Vintage Sexism: Yesterday’s Headline Edition


This does look like it can be straight from the 50s, does it not? Including the first line of the article,

“Basic ‘female’ skills are becoming endangered with fewer young women able to iron a shirt, cook a roast chicken or hem a skirt.”

Well, spank me with a spatula! Who knew the state of our generation was so domestically dire — it’s time to rally the troops and learn these critical life skills before it’s too late, ladies; thousands of roast chickens depend on it.

Seriously though, read the rest of the article, it’s really quite hilarious — bullet points included.

h/t to Nate.

Join the Conversation

  • Nick

    Yuck. Just, yuck. Do people who write these things just not reflect on how awful it makes them seem? Or do they not care? Are they just so invested in enforcing social norms from decades past that they’re willing to look like complete asshats to do so?

    Women aren’t good enough if they don’t know how to do these things. Men aren’t good enough if they do. I guess I’m a failure as a man – I exercised all of these skills just yesterday afternoon. And vacuumed too! (Oh, how I hate sewing. Hate it hate it hate it. But I can and do attempt it for simple repairs – so confusing trying to figure out where that falls on the spectrum of masculinity/femininity as defined by The Sunday Mail headline editor.)

  • nazza

    I’m a guy, and all I gotta say is, speaking for me personally, one out of three ain’t bad. :)

  • Cathy Brown

    I can do all three, I guess womanhood has lost out now that I am genderqueer/non-binary trans. I can also make pies from scratch.

    But, seriously, some of these things aren’t bad all on their own, like basic sewing skills, but they are things that, if important, boys, girls, and the rest should be taught them, instead of making them some sort of gender expectation.

    • laiven

      First off – I laughed out loud at spank me with a spatula – very funny. secondly, I completely agree with Cathy and Nick – these aren’t “female” skills – there just skills – which are good for anyone to know – Oh and by the way – Nick, would you come over and “fail” at my house…

  • Jessica

    Definitely agree that all people should be taught these skills. I can put furniture together and sew a button on a shirt. I can follow a recipe, and sometimes cook without one, with great success. I can also pick up the dog poo in the back yard and take the trash to the curb. It’s not a big deal and all part of being a functioning adult. My husband can also do all those things. We don’t have gendered chores in this house. We split it all up based on who is better at a specific skill, who has time to do the chore, who’s more willing to do one chore instead of another, and sometimes we even do these things together. Shocker, I know.

    It’s disgusting that while this article briefly moans about the loss of masculine skills among males, its main goal is to shame women for not knowing how to do the feminine stuff. And its all our fault for not knowing, and not our elder’s fault for not teaching. But bottom line, this article is completely full of crap, as are anyone that agrees that most women don’t know these skills. Most women know at least some feminine skills, and are capable of figuring out the ones they don’t if they ever need to. We aren’t less feminine if we choose to save time and spend a little money to have someone else do a task for us. You’d think that would be good for the economy, after all.

  • thomas-macaulay-millar

    I can do two of those three things. Perhaps instead of being lost, skills are merely becoming ungendered? And if it’s a problem that they’re being lost, is it only skills coded female that are being lost? Or are men losing the abilities to do things traditionally coded male? How many guys under 30 can build a set of bunk beds with the tools in their garage and dimensional lumber (instead of a kit)? Or condition a new baseball glove? And isn’t all of this about how skills that are adaptive in a heterocentrist nuclear family model might not be adaptive for people outside it?

  • Matt

    I can cook decently… I barely know how to iron but almost never need to… I can passably do minor repair jobs with sewing (like getting a button back on), but by the time I need further repairs, my clothes are getting too raggedy anyway. Cooking is by far the most important of the three (especially if you don’t need ironed shirts for work), so I wouldn’t blame someone for having little-to-no-function in the other two. If you really need them done in a pinch and just can’t do them, you can pay someone else or bribe a friend/relative to do it for you (not everyone even owns an iron), or you can use the Internet to help guide you to do an adequate job.

    That said, I’d consider the headline author to be a troll. Don’t feed the trolls.

  • kcar1

    Gen Y (I really dislike that label) women can’t do those things or have not (yet) taken the time to learn them??? In 1950, were there magazines moaning about how young brides didn’t know how to kill a chicken for Sunday dinner because of their fancy supermarkets? Maybe they were…

    None of these things is particularly difficult, they take time to do and time to learn but it isn’t if there weren’t a cadre of crafty, baking, cooking people in our generation keeping and reviving lost arts ready to blog about technique or head up a knitting circle (just got an FB invitation from a 20-something to that effect). Of course, there is mom or grandma just a quick phone call or email away too.

    Most irritating line: men are more likely to know how to change a nappy than a tyre—well good because I’ve had 1 flat in my entire life (lived on a dirt road for 3 or those driving years) but we’ve had 1000s of diaper changes…

  • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    These are all important basic skills, they just shouldn’t be considered “female” skills. Or I guess they assume the little princes of Gen Y tumble straight from Mommy’s house to wifey’s and thus never have need of cooking their own meals or ironing their own clothes—I mean even the most stalwart gender traditionalists surely are aware that there are men out there who are on their own?

    • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

      Or even men out there with a partner who is not female?

  • anyadnight

    It truly is “woeful” that we don’t iron and roast for other people now. It’s like all the womyn care about nowadays is running business, writing blogs, and playing sports! What a bunch of slackers!

    • anyadnight

      PS. I like the brief mention of men’s falling behind– to be FAIR– and then right back to spending the entire time disparaging women.

  • Sophie

    HEY! EVERYBODY WHO SAYS THERE’S NO MORE SEXISM! YOU LISTENING? This is total proof we’re in another backlash! Thank you.

  • nicolechat

    I think “spank me with a spatula” is going to become my new go-to shock phrase. Just, amazing!

  • Michael G Phillips

    Hum, male and late gen-x here, and you know? I can do two of the three of those with some skill and the third, (hemming a skirt) I’ve just never tried. I can sew well enough so I suspect I could hem a skirt. Only tire I’ve changed is the one on my bike.