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View Betsy's profile

So do you think men will ever get used to .....

by Betsy
posted 09-07-2016 03:33 AM

36 replies so far

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

426 posts in 3914 days

#1 posted 09-07-2016 04:28 AM

I feel your pain, truly. And, as much as I believe we have progressed beyond the sexism of the ‘50s … we’re not all there yet.

We had a very similar experience when Mrs M needed to buy a new car, and I went with her – in the back seat – to make the purchase.

Her. Car.

Read about her experience on my blog: That Horrible Need To Talk To Salespeople.

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View TravisH's profile


724 posts in 2782 days

#2 posted 09-07-2016 05:28 AM

My wife would not go.

If it makes you feel better it happens to me daily with the women I encounter when at the grocery store, or when shopping with my daughter or my two boys, when i show up for school plays, when they ask for some “Mom’s” to make treats for the school, when I go to Muffins for Mom at the elementary, any thing I ever did when the children were babies, when I point out to the lady at Joanne’s I want the same dye lot on skeins of yarn, etc…

Yep some women have just as much trouble accepting a man can or knows about such subjects. Doesn’t really bother me as I had a teacher long ago point out that ignorance is a common denominator when it comes to humans.

View BurlyBob's profile


7838 posts in 3112 days

#3 posted 09-07-2016 06:35 AM

Betsy, you it today’s world are a rare gem! Sadly most women out there know more about Kim Kardashian and who ever the hell is the social media current flash in the pan than the real world. If it ain’t on their cellphone they are hopelessly lost. Sad but true.

View Vjeko's profile


135 posts in 4261 days

#4 posted 09-07-2016 06:49 AM

I’m not a statistician for the employment bureau ( nor a sales person
in a box store) ;), but I suspect there is still a bias in employment of
men/women in certain branches of industry due to like/dislike,
need for physical exertion and a multitude of other reasons – and the
woodwork branch is probably the same – so I wouldn’t worry to much
about the “behavior” of that sales person you encountered – he
most probably wanted to help you like he did with some other women
who didn’t have a clue what they should buy (just like men (me also ;) )
who need to buy something they don’t have a clue about). It’s nothing
unusual – what is “unusual is if the salesperson is “rude” about it even after
you give them a hint that that is your field of work (then it’s a problem
with the sales person man or woman). I wouldn’t worry about it.

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4279 days

#5 posted 09-07-2016 11:07 AM

So here’s my story….
I was looking for a 2 1/4 inch forstner bit and went to the Blue Borg. A quick perusal of the tool section and no large bits. So I asked this “tool man employee” (actually, more of a “tool boy” – he was about 25 yrs old) if he had a 2 1/4 inch forstner bit. I got the deer in the headlights look back (sheer panic on his part). Then I asked him if he knew what a forstner bit was… his response was “no m’am, I just started here today”. I took him over to the bits and showed him what a forstner bit looked like with a polite “now you know” from me.
I often wonder what happened to him.

BurlyBob… I know you are trying to pay Betsy a well deserved compliment but you are painting most women with the wrong brush. We don’t look on most men as knuckle draggers who pat their beer bellies and belch so don’t assume that it is only women who watch TV and depend on a cell phone for everything!

We are seeing the division of labor lines blurring… and that is a good thing. We understand each other better with every instance where we share a common purpose.


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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25177 posts in 3952 days

#6 posted 09-07-2016 11:53 AM

Hi Betsy,
I really appreciate a woman who speaks the same language I do! It is great to have women wood workers to talk about the stuff my wife wants nothing to do with. I should have thought about that before I got married. It would make life a lot more pleasant to be able to converse in shop terms and get to spend time looking at wood related items while traveling.

Betsy you are a rare woman. I wish there were more like you!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View bigblockyeti's profile


6719 posts in 2567 days

#7 posted 09-07-2016 11:58 AM

I’m trying to teach my children that any of them can do anything. While I would never push any of them towards a particular profession, I will make certain that all of them have the ability to take care of many tasks for themselves that fewer and fewer people are able to do today without paying someone else to do for them!

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2854 days

#8 posted 09-07-2016 01:54 PM

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View lew's profile


13176 posts in 4602 days

#9 posted 09-07-2016 02:01 PM

Ellen said- ”We are seeing the division of labor lines blurring… and that is a good thing. We understand each other better with every instance where we share a common purpose.”

That is so true. When I taught, girls and boys were treated the same and they all learned their trade equally well. Both genders went on to great heights not allowing society’s stereotypes to limit their success’s. I never allowed a student to believe they “couldn’t” do it.

A walk through today’s Vocational Schools shows an almost equal number of girls and boys in every trade- demonstrating what you said- a woman can do anything!

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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5302 posts in 4807 days

#10 posted 09-07-2016 02:17 PM

And another instance…..
My bride was shopping for HER new car. Not ours, HER’s.
The idiot salesman (hah) could/would not talk to her. He addressed every point to me. I even told him to speak directly to her. Couldn’t do it.
We left, and bought elsewhere.

-- [email protected]

View dbray45's profile


3390 posts in 3623 days

#11 posted 09-07-2016 02:30 PM

My wife and tools, hmmm. To be honest, when we go to a show, I tell her what I need and within a few minutes she has found them. She is incredible. She is not too keen on making sawdust but she knows what she wants me to make. When it comes to remodeling, she knows what she wants and has a good idea how to get there. Try to BS her and she will back you down in a heart beat.

When I was in the Navy overseas on a North Atlantic cruise, we were talking on the Mars Station (this dates me, I know) and she told me that the guy at the car dealer wants to charge her $200 to clean the carburetor and she thought it was too much. Back then, That was almost what what I made a month. I told her to call a lawyer first and then have the work done. She asked why the lawyer and I told that the charge was way too low since the car was fuel injected and didn’t have a carburetor so cleaning it would require buying it first. She was so pissed that they tried this kind of scam and she came up to speed real quick. I knew that I married up but had no idea how much until then. She is incredible.

I think it is wonderful and would not have it any other way.

-- David in Palm Bay, FL

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4560 days

#12 posted 09-07-2016 02:36 PM

I agree with your thoughts compleatly, but suspect most men , are governed by testosterone, inherited hardheadedness, and an inability to be more open minded. its going to be a generations long, tough fight.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1746 days

#13 posted 09-07-2016 04:22 PM

Shave the sides of your head and sport a little bit of a mohawk,
put on a muscle shirt so that your New tats show and the problem will go away.
Also some black work boots will help.
hehehe :)

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12238 posts in 4275 days

#14 posted 09-07-2016 04:36 PM

I guess I’m lucky. I grew up on a farm where the ladies worked as hard and were as proficient as the men. And they also cooked, cared for the youngins and kept us in clean clothes.
Married a girl of the same ilk. Though she has a fear of using power saws, she has the ability and she uses nearly every other hand or powered tool in the shop.
We live in the boonies and most of the ladies around us are pretty darned handy, also.
So, I would never presume that a woman was ignorant of materials and tools.
Those who do are worse than merely ignorant.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View JayT's profile


6411 posts in 3058 days

#15 posted 09-07-2016 04:48 PM

I work in retail hardware. A few years ago I was visiting one of our stores and talking with the female store manager about some things when a middle aged male customer came in and walked up to us. He looked at her, then turned and addressed his question about some home repair task to me. My response was, “Lisa here can better answer that question. (turning to her) What do you think?”

The expression on the man’s face was priceless as she started explaining what all he would need and how to do the repair as she led him to the correct department.

Now, I knew the answer to his question, but deferred to the manager for two reasons. Since she was in the store every day and I was only there occasionally, she knew where the merchandise was better than I did. The more important reason was because of his blatant ignoring of her up front.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Kelly's profile


3121 posts in 3791 days

#16 posted 09-07-2016 05:02 PM

Now, trying being a single father raising a twelve year old girl. If you have to deal with DSHS because part of the mother’s ploy to get custody is to level allegations, you’ll see far more severe presumptions than this.

My daughter came home from school telling me what victims women are. I told her to ask her teacher what she thought it was like to be evicted from your child’s life based on nothing more than your anatomy. Been there and done that one too.

View lumbermeister's profile


128 posts in 2826 days

#17 posted 09-07-2016 06:36 PM

Oh, Betsy. Cry me a river!

One perceived slight from a retail employee sufficiently unnerves you such that you unleash an anti-male screed. This, despite the deep respect you consistently garner from the male members of this community.

Does one person’s not-so-thoughtful remark negate all of that? Is your self worth so fragile and your skin really so thin as to paint all of us (we men) with the stroke of your awfully broad brush due to your feelings being hurt by the utterance of a complete stranger? Did you not just effectively do to us what the Borg employee did to you (though you were worse, as he, at least, was not motivated by anger and self doubt).

If you really believed in your own self, you would have laughed this off, told “sonny boy” that you are far more accomplished than HE looks or sounds, and you would never dream of slighting an entire group, based on the actions of one or a few.

And, oh, yeah, you should be ashamed, too.

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4279 days

#18 posted 09-07-2016 06:37 PM


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

View jobewan's profile


34 posts in 1824 days

#19 posted 09-07-2016 09:28 PM

My wife, who when I met her wasn’t particularly tool or mechanically conscious, has really become my partner in the shop. She will do just about everything except the miter saw and the table saw; they scare her pretty good. My wonderful wife is a demon at organizing, and loves to see my clutter turned into neat, orderly storage. So she does a wonderful job working her magic while we both work wood – she is currently making a variety of hanging brackets etc to allow me to hang my spoke shaves, chisels, etc. in a new tool cabinet we built together. Much better than I would have ever done it.

I have a really bad back – several things going on. She lifts just about everything needing it, and never a word of complaint or frustration.

Besides all that great stuff, she is my best friend and life partner. We have been together fir 30 years and pray for 30 more. I couldn’t think of a better life. Nor a better wife.


-- Measure Twice, Cut Once - throw it in the woodpile, start over...

View DrDirt's profile


4614 posts in 4589 days

#20 posted 09-07-2016 10:11 PM

It can be tough… being in Salina Kansas, which has a large Ag population, I suspect we have ‘fewer’ folks that make assumptions about women.

Had a great experience at ‘Mid Kansas Tool’

My wife is a turner – - wants to do green wood. So she decided she wanted a Chain saw.

It started out as you would expect – - with the salesperson talking to me…
Told him – “I don’t know why you are talking to me – - – it is for her (pointing to my wife)”

he went through the features – got a Stihl saw with the “easy start system” they took her in the shop – - unboxed it, put oil and a tank of ‘no alcohol’ gas in it, tuned it up, and made sure she knew how to start it, and that it was ready to roll when it went out the door.

She negotiates our car deals – - she likes to haggle like a turkish rug trader (no offense intended).. but I almost feel bad for a car salesman.

That being said – there is room for improvement on the other side as well.
Men are portrayed as Rubes and morons in pop culture, where Mom always has to come fix what “dumb ol dad” messed up.
The schools indeed teach girls that they are victims, rather than empowered and capable.

We (as men) also hold out macho standards… see the look on a guys face when a man says he is a Nurse….

We have a long way to go

How about this for offensive – - -”Toughest test IMAGINABLE” to leave a baby with dad… while MOM gets MUCH deserved break”

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4743 days

#21 posted 09-08-2016 03:39 AM

Wow – great responses. I appreciate the different views – the good and the bad.

Lumbermeister – sorry that my post rubbed you the wrong way – perhaps the perceived slight was not mine—- but your’s. Just saying.

I don’t consider myself any more “thin skinned” than anyone else on this site who has to give a rant and commiserate with their fellow jocks who can relate to the issue ranted about.

I also don’t see myself as ‘ant-male’ – just someone who’s dealt with it for so long that she just had to get it off my chest. In fact, my best friend is a guy – his name is Peter and he has 4 legs and despite having me wrapped around his dew claw he respects me. :-)

I do recognize that men can sometimes, often times, are also slighted by women or even other men when they do things that are stereotypically “female.” Some of the best “mothers” out there are men. My dad was one – he could braid hair with the best of them and had no problem taking his little girl to buy her first bra – he took a lot of comments – but he managed like so many others.

Thanks to all for listening to my rant and giving their thoughts. I feel better. Can’t promise I won’t rant again though – this site has the perfect people to commiserate with.

Happy dust making to one and all.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Redoak49's profile


4867 posts in 2835 days

#22 posted 09-08-2016 11:49 AM

Yes, the guy at the box store was an idiot. AND you have to endure this at least once a year. WOW….that is horrible.

There are many on the forum who know you are very skilled.

To unleash a rant at all males is over the top. I think progress is constantly being made but a rant like yours does nothing positive for your cause. For me, it negatively impacts it.

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4743 days

#23 posted 09-08-2016 01:07 PM

I’m sorry you feel that way Redoak – but honestly if you can’t have a good rant once in a while – even just on the net – I think the pressure would build up eventually and you’d lash out more harshly at the person you are dealing with.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View DrDirt's profile


4614 posts in 4589 days

#24 posted 09-08-2016 08:44 PM

Stay with it Betsy – - if nobody hears it, they assume it either isn’t happening, or folks are OK with it.

Rant on!
I am sure when you set him straight – he was shocked…. Expect his intent isn’t evil, and never thought he was being offensive.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4743 days

#25 posted 09-08-2016 11:29 PM

Probably so DrDirt.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View lumbermeister's profile


128 posts in 2826 days

#26 posted 09-08-2016 11:50 PM

Tell us. Betsy, if the person who offended you was not male but was, say, of a different skin color than yours, would you feel free to post a race-based rant? Why or why not?

You fancy yourself a “woman”, but you act as a thin-skinned child.

Keep ranting, Betsy. And, in doing so, you will continue demonstrating that there is little that distinguishes you from that Borg employee whose behavior you so abhor.

PS – Should you find my criticism worthy of condemnation, please recall that, by your own words per your reply to my earlier post, well, I have the right to “rant” at such insensitive and boorish behavior, don’t I?

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4279 days

#27 posted 09-09-2016 12:58 AM

How about we agree that Betsy is ranting about insensitive males and not all males. Most of you guys are great… some… well, not so great! LJ’s are usually really focused on the type and quality of a project and not the gender of the person who made it. This site is unique in that way. I can agree with Betsy; it is very difficult to change attitudes without doing your very best to correct a misconception. I’m sure this big box clerk will think carefully before he makes the assumption that all we do is shop for the men in our lives. That is progress.

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

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1746 days

#28 posted 09-09-2016 02:12 AM

I have the same problem every time I go into Victorias Secret.
They always think I’m buying for the wife…
I like to feel pretty too :>/

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4743 days

#29 posted 09-09-2016 02:40 AM

Lumbermeister – you obviously made an assumption that I am a white woman (or a thin-skinned white child). Would you be interested to know that I’m a black woman and the store employee was a black man? Further, I don’t “fancy” myself a woman I’m very secure in my knowledge that I really am all woman.

Look the long and short of it is this, I had a bad experience, I ranted about it on the best woodworking site on the net, and the support I got soothed me a bit. So if that makes me a horrible, disgusting, ignorant or somehow less than what others expect of me – then I plead guilty.

Jbay – you are way funny!

So as my world turns, my rant is over, I feel better, and now I’ll move on. I won’t commit to never ranting again.

And by the way Lumbermeister I see that I am the only buddy you have on LJ’s – thanks for that. I suppose though I’m only a buddy because you need to keep up with my responses to this forum entry, either way it’s a bit odd.

Good night all – I’m off to get more trivets sanded for my next show.

The needs of the one outweigh the need of the many (or something close thereto).

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View lumbermeister's profile


128 posts in 2826 days

#30 posted 09-09-2016 09:02 AM

Err, no Betsy. I made no assumptions of your particular skin color. Show me the assumption in my earlier post, please?

Re Buddy, I put you on my watch list when I started woodworking because I thought (and still think) your projects are interesting and well described. I am normally not much into social media, so am not inclined to watch many people.

But then this forum topic crossed my inbox; I thought (and think) it unworthy. The rest is history.

So per your above reply, keep ranting, Betsy. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

View chrisstef's profile


18100 posts in 3853 days

#31 posted 09-09-2016 02:15 PM

Wow lumbermeister. I feel that Betsy did her very best to answer your questions open, honest and without judgement and you still feel the need to hammer home your view points. You spoke about race and she replied in a very polite manner what the exact situation was. Question / Answer. You were alluding to some sort of racial sensitivity and you guessed wrong. Put your foot in your mouth and move on man. We all know the saying about walking a mile in another persons shoes.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View jwmalone's profile


768 posts in 1549 days

#32 posted 09-09-2016 02:47 PM

Betsy, I know how you feel. Now me I’m a man, you know, overalls, flannel shirt, axes,chainsaws, I sit in my chair and drink beer while watching football. But I also own a sewing machine, Its a 1914 singer model 66 treadle. I use it for basting the edges of monks cloth for rug making. I also do needle point on canvas. Which is how they used to make upholstery (one method). I learned that skill to repair old chairs, you cant buy that stuff, has to be hand made. Wool was the most common material so when I go to town and walk in the specialty wool place in my overalls and flannel shirt the little ole lady always ask can I help you, now are you shopping for a gift for you’re mother or grand mother. I can never get pissed at little ole lady’s. But my construction worker buddy’s get me a bit riled up on occasion, you know “that’s women’s stuff what kind of man does that duhh huhh.” Now back in the day the people that made these materials could of been male or female it wasn’t dominated by one or the other. What’s commonly know as needle point on canvas is traditionally considered a women’s domain. I tell them what I get paid to make that stuff and they don’t laugh so damn much. I also frequent a couple of weaving sights mostly women on those, some say oh how sweet a man doing needle point.. Oh well.. So I know how you feel, I just don’t let it get me to mad. Now my aunt has that problem, she likes working with wood and every clerk in towns knows better than to say something stupid when they see her coming , She’s got a temper lol.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View Kelly's profile


3121 posts in 3791 days

#33 posted 09-09-2016 04:15 PM

Much of the fire comes, I suspect, from all the flack we white males have taken and continue to take for our alleged white privilege, the seemingly constant male bashing, and the double standard treatments, even as we are expected to insure all are treated equal.

It was only a few years ago a couple of my associates were able to get posters removed from the walls of the Superior Court for Thurston County, Washington, (the Superior Court for the hub of Wash. government). The posters all made women and children victims of men. This garbage happens all over the country. The usual suspects cried, because, as usual, it happens women never commit violence.

Meanwhile, back at the draft, Hillary took time out to explain women suffer so much more, because they are the ones who must suffer the loss of men folk.

In the end, we are all victims, and government is as much the perpetrator as any one man or woman.

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1587 days

#34 posted 09-09-2016 06:02 PM

That’s a crummy experience, and I’m glad you’re part of a community that makes you (mostly) feel welcome and give you a place to air your grievances.
I’ve complained on here before about how I’ve been received at different stores. In the colder months, I often wear button-up shirts, vest, and a driving cap. I have walked into a tool department or specialty store more than once and been talked down to because the assumption was that I was an out of place hipster, or because of my age (especially in my early 20’s).
Now, if I can complain about those experiences and not be accused of targeting older blue collar guys, why does Betsy get accused of discriminating against men?
I didn’t find anything offesnive in her post, she gave the context, and even asked a question at the end to engage us. So here’s the answer:

I’ve seen my wife condescended to while we’re out places (she comes from a family of builders, and helped build their house from scratch as a kid)...the lights start to dim, my pulse elevates, and I smell Ozone. This is before she’s spoken a word, and I’m not even at the receiving end. She basically handles the offender with the same no nonsense approach she uses when the kids are losing their minds.

Actually, on that note (sorry, slow day at the office, and I’m feeling long-winded), our old apartment complex from 5 years ago tried this on her. Basically, we were on the top floor, our oldest was only 4 months old, and the roof leaked in his room. It was a humid summer, and she knew from her family business that a leaky roof was the perfect breeding ground for mold up in the crawl space. 2 months we went back and forth with the management, who did nothing to fix the problem. Our son develops a persistend and deep cough that the doctor can’t identify. I’m about to fly off the handle, when she tells me to let her take care of it. It got fixed the next day. Apparently all it took was her sitting in their office with her phone out and a city housing inspector’s number on screen and ready to dial.

Oh, and one last note, Betsy: I don’t know how you even stand it when you ask where something is only to get asked what you’ll use it for. It feels like the employee is presuming to know my needs better than I do. If I didn’t ask for your opinion, please don’t render it.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

554 posts in 3845 days

#35 posted 09-13-2016 03:44 AM

I have the same problem every time I go into Victorias Secret.
They always think I m buying for the wife…
I like to feel pretty too :>/

- jbay

Jbay, you know the rules, no pictures, didn’t happen. Just sayn’ .......

Betsy, great rant! At one time I resembled that guy, but fortunately a good women cured me of that failing, and I have long since stopped dragging my knuckles.


View Woodknack's profile


13471 posts in 3227 days

#36 posted 09-15-2016 03:44 AM

My wife is a helicopter mechanic so she gets it a lot but it just rolls off like rain on a duck. We sometimes go to the auto parts store together and the guys start talking to me and I point to her … I’ll build you a table but she turns the wrenches; they make the adjustment pretty easily. Really it’s about respect, the people who second guess what you are doing are probably also second guessing others so don’t feel too badly.

-- Rick M,

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