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to wonder why women need special classes...

(135 Posts)
TheLostWinchesterWife Thu 29-Aug-13 17:32:21 bricklaying, plumbing, woodwork and decorating effects! Just browsing through the local college prospectus and in starter courses there they are. Specialist decorating effects, intro to woodworking skills, basic plumbing and intro to bricklaying then after listing them all they are repeated but specified For Women.
Do they have lighter bricks for our dainty little hands? Do we use hearts and flowers and fluffy bunnies for decorating effects while the men use ox bollocks as rollers ?
It smacks of let's let the little ladies think they can do these man things. Arent they funny little creatures? fnaar fnaar fnaar snort!
Maybe its less intimidating or they have them for that reason but it seems so patronising.
Rant over.

BigBoobiedBertha Sat 31-Aug-13 10:47:35

Katiepoes - I find women only business groups rather dated personally. I have been to a session. Never again - I got nothing out of it that couldn't have got from a mixed group but then I am happy to learn from anybody though, not just other women. I truly don't see the point but if you do fine. I just think you are giving some men even more of a reason to look down on you. There is nothing crusading in that. I don't feel the need - I just don't do not see what benefits it adds.

To me women only business groups are like toddler groups. A bit like some mothers don't like toddler groups because they don't like the premise that we should all get on just because we are all mothers (mostly) and happen to have children the same age. I don't like women only groups because the only reason we are in the same group is because we are all women which doesn't really add anything for me. If we were all in it because we had the same interests or the same type of business or any issue more focussed than just our gender I could see the point but not just because I happen to be female.

This is getting off the point of the thread though. This isn't about business groups. Mixing for business is not the same as a learning situation.

BarbarianMum Sat 31-Aug-13 10:08:25

In my own field I am quite often the only woman on a course etc but that doesn't bother me at all because its an area I feel confident in.

I have seen Men only cooking and sowing courses (15 odd years ago) - I guess they were run for similar reasons.

BarbarianMum Sat 31-Aug-13 10:06:21

<<I think I'd join up for the women only one too, I just want to learn to put up a shelf without having to (potentially) pull my coursemates up on every twattish thing they say.>>

^^ This was exactly why I took women only courses in basic woodworking and car maintenance. Sometimes you just want to learn to change a tyre, not deliver a seminar in equality.

Actually, the men I found most problematic were not the young and mouthy ones but the older ones who felt obliged to take over try and help because 'you're just a young lady and don't want to get yourself dirty'. Smiling whilst hanging on to your wrench and insisting that you're fine is very tiring and at 21 I had enough on my plate trying to modernise my dad's well meaning but misogynistic thinking without taking on the rest of Yorkshire as well.

megsmouse Sat 31-Aug-13 09:51:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EBearhug Sat 31-Aug-13 09:44:59

The area of IT I work in, women certainly don't make a proportional contribution in terms of numbers - I have often been the only one, and certainly always a minority.

WMittens Sat 31-Aug-13 09:36:10

I don't agree, can't remember where all I've read about it

What a fantastic article! So I've been "groomed for assertiveness since birth"? Wonderful, I'll tell my therapist that I'm cured, I never had a problem and I don't need her help any more.

It's just more sexist rubbish reinforcing boundaries rather than removing them.

Maybe I just work in a more progressive environment than those observed in the study, but the areas of IT, sales and relationship management that I've been involved in women have made at least proportional contributions (in terms of numbers), if not more.

I currently work in a female-dominated environment and I would be interested to see what a study said about those situations.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 31-Aug-13 04:17:55

This: (McNewPants2012)

"After you have the qualification you have a lifetime to sort gender battles out.

On a course, then all i want to do is concentrate and get the work done"

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 31-Aug-13 04:14:29


Me too. That was back in the 80s.

I was going to agree with Someone further back. It's about the learning environment. You can battle sexism once you have learned your skill

EBearhug Sat 31-Aug-13 03:05:37


EBearhug Sat 31-Aug-13 03:04:58

In some ways, I think I was v lucky to go to a single sex secondary school. I was v taken aback when I got treated differently just because I was a girl, and challenged it. I think school probsbly set some values and expectations which may not have been so strong in a mixed school. So yes, I guess I see the value in women only evening classes.

slightlysoupstained Fri 30-Aug-13 23:47:21

EBearhug the girls in my 5th form (hah, that ages me) physics class did our own research on that one.

The girls managed, with some effort, to wrestle a whole TWO MINUTES of attention from our appallingly sexist prick of a teacher during a 90 minute session. All the rest was spent on the boys.

zeno Fri 30-Aug-13 23:47:02

It may have to do with funding. There's a lot of money around to support training for women in areas where they are under represented. For example, there is a business course in my area which is targeted at women, under 25s, people with a disability, and ethnic minority people. The funding criteria dictate the offering,.

EBearhug Fri 30-Aug-13 23:43:55

It's not just that women will speak up less in mixed environments, but also that many speakers/teachers/chairpeople will be more likely to notice men with hands up in the room, or at least are more likely to ask men with hands up what their question is. (Can't be bothered to google for a study just now.)

TheLostWinchesterWife Fri 30-Aug-13 23:38:29

Well thishasmoved on since I last checked
Seems the majority think that this less patronizing and more necessary than I would have thought. Some interesting points raised that just wouldnt have occured to me.

sameoldIggi Fri 30-Aug-13 22:10:23

Er.. That's me told? hmm I don't agree, can't remember where all I've read about it (and conversations with friends confirmed it for me too) but a quick google threw this up - just demonstrating it's not just my idea

WMittens Fri 30-Aug-13 21:54:55


Women tend to speak less when there are men present.

What a load of tosh.

Katiepoes Fri 30-Aug-13 20:08:13

Bertha women's business networks are to support each other and provide mentoring and learning opportunities, not about who you actually do business with. I am happy you don't feel a need for them but in the world I am in they are important and beneficial.

They are not about patronising poor weak girlies, anymore than classes are. They are acknowledging a desire for women-centric spaces and groups. How about joining one before passing a rather dated judgment?

exoticfruits Fri 30-Aug-13 18:27:51

There is nothing I dread more than being in a room full of women and men are banned. The conversation generally descends into competitive parenting tedium.

Yours must be young-thankfully everyone outgrows it.

mrsjay Fri 30-Aug-13 17:58:00

We tried to run a father and son cooking workshop and we were inundated with complaints about how it was not "inclusive" and "sexist", so it became a parent and child cooking workshop

That for want of a better word is loopy imo

TheCraicDealer Fri 30-Aug-13 17:48:11

I would go to the women's one, simply to make friends. I work in a male-dominated industry, but I miss being with a lot of other women sometimes. You miss the different dynamic after a while. Fwiw I would've baulked at this before, always cringed slightly when I saw ads for "women's gyms" or whatever. But so long as we have the choice what the fuck does it matter?

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 30-Aug-13 17:37:05

We tried to run a father and son cooking workshop and we were inundated with complaints about how it was not "inclusive" and "sexist", so it became a parent and child cooking workshop.

That we also advertised at the same time mother and son, mother and daughter, father and daughter, parent and child was immaterial.

BigBoobiedBertha Fri 30-Aug-13 17:19:06

OP YANBU - I don't see the need either although I can see some of you do. I personally find it patronising and unnecessary.

From my point of view, I grew up with a misogynist father who had worked in the building trade and who didn't think women were capable of anything. I can't imagine wanting to do a women only course that would, imo, just prove him right. It would just give him ammunition to say women were somehow doing a lesser course and needed to be taught separately because they couldn't hack being in a mixed group.

I don't actually think that women only courses are the way to go if you want to challenge gender stereotypes or if you want to come to expect equality. Let the men see that women are just as capable. Why would men be on the same course if they knew it all - you are all starting from the same point in terms of experience surely? No need to feel intimidated by the men.

Also, let women see that not all men are God's gift to DIY or the building trade. Has anybody thought that perhaps the colleges are protecting the poor delicate little men who don't want to be shown up by women in a mixed class - apologies if somebody has - I haven't read every single word of the thread. What a dent to the ego for the hapless man who comes bottom of a mixed group!! wink

But then I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about women only business networking groups. I truly don't see the point. The whole thing about networking is to get your business known and to share information and advice. How is it beneficial to women if they are only prepared to do business with half the population? That is a whole other thread though.

sameoldIggi Fri 30-Aug-13 17:04:43

Women tend to speak less when there are men present.

ivykaty44 Fri 30-Aug-13 17:04:14

I thought it was for the same reason that there are single sex schools, because woman and men learn to do something in different ways at different paces and need different teaching styles

mrsjay Fri 30-Aug-13 17:01:47

I dont know why people would object to men only

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