WW Gender Question

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Forum topic by juanabee posted 06-01-2010 07:42 PM 2717 views 0 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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113 posts in 4295 days

06-01-2010 07:42 PM

A female neighbor of mine learned from my wife that I had taken up woodworking. On a recent visit to my home she asked if she could see my shop, which I was proud to show, even though it was (and usually is) a mess. She seemed really interested and asked lots of questions about how certain projects could be done.

She said she wished she could do woodworking. Surprised, I inquired and learned that her main reason for not doing it is that she is a woman, and it doesn’t seem like something women do. I argued that the forums are full of women who are dedicated and skillful woodworkers. I probably exaggerated the number of female LJ’s when I told her about our forum.

I tried to find a way to search out the gender of our LJ’s, but couldn’t. Does anybody know the answer to this question?

-- "Life's nonsense pierces us with strange relation." Wallace Stevens

45 replies so far

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 4217 days

#1 posted 06-01-2010 07:48 PM

I dont agree with females not being able to woodwork simply because there female.
Woodworking is a passion and art form. Neither of those two things are limited by gender.

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4864 days

#2 posted 06-01-2010 07:50 PM

I guess all you can do is go to the “members” butten below the pulse section below and look for all the gals.


View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4935 days

#3 posted 06-01-2010 08:00 PM

no, you can’t find the gender – just like you can’t find the race, or religious beliefs of other LJs…

best thing to do – is forgo with the entire gender thing all together, and just focus on this as art… regardless of who and what you are.

step up above that line of thinking.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4590 days

#4 posted 06-01-2010 08:08 PM

I sure don’t mind if it’s a guy or gal is in the shop. Some of the Ladies on this forum make me think they would be a blast to work with and some of the guys would get their ass kicked.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1530 posts in 5412 days

#5 posted 06-02-2010 12:56 AM

I don’t think there’s a “gender” box anywhere on LumberJocks, more power to Martin, but a few women on LumberJocks that come instantly to mind: LisaC, ellen35, Mary Anne, the prolific MsDebbieP (who’s been around LumberJocks since the early days), Martina (hasn’t been active for a while), or start at any one of their pages and look at their buddy lists.

And John Lucas has passed away, but he had a lot of women helping him in the shop at

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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Dan Lyke

1530 posts in 5412 days

#6 posted 06-02-2010 01:12 AM

And speaking of female woodworkers, wow, Autumn is an inspiration, her Medicine Chest #11: Part One of the Dustbunny Latch entry that just went up is inspiring.

I’m not generally a fan of calling out woodworkers (or anyone, for that matter) by gender, but if your neighbor needs some inspiration and examples, there’s a few to look to!

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 4245 days

#7 posted 06-02-2010 01:13 AM

The groups and clubs I’ve been around have maybe 1 in 30 women to men. I really don’t think there is any reason for it, just that maybe men appreciate the work of it more? We do love our tools!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View rance's profile


4279 posts in 4447 days

#8 posted 06-02-2010 01:32 AM

In the Woodworking Fundamentals class I teach, about 1 in 6 students are women. I hate to state generalities, but about the only difference I see with women is that they tend to not grip their work physically as firm as a man. But that can easilly , and should, be overcome, lest it cause an accident.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4248 days

#9 posted 06-02-2010 02:16 AM

I know of a fellow that wanted to be a registered nurse years ago but his parents told him, “Men don’t become nurses.” After about 25 years in a career he didn’t like, he quit, went to nursing school and graduated. Women are more teachable as they don’t have the attitude of “know it all” like many men. I find it easier to teach kids and women in fishing, shooting, and archery. IMHO, woodworking should be open to anyone who has an interest and would add to a tradition that has been around for centuries. Besides, who knows who the next innovative furniture maker/designer might be?

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 4273 days

#10 posted 06-02-2010 03:55 AM

You know it is sad, but I have found so many people (of any gender!) see my shop and my work and go “Wow, I can’t believe a woman did all of this…” or “Wow, this is all really great but what an un-feminine craft for you to get into”.. It does not help that in addition to woodworking I do machining (usually together). If you think woodworking is male-dominated, you should check out machining.

In fact in my machining classes I was the only female and the instructor admitted the only female he’s had in any of his classes in “years”. Thankfully I’ve found that when I’m wandering Woodcraft, I am nowhere near the only lady in the shop… although I tend to be the only lady looking at the power tools.. I’ve noticed the other gals sticking to the more “craftsy” stuff. And I’ve had more than one Woodcraft employee tell me they were impressed with my questions and what I knew.

Gender shouldn’t have anything to do with hobbies,... but that’s a soapbox for another day.

Instead of focusing on the quantity of females, perhaps it would be beneficial to focus on her skill set. What is she already good at, that would be handy in progressing with woodworking? Attention to detail? A keen eye for finishing? (painting, colours, etc) A steady hand? Good at math? Good at geometry? Pretty much any traditionally feminine hobby has things that carry over very well into woodworking.. Find out what they are, and help her see how she’s already well on her way!

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4302 days

#11 posted 06-02-2010 12:57 PM

Have her come here to Lj’s and she’ll see us and I’m sure many of us can answer her questions

View allthunbs's profile


25 posts in 4206 days

#12 posted 06-02-2010 01:47 PM


I do agree with your perspective, but in this case, the discrimination was reversed. It was someone influenced by society to believe that she couldn’t do something. I do agree (to a certain extent) with Juanabee’s position—to try to provide examples of women involved in machine crafts.

However, there is something more telling about “Lumberjocks.” Just the name is discriminatory.

It takes guts for a woman to leave the comfort zone of friends and family (and they do) to undertake a hobby or profession like this one. I have found that women, who undertake the machine hobbies, have to produce far better products to be acknowledged than men. I have found very bad and very good products from women, but a myriad of mediocrity from men and the occasional star.

Oh boy is this one gonna hit the fan

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4248 days

#13 posted 06-02-2010 02:45 PM

I was looking over the most recent post and remembered something from the past. I represented a company that made tooling for electric motor winding. I was given a set for “show-and-tell.” I thought they were chrome plated tool steel but was told that they were hand polished by a young lady that worked in the machine shop. The resulting finish was like a mirror!
Here’s to the ladies!

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 4273 days

#14 posted 06-02-2010 03:27 PM

Allthunbs – I meant to imply that… I have had lots of women tell me “I can’t believe you do such an un-feminine hobby!”

Which is just sad. :(

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4628 days

#15 posted 06-02-2010 03:52 PM

i have taught 7 or 8 women woodworking ,
they have a patience and an attention span that many of my male apprentices lack ,
their egos don’t get in their way , they tend to learn things thoroughly ,
and it shows in their work .
some men just want to get to the finish line to quickly ,
they can bluster past the details , ” oh , yea , i know that already ” but really don’t .
i have come to realize , that if i try and teach some men ,
they take it as a sign that i am implying stupidity on their part , not stupidity , just lack of knowledge .
but please do learn , this is always the way to do it , there are many others ,
you can learn them too , but start here , and it will always be there for you .

-- 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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