Why are there so few women on this forum? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 02-07-2014, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I've read scores of threads with posts by hundreds of people and one thing has become abundantly clear -- this forum is nearly entirely populated by guys. I'm aware of maybe three or four women who are even somewhat active on AVSForum.

Why?

It's not that women don't like watching movies. Quite the contrary, women often make up the majority of moviegoers (Popcorn People: Profiles of the US Moviegoer Audience). Maybe women aren't into DIY? I don't buy that either. Several of the biggest DIY sites online are either dominated by women (AnaWhite.com) or are well represented (ApartmentTherapy, YoungHouseLove, etc).

So we can deduce that women like watching movies just as much as men and can be just as much into DIY. Yet they are almost entirely missing from this forum, which is made up of people who love watching movies and are into DIY.

In fact, the stereotypical wife in the build threads here is borderline opposed to the theater until close to the end of construction. The phrase WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) is commonly thrown about to find ways to justify the build.

WHY?

FWIW, I did ask my own wife. Her end actions fit the stereotype, but it's possible her reasons are atypical. From her: "A dedicated movie theater is a prime example of hedonistic adaptation. It's a vulgar display of male power to spend outrageous amounts of money and time to consume a scarce resource (living space) for a purpose with limited use."

Yeah, I have my work cut out for me rolleyes.gif

So if my wife isn't representative of the norm, then what is the norm? Ask your wives why they don't care about all this as much as you do. I'm really curious why.

(P.S., I realize the irony of asking a question like this in this forum, since it's just questioning the choir.)
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post #2 of 58 Old 02-07-2014, 06:57 PM
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I asked my wife both for her personally, and her impression of the reasons for women in general. For her personally, it's just not her hobby - it's mine. Still, from time to time she'll come to the forums to see what I'm up to in my build thread or something and she complains that she doesn't know how to navigate the forum. Now, she doesn't use Facebook or read any other forums. She does have a pintrest account, and explains that it's much easier for her to get around and find what she wants there. I think there are two things she's looking for that she doesn't find here: visual navigation and pictures (she's impatient with websites and doesn't like to read - like many people, I think), and a central organization around the people (or at least me). I think if it were set up like Facebook where I had all my stuff organized around me, she would be able and interested in it more. When she reads my build thread she enjoys the friendly exchange and social interaction that goes on, but she sees the whole site as less personable.

I'm not convinced that her views are terribly generalizable, but maybe so.

I like the forum structure and treat it like a reference library I can interact with. I know where to find things, and I've learned whose opinions are like my own and who has what sort of technical expertise and I know enough about the history and structure of AV technology to sift through all the other stuff and get what I need. I think that in some ways, the forum structure caters to a masculine world view in that way. I find that men tend to organize hierarchically, both in terms of their social structures as well as their organization of knowledge, while many women prefer a more complex and three-dimensional organization. While there are internet forums where women are common, I think the whole structure skews toward men for reasons beyond who is interested in what. How's that for some men are from mars nonsense? wink.gif
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post #3 of 58 Old 02-07-2014, 07:16 PM
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Boys and their Toys...

While my wife loves watching movies on the big screen (as well as episodes of The Bachelor and all sorts of Hallmark movies of the week), she has no interest in discussing the finer points of acoustic theory or figuring out the best way to get 2000 lbs of sand into a basement. She even has a degree in television, radio & film production. My wife satisfies her urge to geek out by playing Candy Crush. I come to AVS. We are just wired differently.
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post #4 of 58 Old 02-07-2014, 07:50 PM
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I am just starting my own theater.  I've asked my wife her opinion at least 10 times in the past few days about things I'd like to do.  I usually get a response that changes the subject to something regarding what we are eating for dinner, what the kids are doing tomorrow, or "hey look at this figure skating routine at Sochi".  Wiring, video, and sound are at the bottom of her priority list... but apparently at the top of mine.  I'm sure if you were to find a forum discussing romantic dining or figure skating you'll find just the opposite ratio of men:women.  ;)

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post #5 of 58 Old 02-07-2014, 07:54 PM
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Do you mean this forum in particular or AVS in general? Concerning this forum although there's a lot of DIY my impression is that most men here are builders/contractors or have had hands on experience with building be it homes, rooms, projects or cars. Many women don't have this hands on experience so this might inhibit interest.

Dedicated spaces are nice as long as you also have general use space. A pitch black room with rows of theater seats makes a perfect movie watching environment, but it's not a social circle, a pizza party room or playroom for the kids.

Since a dedicated space is not feasible for me and the construction aspects are above my head, I content myself with just lurking.
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post #6 of 58 Old 02-07-2014, 09:15 PM
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In general men are more into the technical details of the equipment and construction, and women are more interested in aesthetics, design, and simplicity.
I am a total geek for details, it drives some people nuts. My job involves me being extremely detail oriented. My wife and many other people's wives "just want it to work" and want it to look good. They also want it to be something they can show off to impress their friends, without necessarily knowing all the procedures that went into it. I know that I have to do 95% of the work, but she'll help me with painting and trim. smile.gif
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post #7 of 58 Old 02-08-2014, 04:46 AM
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I, too, am surprised by how much influence wives have over many members here. If you have limited space and the theater will take up most of your basement, then I can see the need for your wife's input. However, if the basement is unused or you have plenty of space, I see little reason for such.

Not that I want to keep my wife out of it but if she had genuine interest in the nuts and bolts of it, I'd be happy to include her.. I see many examples here of members complaining of wives meddling or otherwise try to control the husband through the theatre by having ultimate veto power of design and equipment.

My wife really doesn't ask what's going on in my theater nor does she know (or care) what I've paid. Similarly, I pay little attention to her shopping and shoes.

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #8 of 58 Old 02-08-2014, 08:21 AM
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My wife is definitely in support of the theater and has given input re: design, seat placement, etc. esp. when I'm stuck and ask her opinion. We love watching movies & our few TV shows together. She is not a girly-girl but has no interest in using power tools (esp. after I routered my finger), doing demo, etc. She is also working on her PhD and working full-time so really doesn't have the time. It works out well on the weekends I'm off - I can work on the theater while she reads & writes.
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post #9 of 58 Old 02-08-2014, 08:57 AM
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I think that's like going on a quilting forum and asking why there aren't more guys on there. Do men possess the skills to make a quilt, absolutely. Do I care to ever make one, heck no. If my wife asks for my input on a quilt she's making; it is generally followed by a shoulder shrug and something to the effect of; "whatever you think looks good dear". biggrin.gif

Theater is the same way with my wife. She could care less about designing, measuring, testing, etc etc. I'm also blessed that I have carte blanche with the area. The basement is my domain and have done with it as I see fit. My wife understands that's my passion and leaves me alone with it. Now that doesn't mean she won't roll her eyes every now and them when another "large" box gets packed in the door. biggrin.gif

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post #10 of 58 Old 02-08-2014, 08:11 PM
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What if it was an acoustically transparent quilt?It would offer some absorption in the batting. Qulited wall panels! With beveled edges of course.
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post #11 of 58 Old 02-08-2014, 11:36 PM
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If your wife actually used these words ...

"A dedicated movie theater is a prime example of hedonistic adaptation. It's a vulgar display of male power to spend outrageous amounts of money and time to consume a scarce resource (living space) for a purpose with limited use."

then I'm seriously worried for you !! biggrin.gif

Cheers,
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post #12 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 06:02 AM
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Business major huh?
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post #13 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 06:18 AM
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This might be part of the reason:

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post #14 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter M View Post

If your wife actually used these words ...

"A dedicated movie theater is a prime example of hedonistic adaptation. It's a vulgar display of male power to spend outrageous amounts of money and time to consume a scarce resource (living space) for a purpose with limited use."

then I'm seriously worried for you !! biggrin.gif

Cheers,

WHen I read that, I thought she may be an advocate for N.O.W.! Perhaps, the theater is the least of your worries!?biggrin.gif

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #15 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter M View Post

If your wife actually used these words ...

"A dedicated movie theater is a prime example of hedonistic adaptation. It's a vulgar display of male power to spend outrageous amounts of money and time to consume a scarce resource (living space) for a purpose with limited use."

then I'm seriously worried for you !! biggrin.gif

Cheers,

I second that.  She doesn't sound like someone who even be interested in men in the first place.  :)

 

Living space is hardly scarce in the good ole US of A.  That's not to say we should have carte blanche to waste what resources we have, but there are far more grievous examples of wastes of space IMO.

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post #16 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 07:22 AM
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I'm the driving force behind our theater build. When I have technical questions I come here. Otherwise I google pics. I am very visual and need to see what I want before figuring out the technical part.
The testosterone factor is a bit off putting on this site. I very often think the next step in the "look at my awesomeness" might be a comparison of manlihood. :0 lol
Maybe I project the views shared in the hottest woman thread onto the other posts tho.
Oh also...our theater isn't getting as much attention as many on here because as the driving force behind the theater I'm also the driving force behind the household. The kids. Cleaning. Etc.
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post #17 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 07:44 AM
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There's a flip side to all the negatives your wife attaches to a home theater...

A friend's wife builds an entire couples get together every few weeks. She loves to cook, and after dinner, the women head down
to the theater and have a girls night in, a bottle of wine and a chick flick. The guys stay upstairs and play poker.

I've also heard an owner say the home theater lets them see more of the kids, that their kids hang around with. They're quite
happy to spend a little extra on snacks and projector hours, then on a lawyer, if their kid starts hanging around with the wrong crowd.


And maybe, just maybe, the theater is a family project. And not a budget breaker, or a huge waste of living space.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1303660/mini-man-cave-phase-2-could-use-help-planning

I see a very involved little girl spending some quality time with Dad, creating something substantial.
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post #18 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter M View Post

If your wife actually used these words ...

"A dedicated movie theater is a prime example of hedonistic adaptation. It's a vulgar display of male power to spend outrageous amounts of money and time to consume a scarce resource (living space) for a purpose with limited use."

then I'm seriously worried for you !! biggrin.gif

Cheers,

Believe it or not, that is an almost direct quote. Her full reasoning was actually quite a bit longer than that, so I had so shorten it a bit. biggrin.gif

We have a marriage of equals; from a intellectual, influential, and financial point of view. That doesn't mean that we approach things the same way, though. She approaches everything from this point of view (another quote): "Every dollar you spend now is another minute you need to work before you retire". Go out to eat? That's another hour you need to work before retiring. Buy a car? You just added a year more of work. Build a theater... well, you guys all know how much these cost. Since she doesn't care about it, she's not a fan of having to work for a couple more years just to pay for it.

You better believe that if I end up putting something in my theater, that that was a product of some hard core convincing to get her to agree to it!

Keeps me honest, that's for sure wink.gif
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post #19 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 11:11 AM
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Hopefully Fred, nice post.
There used to be a 1st class DIY lady name mcall ? She was just as component if not more than 95% of the guys here.
Her ht was done in 2008 or so , have not seen her post here.


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post #20 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granroth View Post

Believe it or not, that is an almost direct quote. Her full reasoning was actually quite a bit longer than that, so I had so shorten it a bit. biggrin.gif

We have a marriage of equals; from a intellectual, influential, and financial point of view. That doesn't mean that we approach things the same way, though. She approaches everything from this point of view (another quote): "Every dollar you spend now is another minute you need to work before you retire". Go out to eat? That's another hour you need to work before retiring. Buy a car? You just added a year more of work. Build a theater... well, you guys all know how much these cost. Since she doesn't care about it, she's not a fan of having to work for a couple more years just to pay for it.

You better believe that if I end up putting something in my theater, that that was a product of some hard core convincing to get her to agree to it!

Keeps me honest, that's for sure wink.gif

Hmm... What would she say if you drove home one of these?

*

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #21 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchasen View Post

This might be part of the reason:

That thread took a "guy turn" when a regular posted some well endowed young girls tongue in cheek.
A better guy thread is the movies with hottest chick in it....I'm surprised the mods here allow that since AVS has no "community" forum area.


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post #22 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granroth View Post

Believe it or not, that is an almost direct quote. Her full reasoning was actually quite a bit longer than that, so I had so shorten it a bit. biggrin.gif

We have a marriage of equals; from a intellectual, influential, and financial point of view. That doesn't mean that we approach things the same way, though. She approaches everything from this point of view (another quote): "Every dollar you spend now is another minute you need to work before you retire". Go out to eat? That's another hour you need to work before retiring. Buy a car? You just added a year more of work. Build a theater... well, you guys all know how much these cost. Since she doesn't care about it, she's not a fan of having to work for a couple more years just to pay for it.

You better believe that if I end up putting something in my theater, that that was a product of some hard core convincing to get her to agree to it!

Keeps me honest, that's for sure wink.gif

I actually often think of things the same way she does. I'm constantly looking at how many hours/days of work are needed to buy things.

but, the solution for me is to actually enjoy my job, and I do. I keep track of it because I don't work a job that allows me to work 'over time'. so I'm pretty limited to how much I am able to work, and therefore what I spend isn't always a simple matter of working more.
since I enjoy work, I don't feel a need to spend a lot of money on things like travel, or 'experiences'. but I don't have a problem spending money on 'things'. I didn't spend 10's of thousands on my theatre, and I still enjoy it more than going to the movies. at 20bux a movie on average, it's still going to be a long time before I break even, but it is something I really enjoy, and having that enjoyment every evening or every weekend makes going to work on Monday a little nicer. and if you want to talk about your time, watching a movie at home is more time efficient than going to the theatres.

I think as others have stated, there's a lot of other things we 'waste' money on. it's going to be pretty hard to stay on the soapbox if you start digging a little deeper. does she wear make-up? if so, why? she's married, I'm sure you think she's beautiful, so that's a waste of money... Do you have a second bathroom? a dishwasher? etc... I think a theatre room that gets used every week can be justified, although maybe you don't need to spend 30grand building it. cool.gif

oh, and I think there's fewer women on here because men tend to obsess over things more than women do. the women who are into home theatres are probably using them, while we're on here trying to figure out if painting our ceilings black will be worth it, or if we need to use triple black velvet, and then if we should staple the velvet up, or use magnets, or wrap it around panels that can be secured to the roof, etc... haha
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post #23 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 02:25 PM
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Yea, us guys definitely suffer from OCD much more than ladies.
Even when we say "I'm done", that means for 3-4 years, or less.
And the constant tweaking, obsessing with acoustics, or the latest in EQ.
Basic brains are wired differently, no matter what people say proof is right here.


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post #24 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Hmm... What would she say if you drove home one of these?

*

"Who are you and what did you do with my husband?!" biggrin.gif

Actually, we do have a couple of luxury cars. Believe it or not, those were a bit of the catalyst towards our current lifestyle. They were very nice (still are!) but it occurred to my wife that the money we spent on those could have gone towards a retirement fund and, over time, would have been a substantial amount of money. Therefore, in very real terms, we are going to have to work longer in order to pay for that luxury. Is it worth it?

The answer surprised us -- no, it's not. Luxury cars are noticeably nicer than non-luxury ones, but it's transient pleasure and one that diminishes over time. We'd be just as happy with a cheaper car. So we're going to drive both of those into the ground (both have well over 100,000 miles) and when the finally die, they'll be replaced by something a lot more reasonable.
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post #25 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

I actually often think of things the same way she does. I'm constantly looking at how many hours/days of work are needed to buy things.

but, the solution for me is to actually enjoy my job, and I do. I keep track of it because I don't work a job that allows me to work 'over time'. so I'm pretty limited to how much I am able to work, and therefore what I spend isn't always a simple matter of working more.
since I enjoy work, I don't feel a need to spend a lot of money on things like travel, or 'experiences'. but I don't have a problem spending money on 'things'. I didn't spend 10's of thousands on my theatre, and I still enjoy it more than going to the movies. at 20bux a movie on average, it's still going to be a long time before I break even, but it is something I really enjoy, and having that enjoyment every evening or every weekend makes going to work on Monday a little nicer. and if you want to talk about your time, watching a movie at home is more time efficient than going to the theatres.

I think as others have stated, there's a lot of other things we 'waste' money on. it's going to be pretty hard to stay on the soapbox if you start digging a little deeper. does she wear make-up? if so, why? she's married, I'm sure you think she's beautiful, so that's a waste of money... Do you have a second bathroom? a dishwasher? etc... I think a theatre room that gets used every week can be justified, although maybe you don't need to spend 30grand building it. cool.gif

oh, and I think there's fewer women on here because men tend to obsess over things more than women do. the women who are into home theatres are probably using them, while we're on here trying to figure out if painting our ceilings black will be worth it, or if we need to use triple black velvet, and then if we should staple the velvet up, or use magnets, or wrap it around panels that can be secured to the roof, etc... haha

Oh, don't assume that she hasn't already gone through all of her own requirements and weeded out the non-essentials. You better believe she's already addressed makeup and clothes and things like that. Heh.

I completely agree with her that I'm going to have to work longer in order to afford the theater (maybe a half a year). The way I justify it to myself is that I'm creating a room that will last us for the rest of our lives and one that we will enjoy in our retirement. What's the good of retiring early if there's nothing fun to do with the time? I absolutely want a kick-ass theater when that time comes!

She's not opposed to a theater in general, either. It's the fact that I want to create such a over the top one (in her mind) that gets to her. We had a very simple theater in our previous house that we absolutely loved. Her point is that I could replicate that and maybe do a little bit more and we'd likely be just as happy -- at a fraction of the cost of what my current plan will cost us. Again, she's not wrong (she rarely is). It's just that if I created the same one we had before, then I know I'd be forever regretful that I didn't create the one I always wanted. Now's my chance and so now's when I'm going to do it!
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post #26 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megdagooch View Post

The testosterone factor is a bit off putting on this site. I very often think the next step in the "look at my awesomeness" might be a comparison of manlihood. :0 lol
Maybe I project the views shared in the hottest woman thread onto the other posts tho.

I'm not going to say that "look at my awesomeness" is a manlihood thing -- one look at Pinterest disproves that tongue.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

That thread took a "guy turn" when a regular posted some well endowed young girls tongue in cheek.
A better guy thread is the movies with hottest chick in it....I'm surprised the mods here allow that since AVS has no "community" forum area.

But yeah, there's no lack of examples of this. Many a build thread has a few posts dedicated to some pictures of attractive women (one way or another). How many "show me your screen" posts show that scene where Jessica Alba is swimming underwater? It's not at all uncommon to see a form of benign or casual sexism pop up right in the middle of very technical discussions. This is to be expected in a group that is 99% (dunno about the actual numbers) male.
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post #27 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 05:16 PM
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"Who are you and what did you do with my husband?!" biggrin.gif

Actually, we do have a couple of luxury cars. Believe it or not, those were a bit of the catalyst towards our current lifestyle. They were very nice (still are!) but it occurred to my wife that the money we spent on those could have gone towards a retirement fund and, over time, would have been a substantial amount of money. Therefore, in very real terms, we are going to have to work longer in order to pay for that luxury. Is it worth it?

The answer surprised us -- no, it's not. Luxury cars are noticeably nicer than non-luxury ones, but it's transient pleasure and one that diminishes over time. We'd be just as happy with a cheaper car. So we're going to drive both of those into the ground (both have well over 100,000 miles) and when the finally die, they'll be replaced by something a lot more reasonable.

I hear what you're saying but the other part of me is you never know what your health may be so what if you scrimp and save and take little time to 'smell the roses', you could end up with an early retirement only to end up dead before you enjoy it. I'm in the middle. Spend some ,save some. That car was any dream car and I've enjoyed it immensely for the last 2.5 years. Sure the money it cost could've gone into retirement but here and now is important, too. I get a pipe every morning I choose to drive it to work or out with my wife on a weekend night. Balance.

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #28 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm loving the responses in this thread. It's really given me several different ways to look at this.

I guess my main disconnect was that I viewed theater building as being fundamentally different from activities like classic car restoration. In my thinking, building a theater was more about using it when it's done while restoring a classic is nearly all about the restoration process itself.

No no no... you're all right that I wasn't thinking about that correctly. The actual process of constructing the theater is every bit as important to all of us here as the end result is. Building the shell, choosing the components, installing everything, calibrating it all... who doesn't love every bit of that? Well, I know that you do because you wouldn't even be in this forum unless all of that is your idea of a good time.

So yeah, building theaters is every bit like restoring cars. It's extremely detail oriented and very technical. I can go on and on about "nature vs nurture" when it comes to gender roles but it's an inescapable fact that women in this country don't traditionally get into this type of thing. Why would I expect more women to be here and be completely unsurprised to see a lack of them on a woodworking forum? They're part and parcel.
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post #29 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I hear what you're saying but the other part of me is you never know what your health may be so what if you scrimp and save and take little time to 'smell the roses', you could end up with an early retirement only to end up dead before you enjoy it. I'm in the middle. Spend some ,save some. That car was any dream car and I've enjoyed it immensely for the last 2.5 years. Sure the money it cost could've gone into retirement but here and now is important, too. I get a pipe every morning I choose to drive it to work or out with my wife on a weekend night. Balance.

The "you could die at any day" argument is one I've used many a time to justify why I'm creating the theater right now, instead of waiting until closer to retirement. What if I'm not around to enjoy it? I want to enjoy it NOW, while I know I can! tongue.gif

I completely get you with the dream car. I've driven around in a friend's Cayman a few times and so I'll never begrudge a fellow a Porsche, if that's the dream. Those are some seriously sweet cars!

But there's definitely an element of "to each their own". You got your dream car and continued to love it. I got my dream car (an M35 -- not quite a Porsche, but very very nice) and after a couple years, realized that I've been there and done that. I don't feel the need to do that again.

Really gambling that I don't feel the same way about the theater when I'm done eek.gif
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post #30 of 58 Old 02-09-2014, 07:15 PM
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My wife could care less about the hows and whys. She's barely interested in the final outcome, to be honest. This is my hobby and keeps me out of the bars and jail. She sees it for what it is, but indulges in the amenities when the time comes when its movie time.
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