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You don’t need whiskers to do that.

Whenever my sister-in-law and I do a stereotypically male task, that’s what we say.

She lays flooring, calls me, and says, “I didn’t need whiskers to do that.”

I fix my dryer, call her, and say, “No whiskers necessary!”

Kenmore dryer

This phrase was inspired by hearing one too many women say things like, “Oh, I’ve been waiting for Bill to paint the front porch railing for months, and I just wish he would get around to it!”

Whenever I hear something like that, I always think to myself, “Um, you don’t operate a paintbrush with your whiskers.   Go buy a paintbrush and do it yourself!”

For some reason, we women often think that we are just incapable of doing things like that.

And men sometimes think that way too about stereotypically female tasks.

You know my squeaky dryer issue that I thought I fixed with some lube?   Well, it started squeaking again so I re-oiled it, and after a month of quiet, it squeaked AGAIN and it was getting awfully loud this time.

So, I opened up the dryer, expecting to lube it, but I discovered rusty metal dust all over the inside of my dryer, and upon inspection, I realized that the inside of the wheel I’d lubed had been slowly disintegrating.

See how much larger the hole is in the right one?

dryer wheel

Obviously, it was time for a new wheel set.   I called the fabulous repairman who replaced my washer’s transmission recently, and he said that oiling a squeaky wheel is just a super temporary fix (my experience bears that out!)   and actually makes the problem worse in the long run.


Anyway, he told me of a local shop to visit for the parts.

When I walked in and told the guy behind the counter what I needed, he doubtfully eyed me up and down and asked if I was doing this job myself.


I assured him that my dryer and I are quite familiar with each other and that I’d already taken the dryer apart that morning.

(Thank you, YouTube.   So many great appliance tutorials!)

clothes dryer wheels

He was out of the kit, which includes wheels, a belt, and a roller assembly, but after some discussion, I realized I didn’t actually need the roller assembly, so he just sold me a belt and the two wheels a la carte.


The belt had some visible shredding and wear on it, so I thought it would be smart to replace it while I had the dryer apart.

dryer belt


Once I had the parts, it only took me about 15 minutes to install them and put the dryer back together.

(I’d already cleaned up all the rusty dust that morning.)

So, my dryer is now running smoothly.

Even though I don’t have whiskers.

Don’t get me wrong: there are certainly things I can’t do just because I lack size or physical strength.

And I definitely don’t think it’s wrong to depend on your spouse for things.

I just think that we shouldn’t assume that tasks should always be dedicated to one sex or the other.

We don’t want men to assume that they are unable to shop or cook or soothe a baby or have a heart-to-heart conversation just because they are men, right?

So in the same way, I don’t think we women should decide that it is impossible for us to take on typically male tasks.

Even if the appliance parts guy doubts us.   😉

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Tuesday 4th of September 2018

Nice work. My mom was born in 1940 and she always loudly waits for my dad to do things, not I think because she believes she can't, but I am certain that she believes she's more management material, and maybe also because he owes her forever, given the egregious defections that men of a certain patriarchal culture were/are prone to. So, obviously, those are pretty specific criteria for never fixing things yourself, and you sincerely hope the latter will not apply to traumatize you and your primary relationship for life.

Thanks for this post. My dryer is screeching. The gasket was torn on my washer door as well, spewing water everywhere, so the washer repairman came and charged us $400 to swap it out for a new one. The part, the gasket, was $120, so that is some impressive labor charge. So much, that I suspect he levied upon me a moron-consumer tax. I earned that this time, though, because I didn't look at enough Youtube Howto posts. I looked at the one Sears had posted before it went out of business for good reason, but I forgot to calculate in that Sears was deliberately trying to make gasket replacement look like rocket science so that they could sell service! In their how-to video, they tried to convince you that they had designed the washer so that all the fuses and hoses and engines were routed through the washer door, which hardly seems credible but I believed it long enough to spend $400, and you would have to completely disassemble and reassemble the washer. What I learned looking in on the repair guy at work on it is that this is not true at all, and he replaced the door gasket in about 45 mn, of course without dissassembling and reassembling the entire washer. In the future, such as for dryer repair, I'll check in with you,, that I might not wind up in the poorhouse.


Friday 29th of June 2018

I hate anything that requires hand-on work like the stuff you do (the "man jobs"). I am a home owner because my husband is against renting. Otherwise I would rent and never bother with fixing a house. And for the inside stuff (dryer, light fixtures, etc) I would just hire someone to fix it or buy a new one. To me it's not about being unable to fix something, or about something being a "man's job"; It's about having ZERO interest (coupled with no knowledge). It's also lazy, and I can live with it


Thursday 28th of June 2018

Just last week I replaced a chainsaw blade! Hubby had no idea how to do it.


Friday 22nd of December 2017

Either I or my husband fixes things, just whoever is most available to do it.


Tuesday 22nd of September 2015

I love this phrase! I did everything myself when I lived alone, and when I couldn't figure something out or wasn't willing to risk making it worse, I hired a professional. Now that I'm married, I basically leave all repairs to my husband - not because I think it's his job or anything, but because I'm 1.) usually too busy with other stuff and 2.) REALLY not good with machines or building. No matter how many times I've tried working with building things or machines, I mess it up. Everyone has their own skills and anti-skills and that's my anti-skill, whereas he was the kind of kid who always took everything he found apart just to put it back together again.

So my husband and I have our own "jobs" at home, which end up being pretty traditional but it's just how it works out best for us. Thankfully he's really good at keeping up with his part because he enjoys it. But if something needs to be fixed right away, I usually at least try to tackle it myself first.


Tuesday 22nd of September 2015

I think that's great...each of you is doing what you're best suited to do!

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