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July 14, 2008


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knitting crocheting needlepoint crossstitch beading flower arranging, i personally have done the 1st 4 on this list obsessively for years. women love string for some reason.

have you never been to a michael's or a c moore type store before?

My girlfriend does horse riding on a regular and semicompetitive basis.

Girls like horses.

Artsy hobbies like painting may seem girly, but my experience attending some arts classes is that there are slightly more men than women doing that type of stuff.

HS, this goes completely against my personal experience and the experience of male friends who've also taken painting and photography classes. The last painting class i took had 10 women and two men, including me. and of the 10 women, 5 were exceptionally attractive. i documented the value behind my decision to enroll in the class here:


maybe it's an example of a DC/NYC schism, there probably being simply a lot more men interested in the fine arts in NYC.

btw, another great hobby in which to meet women are book clubs. again, 5 to 1 ratios are typical. and they consist mostly of Emotional Girls as opposed to the usual Party Girls you'll encounter in bars and clubs. if you are in the market for an LTR, an Emotional Girl is a better bet.

A totally personal list of hobbies of women I know:

dance as exercise
viewing concert dance, especially ballet
opera buffs
attend sci-fi conventions/collect autographs
write scifi scripts as hobby
reading everything from philosophy to physics textbooks
exotic cooking
tai chi
pet-related activities (eg, driving to country especially for the dog)
charity functions
adult education
chatting on phone--endlessly
political groups--eg, NARAL
fine dining

The painting classes I took were in Arizona. Maybe that's the problem. Arizona girls are anti-intellectual.

Maybe a painting class in in Manhattan is a better way to meet women? But I'm afraid I might just meet a lot of gay men.


Go to art openings. Major nookie pads.

There are many more women than men in arts classes in NYC. I know that for a fact as I have friends who take them.


What about lonely-planet style adventure travel?

Manly exercise like lifting weights is more often done by high prole and middle class women.

Why do you say that? Weight training is an unconventional sort of exercise for women, and as such may very well appeal more toward upscale types. Also, I've noticed at the gym that the women who are more seriously into weights aren't as likely to be tattooed and whale-tailed as the cardio bunnies, and as such probably are somewhat higher on the socioeconomic scale.

Speaking about things I've noticed, it's not uncommon to see women doing needlepoint on the train. Given the high cost and inconvenience of train commuting it's a reasonable bet that most of them are fairly upscale.

I think it's worth to mark a distinction between knitting/crocheting/needlepoint etc. with cheap stuff you find at Michaels, and the fancy, boutiquey, extremely expensive knitting/crocheting/needlepoint etc. stuff you can find in specialty retailers and over the internet.

This distinction is purely to make me feel better about my hobbies.

Most of the buff white chicks I see in Manhattan tend to be secretaries who live in the outer boroughs or New Jersey. (I am reminded of Larry Kramer's fascination with dirty Italian girls, from the Tom Wolfe novel Bonfire of the Vanities.)

Girls in Manhattan like to run, as pointed out before by Stuff White People Like. This is unfortunate, because excessive running gives girls ugly tomboyish-without-being-muscular figures with saggy breasts.

Off topic: I just saw the front page of the New Yorker: Obama is on it, it is quiet funny and will ofend a lot of people.

What's your basis for calling scrapbooking a middle class / prole hobby? Many of my white, female, upper middle class friends who meet the class designations outlined by Paul Fussell love to scrapbook. Scrapbooking is also an expensive hobby. I have one friend who spends hundreds of dollars on the materials she uses to decorate her scrapbook.

I suspect playing in a band as a hobby is done mostly by men, while women are more likely to play music on their own.

Here in LA, hobbies would include, alternative/folk/world etc. music (performing and attending concerts). Also photography, mountain biking, kayaking, any outdoor activity that requires expensive equipment to denote status. Political organizing to meet the "right" people and of course, shopping.

There aren't many unattached women though in these hobby groups. Boyfriend is usually attached. But LA is probably very unrepresentative.

Upper middle class girls like to go to exercise classes. (Body Pump, Tae Bo, Yoga, Pilates, Medicine Ball, Etc.)

Also, don't forget working out with a personal trainer.

Manly exercise like lifting weights is more often done by high prole and middle class women.

Girls higher in social status will do it too, but they will not let themselves get huge.

Being dramatic. Taking shit way too seriously at work and at home. Shopping. Gossiping. Not being funny.



It is also my impression that women are overrepresented in most kinds of dance, exercise, and art classes.

There was an article in the New York Times last year about how yoga classes were almost always filled with women, and the few guys that were attending them were just there to score.


Modern "birdwatching" is now referred to by participants as "birding" and is, indeed, a majority male pursuit. The hobby has become quite competitive as a result -- high-species-count "Big Days/Weeks/Months/Years" are always in the offing, and "twitching," where rarities and accidentals are tracked via the Internet and devotees drive 100s of miles to catch a glimpse of them to add to a "Life List" or "State List" that is a penis-size analog in birding circles.

Gone are the days of the stereotypical spinster ornithological pedant (see Hitchcock's Mrs. Bundy). Women are well represented, though -- especially as part of married "teams."

From my experience (8 years or so), it is mostly an upper-middle to aristocratic avocation (high-end optics and extensive travel being necessary to anything more than casual participation). The ranks of Central Park birders seem particularly filled with patricians, complete with lockjawed, New York Yacht Club diction and ridiculous appellations like Bitsy.

Glassing birds just for the point of glassing birds? A fucking waste. Why bother unless you're going to shoot them?



Indeed. Rewarding and appealing to men.

Though a lot of men seem to enjoy gardening, as well, though in the U.S. anyway, pretty strictly for edibles, not merely pretty things. Most of the men in my family garden at least a little, as do many other men I know. I think it must have to do with the heavily German influence of this part of the country. Generally, the older the man, the more likely to garden (and to be competent at it), it seems. Perhaps it's on its way out.

(What is the situation in Britain these days? They always used to be obsessive gardeners there, men and women alike, but I wonder if it's going there as well.)

Watching birds is upper class, shooting them is lower class, but what both hobbies have in common is that they are heavily male. Women obviously don't mix well with feathered animals.

-professional dieting
-book clubs
-walking groups
-dog related classes (obedience, certifications)
- home decorating (supporting all those stores you would never go into)
- bunco
- antiquing
- ancillary school and youth athletic organizations that are just an excuse to have positions and organize things that dont need to be organized. (For instance, the women at my son's schools spend hundreds of hours to raise maybe $2K through scrip. http://www.scrip.com/. Likewise the "Team Mom" position on most youth sports teams organizes things that probably are self organizing.
- Slash fiction. According to wikipedia invented by a woman and an almost exclusively female pursuit.

Now shooting people, that is the best sport of all. Don't know if that is considered high or low class though.

"Team Mom"

Good name for a porn featuring MILFs. I see at least 3 or 4 sequels.

re "sagging breasts"

Sigma, that's why there are sports bras--jeez!


I take it that you did not go down to the park at the end of runway at Washington National Airport and do plane spotting. About as male as your standard quantum mechanics class.

I hobby for semi-retired Americans is being a tour guide. Unless it is a specific female oriented place like an old plantation house, the guide is usually male. My favor was the 50-something African-American gentleman who was the tour guide as the White House of the Confederacy. We was a retired Sergeant-Major from the Army, had a great speaking voice and really knew his stuff. However, it was a little unsettling to some of the patrons. Of course, being a military history buff or almost any kind of history buff is a male thing. Just look at Civil War Reenactors.

Of course, being a military history buff or almost any kind of history buff is a male thing. Just look at Civil War Reenactors.

From what I've heard, Civil War re-enactments are not just sausage parties, but attract the sort of 40-year-old-virgin, pathetic ultra-nerds who make Star Trek fans look like NFL season holders in comparison.

Watching birds is upper class, shooting them is lower class

You haven't spent much time in Virginia, have you?

OK, bird hunting is old-money southern upper-class. But the upper-MIDDLE-class look down on hunting of any sort big time.

I guess you could compare fly fishing with bass fishing. Fly fishing seems to involve upper middle class where bass fishing involves the middle class.

If you hunt near salt water, you're upper class.

If you hunt near fresh water, you're a high prole.

Women tend to be more detail oriented than men. We tend to enjoy needlework, paint by number, stuff like that. I don't know very many women who spend their time shopping or going for spa treatments and such. I must be one of the "lower class" women who need to work for a living...
An encyclopedia of needlepoint stitches…

I don't know if this qualifies as a "hobby", but a coworker of mine used to do some charity work that threw various pet festivals (with weiner dog races, costume constests, etc) and the attendees were very dominantly female (and most of the men were gay or married).

Anime people? That sounds like a polite term for "furries." Now those freaks are sick. And LARPing? Fucking bizarre. I like Goth babes as much as the next guy, but anybody who thinks they are a vampire is a fucking loser.

If you hunt near salt water, you're upper class.
If you hunt near fresh water, you're a high prole.

What about freshwater fly fishing? That's about as upscale as you can get.

If you hunt near salt water, you're upper class.
If you hunt near fresh water, you're a high prole.

What about freshwater fly fishing? That's about as upscale as you can get.

I was thinking fox hunting and certain varieties of big/exotic game hunting.

For awhile, my mom was into building dollhouses. It can get pretty extreme, with wiring and scale furniture.

Still though, women don't seem to be portrayed in popular culture as being hobbyists. Col. Potter painted, Det. Sipowitz was into fish, Agent Mulder was into porn, Rev. Lovejoy and the father from "For Better or For Worse" are into trains -- but for female characters, there hasn't been much.

It just seems to me that women are seen so much as wives and mothers that no one thinks they can have their own interests. I think it's something of a shame, as domesticity can be only so rewarding. And though I'm talking about fictional characters here, I think people really do follow popular culture to an extant.

"What about freshwater fly fishing? That's about as upscale as you can get."

Fishing has different rules; I can't come up with a pithy rule for what class you are based on what you fish.

"I was thinking fox hunting and certain varieties of big/exotic game hunting."

If you own a private game reserve where you hunt people for sport, you're upper class (and a James Bond villain).

Was thinking more of hunting in the United States. How's this for a rule (for the United States)? If you're shooting birds, you're upper class, if you're shooting animals, you're a high prole.

I'm trying to think of exceptions but I'm coming up dry.


If you travel a long distance to hunt, you are probably higher class such as elk hunting in Montana if you live in NYC. Or maybe Musk-Ox hunting in Alaska.

Another male hobby is coaching sports teams. Men coach almost all young league teams including girls teams. If a girl is into sports, it will always be due to her Dad.

Knitting and other crafts are very trendy now -- they're not at all just for high-prole or fuddy-duddies anymore.

They're the sorts of hobbies today's Girls with Bangs do. I oughta know. =:-)

Knitty (Knit yerself some Space Invaders socks!)

Anime people? That sounds like a polite term for "furries."

No, no, these are two distinct groups. There is a hierarchy to these things!

In my experience there are two distinct groups of birders/birdwatchers, with different demographics:

1) Casual folks who, yeah, like to see birds and all, but are more in it for the companionship and being outside without a lot of strenuous activity. This group tends to include a lot of women, especially older women who got into the hobby after their kids were well off on their own, or sometimes after they were widowed.

2) Hardcore folks who keep meticulous lists, actively seek out rarities, and often think of themselves as amateur scientists. (Much of the time this seems to be a way to justify spending so much time and effort on a pastime that most normal folks think is pretty silly. It's SCIENCE, dammit! But I digress.) With some very notable exceptions (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoebe_Snetsinger ), this group tends to be very heavily male. Often, it seems, these are folks who became obsessive about the topic when they were in the prime "geek" years of their early teens.

Both groups tend to be very white, and with a not-too-far-off-representative cross-section of economic positions.

The mostly-male makeup of the hardcore group I think can be largely explained by the "geek" thing. When it comes to being an obsessive geek about anything - birds, comic books, model building, math, hard sciences - there seems to be a lot fewer women interested than men.

Anime people? That sounds like a polite term for "furries." Now those freaks are sick.

What the hell is a "furry"?

What the hell is a "furry"?
The only group of people I can safely look down on. Essentially people with an interest in stories about anthromorphic animals (think Mickey Mouse and Daffy Duck). Sexual stories about furries are known was 'yiff'.


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