Women and power tools

I have to say, when I was growing up in Buffalo, NY with a dad who was a contractor, I was very protective of the fact that ‘most women do not use power tools’. I really had no idea that there was any kind of sex discrimination in the contracting or power tool world. Naive me, all I heard was how my aunt Ronny helped my dad put the roof of our house and my aunt Marge was refining all the woodwork in her house.

I think I’m happy because I grew up thinking that as a woman I could not figure out anything I could repair or convert or any power tools I could not use. When I bought my first apartment, on his first visit, my father brought me a suitcase full of power tools.

My view of reality and discrimination broadened, but fortunately my sense of ‘being able to fix something or use power tools’ remained the same. I’m surprised when power tool manufacturers put out a range of power tools designed specifically for women. Personally, I would never buy a pink tool – or one that fits a woman’s hand. I really just want the best tools for the job. There are little males who use tools.

I do understand that. I have many girlfriends who do not even know how to hang blinds or even own a hammer. There are many women who were not so happy with the education I had, and the father I did and did not learn how to use power tools. I have my permanent license in Colorado and have helped many of my single female friends buy their first home alone. With more and more women owning homes, there is a definite need to provide women in the DIY and home improvement field, and I am all for that.

Articles like Me Fix-it in the Wall Street Journal report that “Home Depot has set up ‘Do It Yourself’ clinics for women interested in learning how to use a stud finder; the classes are apparently a success because the store, as NPR reported, is becoming an excellent place in some places. Even schoolgirls are joining the revolution. The Girl Scouts now offer a me. Fix-It badge for members eager to rewire a lamp or fix a leaking toilet, and an outfit called Vermont Work for Women has launched a summer program called Rosie’s (as in Rosie the Riveter ) Girls who promise to teach skills.

It is this kind of informative articles and the paradigm shift that is taking place in our society that will turn the search on Google for “women and power tools” into practical.

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