Nuts and Bolts

Published on 4 August 2023 at 14:55

Trad, Trans...Too much? 

In light of the new Barbie movie, which I as yet haven't watched and will not critique, here is my personal brand of feminism:

The other day, I purchased two chairs from IKEA. It involved the usual tripe of unwrapping and building them. I didn't check the package because I was tired and fed up and just wanted to go home. 

Like a typical wife, I passed the task of setting them up onto my husband. Not necessarily because I couldn't do it myself but because I considered it his job in light of the fact that I was about to make dinner.

Fun Feminist Fact 1 : Roles are real 

He opened the packs and quickly pointed out to me that one nut was missing! Inwardly, and childishly, I laughed at the word NUT as I watched him hunched over the chair, his sports trousers descending slowly.

"No! I'm sure it's in there!" I retorted, returning to my boiling pot.

That comment gave way to an argument of whether it had in fact been there or not.  

"Well then!" I snapped. "Use something else!"

"In the future..." He began.

I turned my back. I wasn't in the mood for a lecture on what I should do in the future.

"Hey!" He called after me.

"I'm going to search in the garage." I replied over my shoulder. "For a nut!" I laughed viciously.

"We don't have any substitutes! It's very specific!" He called out grumpily.

I didn't listen further.

Fun Feminist Fact 2 : Roles are interchangeable

I left the boiling pot in his care and embarked upon the quest for nuts.

Rummaging through several tool boxes and electronic spare parts I did in fact come across one nut that was absolutely perfect for that bolt. Too big! I thought angrily. I'd seen better nuts in my time! I giggled. When moving house, one tends to always lose some nuts. The humour was killing me...

"Did you find anything?" I suddenly heard his voice over my shoulder.

No one was watching the boiling pot nor the kids anymore... SIGH!

Fun Feminist Fact 3 : Roles are instinctual 

"Nope! Just this and it's too big..." I moaned.

"Hold on." He hunched over the toolbox. "Let me see..."

After rummaging a bit more through the pile that I'd already gone through, he picked a misshapen piece of metal with a ridged opening. I looked at it curiously. 

"You think it can work?" I asked in surprise.

"Why not?" He mused. "It's the right size."

We both returned to our pot and bolt respectively.

Fun Feminist Fact 4 : Roles deliver results

It did in fact work. Took a bit of forceful screwing but both bolt and nut were united successfully and kept the chair together.

We had dinner.


Or perhaps it's not the end.

It's a tad simplistic to summarize objective feminism down to such basic spare parts. And yet? Wouldn't it be more useful if we approached other, overly complicated concepts with such simplicity of mind?

Getting lost in semantics is like me losing sight of the fact that a nut doesn't have to look exactly like a nut, to fit a bolt.

At the end of the day, if it fulfils its purpose, its appearance doesn't matter.

Fun Feminist Fact 5 : Purpose has its Role

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