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Sheilas in Sheds Is there a role for women in Men’s Sheds?

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Presentation on theme: "Sheilas in Sheds Is there a role for women in Men’s Sheds?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sheilas in Sheds Is there a role for women in Men’s Sheds?

2 What are the “real” issues here? Is this about the roles of women and men? Is this about the what males and females are capable of doing? Is this about the “identity” of sheds? Is this about the purpose of sheds?

3 Are there universal male and female “identities”?

4 Is this historically consistent? In the 1940’s women took over many male roles that were vacated when men were recruited to the front. Not only very capable, many didn’t want to vacate these roles when the men came home Media campaigns in the 50’s to redefine the role of women

5 What did this tell us? Women and physically, emotionally and psychologically capable of doing many of the tasks that men can do. Is that what this is really all about?

6 And, the picture today? Daily Mail in the UK in 2008 reported that 39% of women who work fulltime earn more than their partners 52% of men believe they have to live by “women's rule’s” 82% of men feel they have lost their traditional place in society

7 Why is this? One of the more dominant theories is that as the Western worlds changed from labour based societies to information based societies, requiring more multitasking abilities, women have actually been advantaged over men, and are able to “succeed” to a higher degree.

8 AND…………. Men report they have become less certain of their roles Traditional male roles have become more valued (ie women achieving in the workplace are often applauded and recognised for this) Traditional females roles have become less valued (ie men achieving in the home or are based activities are often devalued and seen as not having “real” jobs)

9 ………………..which leads to? Both male and female roles being affected, perhaps in ways that were never anticipated, and arguably leaving both genders feeling lost and uncertain of how to define themselves And, if each gender defines it self in reference to the other, what happens when neither has a clear identity?

10 Male roles and identities Work Sheds Male connectedness and sense of identity associated with work roles Loss of connectedness (isolation) once men leave work

11 Male suicide According to the Australian Bureau of statistics suicide in the 10 th leading cause of death for males. over 1/3 of all suicides in 2009 were male Highest rate is males over 85, although this has declined (almost halved ) since 2000 Males 35 – 44 and 45 – 54 had higher suicide rates than younger males.

12 What does this have to do with Men's Sheds Men's sheds are a place where men are able to re-establish their identity Male identity is closely liked to sense of purpose and understanding of “role”

13 What is a sense of identity? According to Wikipedia, “identity” is a person’s conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations While psychologists use the term “identity” to describe personal identity, sociologists use the term to describe social identity

14 What is a typical female sense of “identity”? Changed dramatically over the past 45 years Many traditionally male roles now the female domain Smashing the “glass ceiling” has almost become a national sport

15 What is a typical male sense of “identity”? Poorly defined Damned if you do and damned if you don’t (typical 40 – 50 year old man)

16 So,……. If men are unclear about their sense of identity and women can help, is there a problem?

17 It depends on the “real” purpose of the Shed If the purpose of the Shed is simply to make things, then the inclusion of women is not really an issue BUT……….. If the purpose of the Shed is about men reconnecting to and re-establishing male support networks, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to do that if women are full members.

18 What are the advantages to women in allowing men to do this their way? This is not a new phenomenon – this is about re- establishing roles for both men and women – Men were traditional the “hunters” Women the “gatherers” – Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus describes men “caving” – Movie “Things to expect when you are expecting” has a “Dude’s Club” Restoration of a sense of male (and female?) identity

19 What else can women do? Roles identified by the Shed members – Start up and operational activities – Promotion through new and established networks – Advocacy – Outings – Donnybrook Shed (mentoring)

20 What can men do? 1.Decide the purpose and role of your Shed 2.Create a Vision/Mission statement and make it clearly visible (also include it in your constitution) 3.Explain this when necessary 4.Offer other roles 5.Repeat steps 3 and 4 6.Repeat step 5 7.Repeat step 6 as often as necessary

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