Friday, May 13, 2011

A Woman's Place Is Under the Hood

I posted on this subject yesterday, but Blogger done eated mah post!!

On Wednesday, I drove from my loverly home in the New York Metro Area to Northern Virginia, where my mom has resided for the last thirteen years. As I usually do before going on a road trip, I stopped at the local quick-lube place for an oil change and a check of belts and fluids.

The licensed automotive service technician was a young woman named, appropriately enough, Rosie. Rosie was courteous, professional, and competent- she had my car running like a Swiss watch after an engine flush, oil change, and replacement of the air filter and spark plugs (there was a time when I'd change my oil, and I even replaced the spark plugs of an old Chevette I drove back in the day, but I can't be arsed doing the work now, and finding a place to dispose of the oil properly... plus, I don't have a garage, so I really couldn't be bothered to do this sort of work).

Anyway, the fact that Rosie was performing stellarly in a field traditionally dominated by men did nothing to detract from her femininity. She wasn't trying to be a man, she was trying, and succeeding, to be a damn fine mechanic. She did a credit to her profession, and wore her mechanics' grays with pride. More importantly, having a woman working on my car did nothing to diminish my masculinity. There's been a lot of nonsense about the "emasculation of the American male" (I'd provide links, but the Google results are a fever-swamp of reactionaries and white power and "men's rights" groups). Suffice it to say, if you are a male who feels that he has been emasculated, that's your problem. It sure as hell ain't Rosie's problem, because she's damn near perfect.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


P.S. Congrats for the diligent car maintenance...the Thundermobile gets an oil change when it blink an orange light in the dashboard that says, "2% oil life remaining, idiot!"

vacuumslayer said...

I like to believe that most men are like you, B^4. I know that two of Mr. Slayer's favorite bosses were women. He just respected them tremendously. I guess that sort of thing does happen. Gives me hope.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I think most guys are decent. Also, a lot of young men have grown up in a female-run household, so their attitudes towards female authority are much more positive than those of older men.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Another thing just struck me... I think somebody could make a killing by marketing an automotive how-to series specifically for women. Even something just covering such basics as replacing lights, checking fluids, and changing tires would be a good start. I personally think that routine maintenance should be taught as part of drivers' ed, but I'm a stickler.

fish said...

wore her mechanics' grays with pride


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

BBBB, I have been fascinated by the bloggery at on these topics.

Plus, the MRA trolls are hilarious, if sickening.

M. Bouffant said...

I would almost always rather work for a woman.

Or: In my experience, women are much easier to work under (SHUT UP!!) & are much less likely to be jerks at work than men are.

vacuumslayer said...

Interesting, that horrible British rag...Daily Mail? fond of reporting anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Hmm. I started a firm with a woman, and in my hiring practices (which seem to be useless anymore) I have hired more women than men.

Also, a fair number of minorities for my profession.

Of course, I am crappy at running a business, so they were all SOL. I feel bad about that.

Smut Clyde said...

an automotive how-to series specifically for women.


vacuumslayer said...

Oh, stop that.

fish said...


and also too

Aunt Snow said...

I live with a man who is the least mechanical person I know - love him dearly as I do - so I can tell you this phenomenon works in the other direction as well.

Smut Clyde said...

From Fish's link:
The Original Pink Box Tool Belt
I can imagine the Frau Doktorin wearing that. And nothing else.
I'll be in my bunk.

Another Kiwi said...

About 100 years ago, when I was a student living in a house with two other blokes, our gas heater went bung so the landlord got a gasfitter in to look at it. Who turned out to be a woman. While the shock was pretty strong for 3 kiwi blokes, she fixed it and left with barely a nod to us useless students and we thought "Hey she was a good tradesperson" Of such moments is one's life journey made.
In terms of learning stuff, there are ladies nights at the local hardware shop and the local night school has automotive classes for women.