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50 Things Every Woman (or man, for that matter) Should Be Able to Do

She should be able to:

Absolute Essentials

  • Breath enough to scream and fight back if attacked.  Being able to defend herself successfully is better, but if she can’t breathe, she can’t put up any resistance at all.  Sometimes even mere verbal resistance is enough to deter an attacker.  Everyone should know how to defend herself.

  • Perform CPR.

  • Say “no” convincingly.

  • Drive both a stick shift and an automatic.

  • Obtain birth control and use it effectively.

  • Think through the possible consequences of her actions, and make decisions based on projected consequences rather than short-duration but instant gratification.

  • Balance a checkbook.

  • Sew on a button.

  • Know her own mind, and be able to spot when she is lying to herself.

  • Rent an apartment (having the skills to do so, not necessarily the funds).

  • Prepare a 1040 EZ tax form.

  • Change a tire.

  • Jump start a car.

  • Question what she’s told, and see the pros and cons of several points of view on each matter.

  • Get a loan and understand the different types of interest.

  • Disagree with someone – politely, but not immediately assuming that their opinions count more or less than hers.

  • Read a map.

Health & Safety

  • Be aware of her surroundings, and be conscious of which situations to avoid and where to step in to de-escalate a situation.

  • Clean and bandage a minor injury/see blood without fainting or losing the ability to deal with the situation appropriately.

  • Remain rational during a crisis – from surprise visitors to a major natural disaster.  Standing still and screaming her head off is not likely to help anyone, and may cause further chaos and danger.

  • Swim well enough to save herself if she falls in water.

Responsibility for Oneself

  • Cook a nourishing meal.

  • Search the web for information.

  • Use a word processor.

  • Clean house well enough to prevent bug infestations.

  • Go to a movie or the theater alone.

  • Iron clothing.

Responsibility to Others

  • Change a diaper.

  • Keep a child, any age, entertained for at least 10 minutes.

  • Read to a child and/or work on their homework with them.

  • Clean a cat box at least twice a week.

Knowledge is Power

  • Think critically when listening to speeches and commercials and when reading literature of any kind to determine the biases and basic assumptions made by the author.

  • Name the governor of her state and list at least one or two issues up for debate in government which may affect her life.

  • Read a credit report.

  • Know the definitions of a deduction, exemption, and tax credit.

  • Form her own opinion based on verified facts (no Limbaughisms) and personal experience. If she doesn’t have the facts, she should have an idea of how to obtain them. Hearsay and blind hatred are not the basis for good decisions.

  • Speak at least one foreign language well enough to ask for and receive instructions, order and pay for a meal, and make arrangements for travel and accommodation.

  • Have the self possession to know when you need help and when you don’t.

Do It Yourself – or know enough so you don’t play the fool

  • Tie a square knot.

  • Make travel plans and reservations.

  • Check oil and radiator fluid levels and fill them, if necessary.

  • Change the oil, air filter, hoses, fan belts, headlights, and maybe even brakes of her car.

  • Know the basic parts and workings of her car - oil, brakes, radiator, engine, transmission, spark plugs (or lack thereof), filter, headlights, etc.  When the mechanic tells her with horror that there’s a lot of dust in her brakes, she should be able to stare at him solidly and inform him that friction brakes form lots of dust as part of their routine operation.

  • Understand the terms RAM, ROM, CPU, hard drive, floppy drive, and memory.

  • Buy a house (having the skills to do so, not necessarily the funds).

  • Do basic household repairs, such as minor fixes to the sink, toilet, change the furnace air filter, etc.

  • Paint a room (after filling in any nail holes).

  • Use drills, hammers, saws, wrenches, etc. safely and appropriately.

  • Start and use a lawn mower.

  • Put together a “some assembly required” piece of furniture.

 

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