Treason in a Shed?

I don’t know whether I am a just a wimp, a sad ex-feminist or a real traitor. Or I could pretend this is an April Fools piece.

But I badly want a men’s shed for women and I would like some nice man to start one for us! (I don’t even mind if it is a unisex shed but then it must not interfere with the integral principle of the Men’s Shed movement!)

All my life I have stood up for our rights and capacities as females. I even led a deputation to our Principal (in those days the “Head Master”) at school in 1955 asking for permission to join the all boys “Woodwork” class instead of our “Cooking and Needlework” class. We were, quite gently, laughed out of the room.

Today I have admired the way the men have set up “men’s sheds”, modelling as they began to do such, on the enjoyment women get in gathering together and in being supportive of one another. And there is no doubt I very much enjoy frequent meetings with my female friends. And we are mutually supportive. But we don’t actually do very much. I do not enjoy sewing or cooking and only do these when necessary, not for fun. (My sons cook both for fun and professionally, as many men do.)

My early retirement fun was allowing myself to re-do my very own shed, with minimum help sought from one professional carpenter. (I have to thank him and other handymen from the past for giving me pointers as to how to do simple things. I also have to thank my son in law for my set of power tools.) I put up multiple shelves, cupboards to store my books, tools etc. Sadly a friend’s husband told me this much loved shed was “too girly” because I added curtains to the windows. He spoke kindly and as if in jest like my former Head Master, but perhaps he was right.

Recently I peripherally met a gentleman who was involved helping with the setting up of the Men’s Shed movement. We met in a discussion group with regard to a different sort of public duty/interest. What he said about this movement was fascinating and made me even more envious.

I could try to start a women’s shed movement for myself but know the expertise is missing. And I do not know, personally, other women who would be interested.

And anyway I am stuck and can’t change the metal cutting blade in my power saw. Help!


About Anne Powles

I am retired from paid employment. During my working life I have been variously and sometimes contemporaneously, wife, mother of four, lawyer, teacher and psychologist. I have also been a serial education junkie. As are we all, I have been an observer of the world around me. Here I have recorded some of my memories, observations and theorisings.
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