The Feminism I Support!

DRHA400_4thSt-6256I ran across Rehab Addict on HGTV last weekend for the first time last weekend, and I instantly became a fan. Why, you ask? Because unlike most of HGTV which stars decorators of some type who usually can’t see a structural elephant coming down a one-rod road, Ms Curtis shows a grasp of the job she was attempting to do. In fact a very good grasp. It makes for a much more enjoyable show for people like me, who have actually done this type of work. I watch a good deal of HGTV, and I get very frustrated with the people who are so surprised at hidden problems, especially in the 50th iteration of more or less the same problem. I call them incompetent, or to be charitable, slow-learners. In the real world, they don’t survive.

Rehab Addict’s Nicole Curtis Demolishes Entitlement Culture of Women by Elizabeth Sheld, | 20 Feb 2014

Nicole Curtis is the host(ess) of “Rehab Addict“on the HGTV/DIY networks. I confess to being a huge fan of hers, her show and HGTV/DIY. This morning Curtis took to her Facebook page to issue some smack down to “entitled” women.

Curtis’ show centers around her business of restoring historic houses in run-down neighborhoods of Detroit and Minneapolis. And she walks the walk. Curtis is a hands-on, ass-kicking contractor– knocking down walls, re-surfacing hardwood floors, installing plumbing to name a few things. A diva she is not. Her DIY bio reads:

A self-taught home rehabber and designer, Nicole Curtis is also a mom, a master of salvage picking, and a spirited advocate for saving old houses and rebuilding communities. Resourceful, creative and always in motion, Nicole is hands-on with all of her projects and wouldn’t have it any other way. Her work reflects her passion for repurposing and creating amazing budget-minded designs. In Rehab Addict, her series that airs on DIY Network and HGTV, Nicole harnesses her experience with interior design, contracting and real estate to rebuild neighborhoods one house at a time in Detroit and Minneapolis.

More at the link. Miss Sheld continues to quote Miss Curtis’ Facebook article:

In the past couple of weeks, I have had a few unpleasant experiences with women who actually had the nerve to state that they are a minority business owner (because they are a woman) and that should do what? This is where I bang my head — I am a business owner who happens to be a woman — don’t judge me on my gender — judge me on my work — ladies — you want equal ground — gain it by being equal in professionalism and quality of work — not by making excuses that you are a small minority business owner. It brings the rest of us down. I scrubbed floors for 10 years and worked my rear off to get where I am at-don’t think for a minute that I’m the person to whine to that you should be able to shortstep the process of dedication because you are a woman — last time I checked, I am too. We are all given opportunities when we put the time in and develop the drive — teach your daughters that that’s how you get ahead — no entitlement here, please.

The editor at the First Street Journal adds this:

On one of her projects, she had called in a licensed plumber to do some work, and the plumber’s helper/apprentice was his daughter. Miss Curtis made something of a big deal about that on the show, complimenting the young woman for going into that kind of get-your-hands-dirty work, and saying that she wished that more young women would enter trades like that.

Now that is the kind of feminism, that is the kind of women’s liberation your Editor absolutely supports. It is the kind of feminism which asks only for the opportunity to try, and everything else is based not on being given things or on special considerations, but on whether the woman does well or poorly, whether she succeeds or fails in what she attempts.

Let’s not kid ourselves: Miss Curtis is where she is, as a television star, because she’s — as one of the clients on her show once put it — hot and blonde. But being very attractive and personable was the part which enabled her to transition from a good rehabber to a television star; she had to become a good, hands-on residential rehabber on her own, before she ever got the shot at the television program.3 Had she not been so pretty, she’d (probably) never have gotten the television show, but she’d still be a good rehabilitation contractor and a success in that field. And the vast majority of successful people out there are people who don’t have television programs, who are mostly unknown to everyone but their friends and families.

Continue reading The feminism I support! | The First Street Journal., yes do it. It’s very good

And that’s the thing, as a contractor, I have one responsibility that overrides all the rest: To bring in the job, on time and on budget. If you do your part well, I don’t care about anything else. If you don’t do that part, I still don’t care about anything else, cause you won’t be working with me. Do I follow all of the asinine rules we live under in this day and age? Yep, cause I have to. But nowhere in OSHA or anything else does it say I have to employ the incompetent. And you know what, the entitled are nearly always incompetent. I think life is too short.

But if you show me you can, and will do the job, you’ll never have a better friend, cause I’ll do my best to take care of you.

Many year ago, I was a residential electrical contractor in Indiana. A group of us had found we worked together well, Me, an HVAC guy, a plumber, and so forth, and it worked out that we often did. One of those jobs for a general we had all worked considerable for, the plumber made a bid mistake, he left out labor. Ordinarily, something like that happens, you call the general, and figure something out. not this time. The general told him, you bid it, you do it.

He was telling us this, and you’ll not be surprised it angered us all. Anyway, long story short, we all helped with the plumbing on that house (yeah we all know the basics of each others trades, and chicken and beer can buy a lot sometimes). And so it got done. And of course, we told everyone we knew.

Next house, the general had, he thought he knew enough to price it before he talked to subs (actually he probably did). Thing is we were the only people who would bid on it, or even do it time and material, and our bids were about 400% of normal (even the framing and concrete contractor). When he complained to us he got told, “You signed the contract, you’ll do it.” he went bankrupt a few weeks later. Good riddance. You find good people, you take care of them, no matter what. Those contractors involved, I couldn’t tell you now what race or gender they were, but they knew their jobs. Although if any of them had looked like Ms Curtis, I’d probably remember 🙂

And while I tend to talk about the trades, because that is what I know best, you’re going to find it is the same nearly anywhere, at least where there is a reasonably free market in labor. And you know what, if you’re good at your job, you’ll likely get promoted and make a decent living as well

Performance beats entitlement, any day. And you know what, it’s really the only security in this world, anyway.


About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

4 Responses to The Feminism I Support!

  1. Freedom, by the way says:

    I’ve only caught snippets of this show but now I will make an effort to watch the whole thing. I like HGTV, too. And I’m with you on designers with their head in the clouds about hidden problems. If your house is more than five years old and you are on a tight remodeling budget would you want Hilary (Love it or List it) in charge of that project? “Gee, I know you wanted a new bathroom but you got new footers instead! For $10,000 more….”


    • NEO says:

      I stumbled in last Saturday, and they were running it back to back-for once I actually watched 🙂

      And Yup, Hilary is who I was thinking of as I wrote that. She’s a great one for wash, rinse, repeat. She needs a real contractor, watching the show, I can see the problems coming, why can’t she. I do wish I had DIY here though, some of my favorites are over there-Are you listening, Charter?

      But, you know, Freedom, it carries well beyond. As I’ve gotten to know some of the women who read here, I’ve found out just how many tough competent women are out there. I’m very proud to know you all.


      • Freedom, by the way says:

        What a nice compliment. I’m afraid I’m not much into fixing things up. The hardest thing I’ve ever done is sand and refinish hardwood floors and I never want to do it again. I’m good with a paintbrush, duct tape and my cell phone–to call a contractor!!!


        • NEO says:

          Heck, part of it for all of us is knowing our limits, if you want a really bad job, hire me to tape your drywall, I just can’t do it.

          I’d bet I couldn’t do your real job either, Freedom. I know I couldn’t Jess’, I’m just not good at the things she does, and I’ll bet that’s true for a lot of you, that’s why we have organizations.


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