Saturday, April 24, 2010

Life Skills: Opening a jar without a man

Tiger Beatdown's recent sexist beatdowns have reengaged me with one of the small ways in which gender roles are reinforced in daily life: the constant expectation that men open jars for any woman who asks. As a single blogger, there is rarely a man to be found in the apartment, and when one does show up, all of my unmet jar-opening needs tend to slip my mind. So, a few strategies (gathered from experience, and the internets):

1) Tilt the jar over a sink (you never know) and hit the lid in a counter-clockwise direction with the flat side of a butter knife. This make take some perseverance.

2) Run the lid under hot water. This might work in one of two ways: melting away any food / sugars stuck in the grooves, or expanding the lid so it's not so tight.

3) Break the seal on the jar lid by wedging something between the lid and the jar (can opener?) and applying pressure.

4) Go to a trade show and get one of these handy pieces of jar grip swag.

5) Poke a hole in the top of the lid, breaking the seal. Be careful!

Do any readers have any other tricks they use?


  1. I use a latex glove. Sometimes I don't even put it on, I just throw it on top of the lid and try to open it. That way my hand doesn't slip. It really helps!

  2. Holding a glass jar around its middle with both hands, I rap the side of the lid off of any hard surface; the counter, the floor. This usually makes the lid come off easily with one turn.

  3. @anon interesting--then would a condom work? non-lubed, of course.

  4. - Make sure your hands are dry. I'm often opening a jar in the middle of cooking something, and my hands have assorted liquids on them from chopping vegetables or quickly rinsing a pan.

    - Grip the lid and keep it steady while rotating the jar. (Normal opening technique says keep the jar steady while rotating the lid.)

  5. Whack the jar lid all along the outer rim with the heavy end of a butter knife. Works every time, but I do sometimes also use something nonslip while twisting open.

  6. Rubber bands are great for this. Just wrap one around the lid and twist! Almost always works.

  7. I use a church key opener to pop the seal. Then it's easy peasy. They're cheap, simple to use, and usually come with a magnet on them so you can stick them on the fridge.

  8. If all else fails and your man isn't home. Throw the jar on a hard kitchen floor as hard as you can and scoop the contents up with a spoon.

    Works every time.

  9. I am a man so i use my brute strength instead of weakling/inferior species skills to open my jar.


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