The men’s movement, we do appreciate you

BLESS men, really, bless them.

It may be a sign of how we haven't really moved forward that you don't get too many female removalists, handywomen, plumbers or sparkies (and women still don't have equal pay). But, whatever the case, I'd like to send a big call out of praise to the blokes who do these jobs with so much grace and manly aptitude.

Of course I'm not saying that either sex can't be good at these things. But do I really want to become familiar with the nuts and bolts of carpentry or DIY when I could be reading the new Richard Flanagan book, or taking in a film or art show?

Very soon I am moving house and my girlfriend has recommended two men who she says picked up and packed all the boxes she'd gathered with very little complaint and, at the other end, were not only careful not to scratch floors or bump furniture, but even put furniture together and moved heavy items a centimetre this way, a centimetre that way. Of course all this takes money but what woman isn't happy to pay for this kind of service.

The day before I move another bloke, a local tradie - recommended by his mum - will come over and help me remove some of my new unit's less attractive accessories - old blinds and curtains, 1980s' light fittings, mismatched pieces of carpet. He'll bring power tools that will have the job done in half the time I could have done it and a ute to cart away the unwanted stuff to the tip. Yes, I know women can use power tools too and good on them, I say (and really, those pink ones that were marketed there for a while were a real insult) but I don't really want to. Power drills scare me a bit because I have seen what I am like with a hammer.

Yes, I can knock things up, clean first flush devices, inspect septics, unblock sinks and dispose of dead animals if I have to. And, often, there's a great sense of accomplishment, unless you count that time I had to scoop a dead rat out of the back of the fridge's drip tray, piece by piece, with a spoon. Hell, I've even put together an Ikea sofa bed entirely myself, and it only took me three hours.

But if I can pay a handyman to make these jobs quick and easy, I adore someone no-fuss, no-mess that I can bother with questions and requests. For example, does he think that 25kg mirror could go on that plaster wall and if, so, how, and can he build me a cupboard to hide all those ugly laundry bits. And, next minute, he's whipped out a tape measure, done a few quick calculations in his head and declared that yes, it will and yes it can, and he knows exactly what type of materials are needed.

So thank you, blokes who know how to move things, build things, saw things, measure things and work out exactly how many nuts and bolts are required for DIY jobs in advance.

I know we women think we can do it all ourselves these days, and we probably can. But sometimes it's nice to step back and let boys be boys and men be men.

Helen Hawkes is a qualified counsellor and happiness coach. Go to The Feelgood Factor at

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