Feminism… Is It Dead?

2 Jun

My oh my. A recent conversation with my two new housemates (and very good friends) sent me into a spin. We were discussing pumping up tyres (don’t ask me why) and Emma said that she hadn’t ever done it, and how did a person know how much air to put in and what to do?

I was baffled. I honestly thought this was a joke. I staunchly feel that if you have a car, you should be able to do simple things like check the oil, change a tyre and top the windscreen water up, and yes, I know that the girls argument of the AA are there to help is fine, but who wants to wait on the side of the road for two hours while the AA show up, when you could have don’t it yourself and been on your merry way over an hour ago?

So we went to the garage and I showed Emma what to do and how to do it, with Mel paying close attention as it transpired she didn’t have a clue either. Great. I’m starting to feel I should be teaching life skills somewhere!

I get the sense that I am to be the man of the house when we move in. I can deal with spiders (after a few minutes of squealing, looking for the Hoover, whacking it until it is completely dead and not pretending, etc). I can change a tyre, screw a wardrobe together (after leaving my ex to do it in our old house and finding that the panels were screwed on the wrong way so you couldn’t put the hanging rail in) and I’m a dab hand at unblocking a sink, as long as I don’t ruin my nails.

But saying that, I’m not a massive feminist. Oh no, if there is a handy man on the scene then I will be more likely to ask rather than doing it myself, but I like to be safe in the knowledge that I could if I wanted to. Daddy or boyfriend or passing man will do, on the theory that they are stronger and more able to do manly things. Although the amount of time that some of my male friends and housemates have spent in the bathroom makes me question how much there is a manly option!  A few years ago I returned to my car after a late shift and it had a completely flat tyre. I tried to take it off but the garage that had done something to it the last time had tightened it with one of those air tighteners, and despite me standing on the tool to loosen the nut, it wasn’t going anywhere. So I had to accost some poor man whose nails were cleaner that mine to help me out. I don’t think he was that impressed!

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14 Responses to “Feminism… Is It Dead?”

  1. Julia (AKA Jules) June 2, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    I can’t even do DIY to save my life! hmm, suppose it’d be hard when I move up to Scotland, it’d take a day for me daddy to come up with his tool kit!! x

  2. mairedubhtx June 2, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    I can do those things but I hate doing them.

  3. vixter2010 June 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    I have to admit I’m not very practical, I fused all the lights once just changing a bulb lol 🙂

  4. aka gringita June 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    I am totally not DIY gifted, but as a single there are times one has to “suck it up” and do things. One of the greatest gifts I ever got was a (otherwise horrible) roommate who shared a story about once getting a flat tire just outside a gas station. She pulled in, and “three big burly men” just looked at her and said, “we’re not a service station.” So they stood and watched while she changed the tire using the car’s owner’s manual. Some 10 years after she told me that story, I blew a tire on the highway, and discovered I was WITHOUT MY CELL, and couldn’t call for help. I remembered the story, and got out the user’s manual…

    A person doesn’t need to know how to do everything… but everyone should know how to do some things, gender aside. Changing a flat tire counts. So does doing laundry. (See? It’s an equal-opportunity lesson in self-sufficiency!) 😀

  5. prenin June 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    I had a motorcycle and took a visit to the local petrol station to inflate tyres and get some fuel.

    A couple of women drove up and asked how to put more air in the tyres.

    One look told me they were over inflated and a quick look at the handy booklet that comes with such cars showed they needed 16psi in the front and 28psi in the back.

    I tested the pressure with my guage and both sets showed an impressive 64psi in all four!!!

    After deflating them to the correct pressure I gave them my spare pressure gauge and a 101 in car maintenance.

    Some people are too dangerous to be let out on the road…

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.

  6. My BlogJect June 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    I like to think I could turn my hand to these tasks – IF required. But to be fair, I would always see if someone who knew what they were doing would have a go first… passing man, woman or beast accepted I’m not picky!

  7. Redneckprincess June 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    I am like you, having been in a long term relationship or two where the old man wasn’t around much, if I didn’t go it, it never got done 🙂 Yay, girl power 🙂

  8. barb19 June 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    I think if you own a car, then you need to know basic maintenance like changing a tyre, checking the oil, topping up the water for your windscreen – just in case. Don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat tyre; you could have it done and dusted long before the AA got there! Of course, if there is a male on hand, then it’s a different story!

  9. egills June 3, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    I’m pretty sure that it’s all part of the test now, you have to show you can change a wheel check oil etc… I even know how to change the fuel and filter and I don’t drive!
    DIY? I’d love for some one to take over – unfortunately I’m the only practical minded person in our house and although Brian does try to help I normally end up telling him to go and do something nice instead ( it’s that or I’ll end up screaming at him for doing it wrong.. no matter how many times I tell him lefty losey righty tighty he still does it wrong! ).

    • tinkerbelle86 June 3, 2011 at 11:01 am #

      seriously, its not hard. i nearly threw the wardrobe at the ex, he would let me have no involvement and then did it all wrong!!

      • egills June 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

        Many years ago me and the ex were building a kitchen, he kept telling me to go off and put the kettle on etc so he could do ‘man’ stuff…. after a day of him screaming and shouting and throwing things he stomped off to the pub… when he came back I’d finished it ( cutting mitres to frame plug sockets ). He didn’t speak to me for 3 days!

  10. Melissa's Meanderings June 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Good or you! know how to do it yourself in a pinch…but don’t be afraid to ask for help if someone “stronger” is available!

  11. Magnet for Foolishness June 6, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    I have a post similar to this in-progress. I had a nearly flat tire experience (3 out of 4!) not too long ago so I text everyone in my phone who lived in a 15 mile radius to ask what to do and who could help! Luckily, one of my girlfriends came to the rescue.

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