There has been a complete 180 about women’s roles in the workforce.


Few women choose TV housewives. June Cleaver or Carol Brady as career role models because we live in an equal opportunity world.


Women are free to work outside of the home in any career choice that helps pay for an expensive 21st century lifestyle.


Nobody bats an eye at a female physician, lawyer or engineer these days.


Typically I don’t find women intimidating in almost any professional role. They have earned their jobs for the simple reason that they are smarter and more ambitious than me. I have no quarrel with that concept.


Realistically, the world of male professional sports is still a men’s club, but that is due to physical realities that are not about to change in the near future. You may see a female kicker in pro football some day, but a linebacker is still a reach. A big reach.


My last hurdle for total acceptance of women in the workforce is the world of mechanics. For some reason I am intimidated by female wrenchers, and it started in the 80s.




A buddy of mine was very successful with women in that era. He was constantly introducing me to his latest love interest and I was constantly in awe of his enormously active social life.


One of his many dates was an incredibly attractive young woman with a penchant for cars. Personally I found that to be an added bonus to her already crowded list of reasons to like her.




She was friendly, chatty, absolutely hot and a serious car girl–a very serious car girl. The girl was an apprentice mechanic who came from a hot rod family. She was born into a family in which mechanical skills were a part of their DNA.


She was wrenching on cars long before she even got to her first high school automotive class. She was the only girl in the family, but they all worked on cars.




So the conversation got real in depth in a hurry as she described the ultra-technical side of her job (and passion) as a mechanic. She assumed that I was in her league when it came to automotive prowess. She was wrong.




My buddy had introduced me as a car guy and maybe she ran with the assumption that I had a huge mechanic’s knowledge about matters of the internal combustion nature.


It was a little embarrassing because I had assumed that her car interests were a form of osmosis learned from previously dating a car guy. Hot girls are typically less interested in how a car runs, and more interested in how the car and driver look running together.


Anyhow, she was merciful enough to let me off the hook and steer the conversation into another non-car direction.


It was my first moment of realization that I have some vestiges of male chauvinist pig left in my system because it still makes me uncomfortable when I encounter a female mechanic.




Nearly 30 years later- they still intimidate me.


Jim Sutherland

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