Are there no women?

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Review by BlueHatMan posted 04-30-2011 12:33 AM 5158 views 0 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Are there no women? No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just received my June issue of Popular Woodworking. I have come to enjoy this magazine, propelled by Schwartz, Lang, and Huey. But I have to wonder if a bad case of the dumb ass hasn’t overtaken the editorial staff. Consider the story, “The 130 Best Books on Woodworking”. It looks like a lot of care and effort went in to compiling a list of books the staff could agree on. But then they upped the ante by going to the field, to the annointed experts for their personal favorites. I don’t have a beef with any one of these seven gentlemen, or the books they admire. I just wonder how it can be that there are no women in North America suitable for print or opinion? No Debey Zito. No Kari Hultman. No Susan Walsh. My list is short from lack of personal exposure not, I am guessing, from a lack of talented women woodworkers.
A lot of time, effort, and planning went into this piece—much as it does with each issue. How is it no one (Megan Firtzpatrick?) pointed out the testosterone-heavy lineup? From the list of books and their authors I have to assume no woman has ever written a woodworking book worth reading. Can this be so?
If you were to compile all of the editortial copy of all of the major woodworking magazines sold in North America in the course of a year, how many pieces would be written by women? Have they no talent? Have they nothing to say? Have they nothing to contribute?
I’m just trying to make sense of this. Maybe if Christopher Schwartz can explain it to me, he can explain it to his daughter when she wonders out loud what the hell the message is supposed to be.

-- BlueHatMan, N. California,

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#1 posted 04-30-2011 02:18 AM

I am guessing the same can be said about men writing articles and books about sewing. Maybe Martha Stewart can explain that.

-- James -

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25 posts in 3483 days

#2 posted 04-30-2011 02:43 AM

Rosie Grier, the needlepoint and knitting guy?

-- BlueHatMan, N. California,

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64 posts in 4065 days

#3 posted 04-30-2011 03:03 AM

While I agree with your assessment that women are under represented in the list, the first book is co-authored by a woman.

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5777 posts in 4086 days

#4 posted 04-30-2011 04:28 AM

I think it is representative of woodworking as a whole. While certainly there are women interested in the hobby, and profession of woodworking, it has been traditionally a man’s realm to create things out of wood… In other areas women have made great strides over the decades, but there are still disciplines that are mostly masculine and mostly feminine. For example woodworking, custom car building, knitting, interior design etc… To say that women don’t pursue traditional masculine subjects, and men don’t pursue feminine subjects is simply not factual, but they are the exception rather than the rule…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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2393 posts in 3955 days

#5 posted 04-30-2011 09:54 AM

Instead of flapping your wings and complaining about it, perhaps you can get up and do something about what you perceive as a short coming to the womens movement. If you have spent any time perusing this web site you would notice a fair number of the fairer sex participate with some great ideas and projects. Maybe you you need to beat the band over at Popular Woodworking. Maybe they have a great explanation. As to this web site I see no lack of females representated in the Projects section, Blog section, Reviews section, Video section, Form section or Shop section. I may be the only one who notices that a woman can post a project and get five times as many positive responses and a man posting the same item. The women I have run into lately seem pretty strong and can give back anything that is thrown their direction. Thats how I like it…...................

-- mike...............

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2749 posts in 4286 days

#6 posted 04-30-2011 12:39 PM

Why thank you all, kind sirs! ;-)
Women in woodworking have no lack of confidence. No, I can’t lift heavy machinery or stop a speeding bullet, but we all have talents that lend themselves to size, interest, and intelligence.
I appreciate your thoughtfulness, guys.
And James… if you watch any HGTV, you’ll notice that there are many “seamsters” now.

And… I can lift heavy machinery… with my head (intelligence) not my muscles!

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

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602 posts in 3761 days

#7 posted 04-30-2011 01:57 PM

I have a neighbor who has a shop to die for. She has made (literally) every piece of furniture in her home. We enjoy talking wood and horses. She is close to retiring from her job, but still spends most of her free time in her shop. What’s interesting is there are actually very few people in our small town who even knows she works wood. She just quietly does her own thing.

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32122 posts in 3720 days

#8 posted 04-30-2011 03:03 PM

I love Lora Irish’s books. BTW that Irish witchcraft book on amazon was written by Lora somebody else so don’t let it mislead you.

her web site

some of her books

I’m not sure of books but I have heard very good things about Nora Halls videos.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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13708 posts in 4195 days

#9 posted 04-30-2011 03:25 PM

my mother worked in a wood shop
during WW11
along with thousands of other women
keeping the troops supplied

with the war over
they were all sent home
to ‘raise a family’
so the men could have jobs
until reagan asked for help in the work force ‘temporarily’

today woman outnumber the men at work
and yet are still mistreated

by the ‘more deserving’ men
of course

when will we accept people on their merits
and not their sex

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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418 posts in 3533 days

#10 posted 04-30-2011 04:19 PM

This is common in all feilds of human endevour where men dwell. Many men feel thretened by the skills of another man so expressing admiration or aknowledgeing the skills of a woman is akin to admitting defeat.

I’ve noticed that the few women that contribute to are amongst the more skilled member. Their projects and insight put them in the upper echelon of crafts”men” that share on this site.

It seems as though there are 1000 guys like me (with all due respect to me and those like me) for each “scrollgirl”, “barb”.or “ellen35”

I don’t really care who i get tips or instruction from. I don’t care who the creator of a project is. But i have 2 daughters and i would love for them to have female role models in which ever feild they choose to travel through.

just my 2 cents., Thanks for the discussion BlueHatMan.

-- Anthony

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#11 posted 04-30-2011 04:36 PM

I would wholeheartedly agree and I’m glad you pointed it out. My favorite finishing book bar none was penned by a lady.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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118136 posts in 4431 days

#12 posted 04-30-2011 04:50 PM

I think any list anywhere that claims they are the top anything can be disputed regardless of what the bias might appear to be.


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#13 posted 04-30-2011 05:36 PM

An interesting exchange, and I thank one and all for participating. I took the “review” idea at face value, to review my ideas and impressions of a single magazine piece and then extrapolate to a publishing industry. The same review, I think, does not apply to something like LJ, an open forum with a few rules where anyone can participate. Kinda like a democracy. Magazines like PW and FWW have editorial boards and the people who occupy these boards make careful decisions about each and every issue. They decide for us what the face of North American woodworking looks like.
It wasn’t all that long ago that women were forbidden to run in the Boston Marathon (I’m reminded of this by the recent passing of the mighty Grete Waitz) though women were out there setting a pace. Don’t get me wrong: I love me some FWW and PW. But the world they represent doesn’t have to be monochrome. It could be Technicolor…

-- BlueHatMan, N. California,

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43 posts in 3464 days

#14 posted 04-30-2011 06:06 PM

I have noticed that women as a whole is always undervalued, and that still today most are told they are to be seen, admired but not heard.

Every year that viewpoint slowly (more like snail passed) is giving way to the more modern point of view.

Women may not be as oppressed as they (we) used to be, but if there is two people being looked at for promotion, the male will always be picked first. That is from personal witness, and experience. Even if the male is not qualified, or even schooled.

Sad but it is still the view of these times.


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32122 posts in 3720 days

#15 posted 04-30-2011 07:15 PM

Very good point, David. I know who did the most important work in my family and it surely wasn’t me – it was my wife of 40 years. She has held all of my family together for all of that time and for all of maybe 4 years or so has also maintained a full time job which means she mostly had two full time jobs. I can usually do one thing well at a time but my wife seems like she can maybe do four or five things well at a time and do them all with love, kindness, and patience. For some reason she has made it a lifetime project to knock all of the rough edges off of me but she still has a long ways to go. When we were married I was just plain a hard case but the good Lord knew what He was doing when He picked her for a wife for me and she still exercises an extraordinary amount of patience with me. I am so thankful to have had her for a wife all of these years and there is really no telling how I would have turned out had I never known her. Most likely I would still be a hard case.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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