Misc #1: My local Woodcraft graciously changed the name of their woodworking class

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Blog entry by Lisa Chan posted 05-01-2010 01:34 AM 2264 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Misc series Part 2: Where I have I been? What have I been up to? »

There was this really big thread this week (some 100 posts) that unintentionally incited by asking a simple question… “why can’t I take Woodworking 101 with men?”. I don’t have much time to talk about the details because I have orders and stuff to finish up. But I wanted to put this here for posterity.

The “mom and pop” franchise recognized that there wasn’t really a need to have a segregated basic woodworking class for just men, so they changed the name of their Woodworking for Men class to “Basic Woodworking”. They are still keeping Sawdust Therapy for women only. I still don’t appreciate that name. They’re not therapists. They’re woodworking instructors. I also would not attend a women only woodworking class on principle.

I leave this entire issue to rest… finally… with these words.

“Gender segregated classrooms, whatever debatable advantages they may offer to the learning process, exacerbate gender bias—and gender bias is what leads to unequal pay for men and women. Until I see the pay differential between men and women shrink to zero, I’d rather we put our energy into fighting gender bias rather than experimental educational programs that end up promoting it.”
- Elizabeth Wong, Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union

Please consider reading her whole statement

-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

13 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2742 posts in 3944 days

#1 posted 05-01-2010 02:21 AM

Well done, Lisa… well said, Elizabeth Wong.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View John Steffen's profile

John Steffen

218 posts in 3567 days

#2 posted 05-01-2010 03:02 AM

There is no reason why an individual of any gender or creed should not be granted opportunities of which they are willing and capable.

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

View lew's profile


12863 posts in 4267 days

#3 posted 05-01-2010 03:07 AM

My point exactly

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2824 posts in 4102 days

#4 posted 05-01-2010 03:39 AM

blah, blah

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 4502 days

#5 posted 05-01-2010 06:49 AM

Hi Lisa,
I don’t know you but I can sympathise with your dilema, up to a point. Leaving this to rest is not what this post is about. Not creating this post would have left the other one to rest. You were on pretty solid ground until you posted this. Your complaint was not political only which meant it didn’t cross the posting rule line. When you post quotes like the one above though, I think you cross the line and turn this into a debate that is almost entirely political. Please consider this from the posting rules:

•Don’t discuss politics and religion, unless it is directly related to woodworking.


-- Jim

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18672 posts in 4188 days

#6 posted 05-01-2010 07:02 AM

Wait until you’re old enough to get into age bias.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Eli's profile


141 posts in 3518 days

#7 posted 05-01-2010 02:43 PM

Now it seems worse because the store is actually showing a bias by only offerring women a same-gender class. I appreciate that you still have a problem with the other, but this really is gender based discrimination. Before it was just questionable motivations.

Congratulations on ending the ambiguity.


View Eli's profile


141 posts in 3518 days

#8 posted 05-01-2010 05:08 PM

My girlfriend just pointed out the irony of discussing gender equality on “lumberjocks.” Haha.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18672 posts in 4188 days

#9 posted 05-01-2010 10:30 PM

That is a good point! Definitely ironic :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Eli's profile


141 posts in 3518 days

#10 posted 05-01-2010 11:36 PM

Haha, I just got your last comment about age bias. Good one.

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4225 days

#11 posted 05-02-2010 04:33 PM

Just remember that all change for the better have always happen I small step at a time. This issue is no different and you have accomplished one small, but important step. Well Done !

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 4396 days

#12 posted 05-04-2010 04:11 AM

I do finding it interesting how women will fight and complain about a male only gender club or class. But they say very little when it is a female only gender club or class. Have your cake and eat it too.

“I’m thinking mostly of women only gyms like ‘Curves.’”

Maybe the male only classes were designed that way so that men could feel comfortable without females in it?
Maybe the store knows that in order to sell the class, men only sell better? So, now to be politcally correct the store has lose money? Let’s make ‘Curves’ do that… oh that’s different.


View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12785 posts in 3669 days

#13 posted 05-05-2010 01:38 AM

Hi Lisa darling…
Going to be blunt with you… less typing more woodworking… miss seeing your new creations… don’t do this to me and my fellow lumberjocks… we NEED your work…
On a more serious note, keep up the good work on all that you have done with your posts… I just read through some of the posts on your other thread and wow, some guys really gotta wake up to the times…

Anyways, looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful turnings…


-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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