Home repairs

02Mar10

I could make a whole blog bitching about other blogs. (Wait, have I?) Exhibit A: a post on Feministing about home repairs. The post struck me as gee this sucks, but help me brainstorm solutions. The author chimed in on the comment threads to say that no one was acknowledging sexism and making it all about her to fix. Which rubbed me the wrong way. And then got me thinking.

Home repairs are typically guy things, yeah? For all my mother’s weird anti-feminist, Christian fundementalism, she always expected me to do shit myself. Why pay someone for shit you can do yourself? It was often an issue of my family simply not being able to afford a contractor to re-tile the bathroom or re-carpet the living room. I learned when I first started driving how to change my own oil.

And pretty much everything else I’ve learned how to do I did by just doing it. Oddly enough, not in spite of sexism, but because of sexism. I hate dealing with repair-dudes and car mechanic-dudes. I wooed my lady over (I hope) by fixing her toilet. And that was just by buying the shit for the toilet and working it out.

So the whole thing kind of begs the question of structure versus agency: the structure of home repair is sexist, while the subversive woman learns to do shit herself. At least that is the structure of the argument. But I don’t know how much agency we all have individually and I don’t know how much we can blame to structure for not figuring shit out ourselves.

I guess this is also the place to talk about my antithetical belief to figuring it the fuck out: why do it when you can pay someone? Weird, huh? This one comes from my grandmother, my mother’s mother, who was married to an electrician. It was in her self-interest that people not try to rewire themselves! So I feel like I have a toolkit that lets me figure shit out when I want to (fixing the toilet of the woman I am trying to woo) and pay for it when I want to (which would be shit like changing my oil because goddamn is my garage nasty).

Hell, if people did “it” themselves all the time, I’d be out of a job! (Obvious sex work joke.)

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One Response to “Home repairs”

  1. I would say rewiring you should definitely call a professional, that can go real wrong, real fast.


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