Life Skills

Heather says:

I am an avid reader, if I am seated, it would be a rare day indeed to not find me reading something. Yesterday I was trapped and the only thing in reach was my husband’s Popular Mechanics. No, I wasn’t there, I was in a parking lot waiting on Mr. Heather.

The cover story caught my eye “25 Skills Every Man Should Know.” Although the title irked me, I was intrigued.

Some are crucial:

  • Know CPR
  • Change a tire
  • Steer out of a skid

Some seem a little less so:

  • Retouch a digital photo
  • Mix concrete

Personally I feel as though the author overlooked a few important skills in order to keep a manly feel. The only thing close to preparing a meal was how to filet a fish; useful, but what if the person in question doesn’t know how to light a grill?

What are some skills you consider vital? Do you agree with the author’s choices? I do feel today’s adults are less handy than previous generations and that is part of my goal here at Home Ec 101, to encourage more people, men AND women, to learn self-reliance.

What would you like to see explained here at Home Ec 101?


  1. Margo on September 16, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    I agree with Kendra and Jasi. I would look at it more as adult skills than gender specific. I think it’s important to know how to ask questions and do research on whatever it is that you currently need to know (hurricane, cooking meals, etc.). For my husband and me, it was a major home renovation.
    I think all adults should be able to cook and bake – some of us may like it more and get more fancy, but everyone needs to eat and going out to eat frequently is just not practical or life-giving.

  2. themomhalf on September 16, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    these are very specific for my son:
    (partially tongue in cheek)

    *how to follow a recipe, what goes into a nutritious meal

    *how to find things (where’s mom’s keys, where’s my library book, etc….)

    *how to clean up after him self, and help others

    *how to communicate with aliens (men are from mars)


  3. Kendra on September 14, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    How about men knowing how to cook healthy meals? Or a woman knowing how to change a tire? I think it important to not have to depend on the opposite sex for things we can do ourselves.

  4. Jasi on September 14, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    -How to grill a mean steak (or killer veggies.)
    -How to ignore silly gender-specific stereotyping and instead be a kind and well-rounded person.

  5. Chucker on September 14, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    We here in Hurricane country need to know:
    1. how long should you boil water to make sure it’s safe to drink?
    2. How to choose the best spot to park your car among trees in high wind?
    3. How far away does a nearby creek pose a flooding threat in a storm surge?
    4. Is there such thing as a “safe” umbrella in a lightening storm?
    5. Does a battery-powered tv attract a lightening strike? (You’ve turned off your big tv and your computer of course).

    Anyone got answers?

  6. Music City Bloggers » Blog Archive » Skills to pay the bills on September 14, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    […] Heather over at Home-Ec 101 read the recent article in Popular Mechanics, “25 Skills Every Man Should Know.” And she’s a little irked by the incompleteness of the article Personally I feel as though the author overlooked a few important skills in order to keep a manly feel. The only thing close to preparing a meal was how to filet a fish; useful, but what if the person in question doesn’t know how to light a grill? […]

  7. Angela on September 14, 2007 at 11:11 am

    I hope you got a good laugh while you were read the list. I would say not every person would NEED those things. I will just list somethings we do not know how to do or are bad at it…
    1) Charcoal Grill-Is there a proper way to light it?
    2) The dishes, we do not have a dishwasher, so should you wait till you have a stack or do them right a way and feel like you are always doing dishes?
    3) basic house maint. what should be change when and a list on supplies that you should have in your house ready to be used.
    There is probably lots more, but I can not think today.

  8. Bramble on September 14, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Everyone should know how to knit. Maybe it’s my own bias but even when I was poorer than poor I still had warm socks. Yarn can be cheap, good socks and sweaters rarely are. And if you’re too broke to go anywhere, well it gives you a hobby. And don’t let guys tell you it’s too girly, knitting started out as a men’s hobby.

    And as far as what every man should know, every man should know how to make pancakes. Its the one thing my dad was always in charge of making, my husband makes the pancakes in the house (he even knows how to make then gluten free, top that!), and I just feel like its a husband/dad/guy thing to know how to do.

    Everyone who drives should know basics on how a car works. Even if you can’t fix it yourself you should be able to know if you’re getting screwed at the garage. and at minimum you should be able to use a pair of jumper cables.

    Personally I dont think hooking up hdtv is crucial since wherever you bought it from will likely hook it up for you cheap/free.

    Every man with a daughter should know how to french braid hair.

    Every person with children male or female should know infant/child cpr and first aid, as well as the phone number to poison control. (When I call poison control they say oh it’s you again…)

    You should always know the social security number and insurance info for your spouse. If anything happened to them, would you know what to do to get all their affairs in order?

    And everyone should have someone in the house capable of squishing palmetto bugs.

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