For decades and centuries, the woodworking industry has remained monopolized by the male demographic. However, things are fast changing from the last three decades. These years have witnessed an increasing number of women joining the woodworking field and who have become a part of this field. Many women have adopted woodworking as their hobby while many others have taken this on as their profession. They are also entering the woodworking field in the professional production of the wood or entering into management ownership.
As the DIY culture has taken a surge in American society, many people have been motivated to go back and do work with their own hands. Benefiting from this, many women in the woodworking field have left their mark on this profession. As a result of this, we can clearly see how the industry has begun to revolutionize.
There have been a lot of culture-altering movements going on in the United States for over a decade. Because of these movements, we are witnessing an intense rise in the woodworking collectives and community woodshops everywhere in the country.
These organizations allow the woodworkers to improve their talents and use larger and better equipment which otherwise would not have been available.
Reclaiming of Working Spaces
After years of constant struggle, dedication, and hard work. As a result of this struggle, the woodworking industry for women is starting to grow and with this growth, new technologies and new ideas are being introduced along with fresh, diverse and more energetic employees.
This recent surge in technologies has meant that the woodworking industry will now be more reliant on creativity, and intelligence rather on physical prowess-which previously was the exclusive test for a woodworker’s abilities.
This conversion has led to the widening of spaces and opportunities for women in the local carpentry service profession.
Facing Unwelcoming and Surprising Looks
A section of women has remained ambivalent regarding women-only woodworkers’ workshops and conferences. Eventually, they went in favor of it. There’s a series of events behind how it came to happen.
Most of the time, a “woodworker” is by default assumed to be “not a woman” or worse, a woman is perceived as “not a woodworker”. These attitudes are reflective of the deep gender-related problems that women have to face in the industry.
The discriminatory and derogatory attitudes don’t stop here. Inside of different woodworking stores and lumberyards, many women shoppers have had to face questions like ‘are you shopping for your husband?”
Uncalled for Guidance and Help Offers
Unwanted interruptions and offers for help are another cause of annoyance and gender-based discrimination which women woodworkers go through.
During an industry event, where a woman is found trying and testing a new tool or a sawblade, there are always some guys rushing over to the woman to ensure she knows how to safely use it. While the concern is appreciable, the question remains on the lack of similar concern when it’s a male checking out those very tools!
While seemingly helpful, these attitudes are profoundly condescending and disrespectful against women woodworkers who are no less competent and professional.
Lack of Support from the Family
This is one of the most commonly faced problems by women working in almost all fields of professions. Centuries of suppression have defined and drawn the lines between what is considered man-specific and woman-specific roles. Woodwork is something that has remained a professional dominated by men and men alone for hundreds and thousands of years.
Many women woodworkers find no support from their family when they decide to join the profession. In fact, the families of several women woodworkers have had to face condescending backlash for allowing a woman to do what is meant to be a man’s job.
Because the job involves immense physical labor, the role was never meant to be acceptable for women. That’s the main reason behind so many husbands and boyfriends opposed women from joining the profession.
Mean Comments and Reviews
This is one of the rudest problem’s women have to face in the woodworking profession. Despite an increasing sphere of acceptance for female woodworkers, the gender-based filthy verbal abuse hasn’t come to an end. Unfortunately, nor does it seem to be ending anytime soon.
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Whenever a woman woodworker shares some of her works on different online platforms such as YouTube, they are faced with filthy, mean, and gender-based verbal abuses including many sexual innuendos.
The comments are aimed at how a female professional is dressed, and how’s she looking.
The abuse is sometimes explicit and sometimes expressed through subtle and “polite” comments.
Discrimination at Hardware Stores
Professional carpentry services remain to be a largely man dominated profession. Among all other areas where they face discrimination, hardware stores are the worst. The situation is so disappointing that many women already know what to expect when they are standing inside a store checking out different tools and equipment.
As soon as a woman steps in and picks up state-of-the-art equipment, it is assumed that she’s probably shopping for a male member of her family. The very idea of a woman woodworker is still unacceptable to the minds of many people.
Despite that things are changing fast, there’s still a lot that needs to be done to ensure maximum women participation and acceptance of women as equally, if not less, competent professional woodworkers.
Emily David is a young and aspiring blogger with a passion for everything related to home, design and lifestyle. He has a B.Sc. in Interior design and is an avid reader.