Using Power Tools

slomodrill-011113-01While times have changed and it is not as bad as it was, there is still a stereotype that boys do not sew and certainly do not quilt and heaven forbid they play with dolls and role play being a daddy. I have a problem with that as I was limited in the opportunities available to me because of my gender.

I grew up in an era where girls in 9th grade took Home Economics and boys took Shop. Home Economics for me was a joke. I had been responsible for all the cooking and cleaning and babysitting for my family for years. I taught myself how to sew my own clothes at 10 and had learned to work with a limited budget.

My skills were such that the cooking teacher had me teach a lesson and in sewing class I got “speeding tickets” for going too fast.LA-TRaffic-Night---101 That same teacher had me show off my skills for Parent’s Night. While the rest in the class were making elastic waist band skirts, I was making a fitted skirt with darts and reversible vest. Sigh.

Knowing I would be bored in the Home Economics classes I asked if I could take Shop. After much persuasion the school allowed me to switch to Shop, but only if my parents signed off on the change. They refused.

To give a little more insight on the times I was raised. I scored high in mechanical aptitude. In the minds of the school that limited me to becoming a car mechanic, but I was told girls did not become mechanics (plus it didn’t interest me). Computer class (which was programming and learning the binary language at the time) wasn’t an option as it was also only for the male population. I was however allowed to stay after and “play” on the computer so I taught myself how to do basic programming. If I had been raised in a different generation, I think I would have become a computer programmer.

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Girls are now allowed to use power tools, become mechanics, do woodworking, program computers etc. Well, I am here to say a sewing machine is a power tool, and it is not just for the female population. In case you don’t believe me the definition of a power tool is here.

I don’t need any help from society to keep me from doing what I want as I am good at putting limitations on myself with my own excuses, fears and negative self-talk. So let’s not put limitations on the boys (or girls) because of their gender. Enough of the stereotyping.

What limitations do you put on yourself or someone else?

A personal rant on the journey, Jackie

  • Kati R.

    Interesting, and very reasonable thoughts, Jackie! I grew up in an era when girls had to be able to use the power drill, and different kind of carving tools to be able to carve patterns into a wooden steak 🙂 we never learned how to cook, or sew at school.

    • Jackie

      Kati, I wonder if we will see a day when all options are available and required (for exposure) for all students, regardless of gender.

      Jackie Berdych
      Sew Excited
      Website/Blog: http://www.sewexcitedquilts.com
      Facebook: Sew Excited Quilts

  • Whoknoweth

    I grew up in the same era! Twenty thumbs up! Very true!

    • Jackie

      True, but sad. I wonder how different our lives would be if we had the same opportunities that are open for women today.

      Jackie Berdych
      Sew Excited
      Website/Blog: http://www.sewexcitedquilts.com
      Facebook: Sew Excited Quilts

  • nstitches4u

    Where did you go to school, Jackie? Was it your high school that wouldn’t let girls take computer classes? I took programming classes in college . . . and I am older than you are. lol

    I totally agree that boys/men can sew/machine embroider/digitize and girls/women can use power tools as well as the male gender can. Gender bias must go!