Don't Assume I'm a Bad 'Handyman' Just Because I'm a Woman

Rant 6

jenny isenman with drill

Today, my new neighbor came by looking for my hubby.

"He's sleeping," I told him.

"Oh, well. Would you mind sending him by when he wakes up? I just had a quick question," he said as he walked off.

"Do you need to know how to spell something? Because then it'd be worth waiting for him to wake up," I replied. "Otherwise, I may be able to help."

"Well, I don't know what to use to anchor the hurricane shutter panels, and I'm leaving for the season, so if you could send him over ..." he answered dismissively, barely turning around.

"You need metal clips. They look like this," I explained, walking him to the garage and giving him one. Then I told him where he could get them and how many he'd need.

"Okay," he said, looking bewildered. "Thanks. I'll return your clip tomorrow."

"Keep it as a souvenir of the time a woman answered a 'manly' question," I joked.

Okay, fine, I didn't say the last part, but it was strongly implied. And I wish I had.

Listen, I'm a girly girl through and through. I have a fresh gel mani, I've been known to wear stilettos to the playground, and I can rock a fedora on a field trip.

But I'm also the one who set up our surround sound, fixes drawers, WD40s squeaky hinges, and put together a 10-foot buffet from IKEA with nothing more than encouragement and positive reinforcement from the hubs. Oh, and a hand-delivered latte.

Do not come to my house and assume I don't know what's up with the "Mr. Fix-It" jobs simply because I'm a woman. It's not the freakin' '50s (not that women couldn't fix things back then -- I'm guessing they probably could). Men, give us the benefit of the doubt. We may surprise you.

The truth is, in my house if you want something fixed, need a tool, need advice on where to buy a pressure cleaner ... I'm your "man." If you need some grammatical advice, or have a bunch of numbers that need to be added together tout de suite (and can't find a calculator), my husband's your guy. So leave the stereotypes on our doorstep, please!

Are you good at fixing things around the house, or do you leave those "manly" jobs for your husband to do?


Image via JennyIsenman/TheSuburbanJungle

confessions, garage, home repair, nesting, outdoors, self esteem, stress, feminism


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nonmember avatar NoWay

I was a single mom for many years so I had to do all of the "man" jobs and am pretty darned good at it! One day a few years ago, my neighbor stopped by and was amazed that I was fixing my own washing machine. I also do a lot of the basic maintenance on my own car, too. Now that I am married, I do let my husband do most of the "manly" stuff, but if he doesn't get around to it soon enough, I end up doing it and doing it just fine! :)

Bianca Long

i was an army wife until my husband died, so Ive been basically doing the single mom gig from the beginning. I have always done everything that needed to be done on my own. and Im also great at math and grammar (though my english has suffered since i moved back to germany, my german is still superb though)

Todd Vrancic

My mother-in-law took a course in basic automotive maintenance in her early fifties.  I she could do it, I see no other reason than preference for any woman not to.  Tools aren't your thing?  I have no problem with that, whether you are male or female.  You like to crawl under cars and fix what's broken?  Male or female, more power to you.

tania... taniamorse85

I learned much of what I needed to know about fixing things around the house from repairing my wheelchair.  If I was to send my chair out to be repaired by 'professionals,' I'd be screwed.  I'd get it back with something else wrong with it, and I'd be charged an arm and a leg.  I can do everything correctly, quickly, and for far less.  Now, I'm the first person anyone comes to when something goes wrong.  I can't do everything, but I'm far more competent than some of the maintenance men for our apartment complex.

nonmember avatar Karri

Once I was hanging out with some college friends, playing board games and watching TV, and an advertisement came on the TV for a hardware store popular in our area. I remarked that I love that particular hardware store. One of the guys in the group responded with the most ridiculous and insulting question: "Oh, so you're the person who goes and puts all the bolts and screws in the wrong places?"
"No," I replied. "I'm one of the people who is nice enough to put them back in the right places. And if you ever need a 2-1/2 inch 1/4-20 lag bolt, I can tell you exactly where to get it from."

WifeM... WifeMomStudent

I got a drill for my birthday and I'm proud of it! Have you seen shanty2chic or

Both women who build awesome stuff without the hubs

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