that require good eye-hand coordination on a sustained basis. Something about the way their brains were wired. Been too long to recall details, but it does seem that IF that's true, there are numerous areas of woodworking where women would do measurably better than men, given similar training and interests.
Maybe 30-40 years from now, there will be a definitive answer, though I doubt it, because I think on an overall basis it doesn't make any difference. Some people are better at some things than at other things. Gender has something to do with it only because of culturally determined factors like expectations and training.
So there should be no real, long term need for specialized publications for women in woodworking, but the existence of such magazines may provide some simplified methods for interesting larger numbers of women in the recreation. It would be nice if accuracy were a criterion which tends to depend on experience, which may mean that you can't totally staff a magazine with women.
Look, for a quick example, at Woodworker's Journal and Popular Woodworking: Each now has at least one competent woman on staff. I don't really know what kind of woodworking experience either of these women have, but the results in the photography and articles have been, IMO, been favorable. Other magazines may have female staff members, but I've paid less attention there because I haven't met them or worked with them.
AFAIK, though, neither is relegated to crafty projects: They share editorial duties fully.
Charlie Self "In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office." Ambrose Bierce
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I have to agree. (I know a doctor that does needlework also) The only thing that bothers me is the gender specific thing is tolerated for women, but not for men. I'm not just talking ww here. A woman is welcome in my shop at any time. I guess it is possibly a case of reverse discrimination. Ed
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