No, My Hammer Doesn't Need Flowers Painted On It

CNN through Oprah.com is running the following story and icon:

Which just pissed me the hell off. (Hey, if Wil Wheaton can curse like a sailor and still have 8 billion readers, I figure it gives me permission to use a tiny bit of profanity.)

Since when exactly do women need permission to buy and use paint, sanders, hammers, power drills, etc, etc.? What, exactly, is different about a "6 foot tall former model" that she can use a drill and it's ok?

I was the only *person* in my dorm freshman year who bothered to bring a hammer. Not the only girl, the only person. Being handly has never had anything to do with my gender, and everything to do with learning at an early age that if I do it myself I can be sure the job is done like I want it, as well as the fact that I can do things I can't afford to pay someone else to do.

I've never needed permission to own my own tool box. I've never felt unwomanly doing so. I was single through most of my 20's.... a decade on my own and three years of single homeownership meant I could nail, weed whack, clean, (didn't like to, but could) mow, paint, wallpaper, drill, and install what I needed to.

I never worried that installing Pergo flooring in the office with my dad made me less of a woman. And I never thought that in 2007 I would be reading an article that implies that others would think so.

When you, as a writer, create a piece that feels like it needs to justify women who can and do stand on our own... you're undermining us. You're actually giving people permission to say that it's not womanly, excuse me "girly" to do it on your own.

I wouldn't mind an article about the tribulations of a woman taking care of these things herself (I've found, for example, that plumbers and whatnot talk down to my husband far less than they do to me), but an article that needs to proclaim "You can still be your girly-girl self," is actually promoting sexism.

I expected better of something w/ Oprah's name on it.

Update: This Old House is running an article on toolsets for women. The criteria? Things like gender-neutral packaging and useful tools. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1037754,00.html This is how to get an article on "handy" women right.

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