[LMB] snitrant, was Sort of OT: Tall women/short menOT:TOOL FU

Marna Nightingale marna at marna.ca
Sun, 23 Nov 2003 18:47:43 -0500

Alexandra Haropulos wrote:
> Suprised to see all the rant about tool sizes (ahem). As a
> 5'5" woman, I never seemed to have any problem with hand
> tools, power tools, machine tools, etc. 

> Also, as a physicist manque, I have found that proper
> application of the right power at the right angle makes up
> for a lot of "issues". The skeleton can be used as a lever
> in astonishing ways, as long as you're paying attention.

Agreed. This is how I handle a lot of things that I only need to do
once or twice, like moving the freezer. 

But not for an 8-16 hour day, 6-7 days a week, all summer.  When I
lived with tools in my hand all the time, and a climbing belt that was
supposed to actually save my life at need, I learned fast about
equipment fit.  

Fortunately for me, the (mostly male) people who taught me to build
stages ddn't play the 'if we can injure you it proves you don't belong
here' game, and INSISTED that I be demanding and persnickety about my

Either your hammer is right, or your elbow soon won't be. Either your
drill fits your hand, or you'll be needing a new thumb.  A man's
climbing belt, on a woman, is torture at best and a killer at worst. 
I don't let tool design issues stop me doing much, and I don't think
anyone else does either

I only let it stop me from paying for bad design. 

And there is no universe in which building tools which can only be
comfortably used by large men is not bad design. 

"Norm" gets fawned over when he goes to buy a piece of high-end
equipment.  My money isn't any worse than his; why shouldn't I insist
on having my needs met? 
And there's nothing more embarrassing than a Stupid Injury.  "Oh,
yeah, I messed up that ankle taking out a show in a rainstorm" has a
moderate amount of cool to it.  "I didn't have the ovaries to insist
on a better drill, so now my thumb is permanently screwed up' sounds,
well, Stupid.