15 Traditionally Masculine Hobbies That Women Do Well

Ree Winter, an Australian journalist now based in New Orleans, combines her love for solo travel with a sharp eye for great flight and accommodation deals. She eagerly shares her travel insights with her audience, drawing from her rich experiences. Ree holds a Master's degree in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and History. Her fascination with history is evident in her stint as a tour guide at historic house museums, showcasing her knowledge of architectural history. Beyond journalism and history, Ree has a unique flair for coffee culture. As a barista, she's operated a coffee van at various events and markets, showcasing her skill in coffee preparation.

While it’s important to remember hobbies don’t have a gender, realistically, we know that particular pursuits and employment have always been associated with women or men. Even people from Gen X will still sometimes expect a doctor to be male and a nurse to be female. Stereotypes are persistent—even in this modern era. The only way to turn them on their heads is to dispel the myths.

I was surprised when in 2013, a caregiver described my daughter as being like a boy because she liked to climb the play equipment. This type of thought was more common before the ’90s. If you were a female who did any of the hobbies in this article, the adults in your life might have called you a “tomboy” because the hobby was considered masculine.

1. Woodworking

Woodworking Hand Tools used in the Women's Woodshop in Minneapolis
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki commons.

I admit that I hated woodworking in high school. I’d often look at the resulting cheeseboard in disgust, but when my daughter started high school, she proclaimed that she loved woodworking. I was surprised because I didn’t class it with the usual creative pursuits that she enjoyed.

In historical roles, men were responsible for construction, carpentry, crafting tools, and furniture. Cultural depictions of woodworking as rugged and physically demanding have reinforced this association. However, not only is it something everyone can do, it’s also highly creative.

2. Fishing

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Ah, the traditional story of men going out fishing and bringing home the fish for the woman to gut, scale, and cook. Because of its depiction as a physically demanding role, fishing is mostly associated as a male activity, but women love the sport as well.

In fact, according to a report on Take Me Fishing, women are happier and healthier when they fish. Other reports show that women are typically better fly fishers than men, but much of the marketing is aimed at men.

3. Hiking

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Hiking is all about exploration, adventure, outdoor survival, and endurance — not very feminine, right? That’s ridiculous. If a man sets off into the wilderness, it’s an act of bravery and a quest for adventure, while a woman embarking on a similar journey is frequently met with skepticism and concern.

The truth is that many women enjoy hiking just as much as men. In fact, research suggests that women are safer hiking in the wilderness than walking around a city and that men are more likely to call for help while hiking than women.

4. Cooking/Grilling

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

To me, this is one of the oddest on the list. Women are associated with cooking and the kitchen, while men are associated with chefs and outdoor cooking. I’m not sure why there has been this distinction, but guess what? Whether it’s outdoors, a commercial kitchen, or a traditional indoor kitchen, if you have a love of cooking, you can work in any of these places.

Some sources suggest that because hunting and cooking over an outdoor fire were traditional activities for men, outdoor grilling is often seen as masculine.

5. Camping

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Gone are the days when it was a man’s job to pitch the tent and take their sons camping. Women excel at camping due to their resourcefulness, attention to detail, communication skills, adaptability, and safety consciousness, all of which contribute to a successful outdoor experience.

Some studies show that women have a stronger connection to nature and that their physical fitness further enhances their ability to enjoy and thrive in the wilderness.

6. Rock Climbing

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Rock climbing statistics indicate that it is still a sport dominated by men, but the percentage of women involved continues to grow by 6% annually. As of 2020, 28.6% of rock climbers are female.

Rock climbing has historically been associated with men due to its physical challenges, risk-taking nature, and emphasis on strength and endurance, traits often associated with masculinity. Unlike other sports, women feature heavily in the top 100 competitors. Plus, women have some bodily advantages over men required for climbing, including flexibility and a “high strength-to-weight” ratio.

7. Martial Arts

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

When we think of martial arts stars, people like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Chuck Norris are likely to come to mind. Yet if I asked the general population to name a famous female martial artist, they might struggle. This is likely due to martial arts’ use in combat training and self-defense—activities historically reserved for men.

However, many martial arts, such as Aikido, pride themselves on techniques that don’t require brute strength. Also, because women have naturally higher flexibility than men, things like high kicks are performed better than their male counterparts.

8. Motorcycling

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

If I asked you to picture a biker, chances are you’d think of bikers on a Harley-Davidsons, and the only role women play in that picture is to look pretty on the back of the bike. Guess what? 25% percent of riders are female, and that number is rapidly growing.

Women are better riders than men, and I’m not just saying that to sound triumphant. Statistics show that females have fewer fatalities and are more likely to enroll in formal road training.

9. Photography

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Like cooking and grilling, this is one stereotype that doesn’t make much sense. Carrying camera equipment, focusing, and clicking the shutter doesn’t require a lot of endurance, but historically speaking, most photographers tended to be men.

Early pioneers in photography were predominantly male, contributing to the perception that photography is a male-dominated field. As of 2024, however, 52.6% of professional photographers are women.

10. DIY Home Improvement

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Due to its connection to construction, repair, and maintenance work, which were all male pursuits, the stereotype persists that even home improvement is a hobby that belongs to men. In the professional world, two out of ten home improvement specialists are women.

Gone are the days when women relied on men for home improvements. According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, more women are spending money in the field, and women complete 44% of all DIY projects, dispelling the myth that this is a male hobby.

11. Cycling

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

For many years, men have dominated cycling culture in English-speaking countries. In Europe, cycling is much more common, so this gender stereotype doesn’t exist as much. When you think of cyclists, you might picture a bunch of middle-aged men in lycra. Women don’t feature heavily in that hobbyist landscape.

In the US, 28.4% of cyclists are women. One study showed that in the last 20 years, women have shown a greater performance improvement than men and that the gap between gender statistics is starting to shrink.

12. Homebrewing

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

While people of all genders enjoy beer, it has traditionally been associated as a drink for men. Homebrewing is often stereotyped as a hobby confined to man caves, perceived as something husbands do to annoy their wives. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Up until the 1500s, women were the traditional brewers, and in Sumer, they worshipped the beer goddess, Ninkasi. Unfortunately, female brewers are in the minority today, but it’s something they’re definitely good at.

13. Archery

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Archery is one of those sports associated with war and hunting, and, therefore, men. Yet women have long been master archers. There’s a reason that the pagan world had bow-wielding goddesses such as Artemis and Diana. Women hunted and enjoyed hunting. It was also a popular sport for upper-class women throughout Europe.

The members of the USA Archery are made up of 40% of female participants. Archery is a neutral sport, and neither gender is superior to the other.

14. Weightlifting

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Building strength and confidence through weightlifting is a hobby pursued by many women who are passionate about fitness and personal growth. In the past, weightlifting culture has been male-dominated, with images of muscular male athletes dominating the sport.

Given the stigma around getting too bulky, you might be surprised to learn that 26.9% of women do strength training, and 31% of USA Weightlifting members are females. Studies have shown that elite female weightlifters have the same or higher amounts of the muscle fibers required for lifting.

15. Skateboarding

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Yo, that kickflip was sick! She totally nailed it. Skateboarding has been a male-dominated sport for many years. Thankfully, that culture is changing. A study found that 40% of new skateboarders are female.

Women have been participating in skateboarding competitions since the 1960s, and in 2021, it was officially included as an Olympic sport, with female athletes competing in Japan.

READ MORE FROM US

The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

 

+ posts

Ree Winter, an Australian journalist now based in New Orleans, combines her love for solo travel with a sharp eye for great flight and accommodation deals. She eagerly shares her travel insights with her audience, drawing from her rich experiences. Ree holds a Master's degree in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and History. Her fascination with history is evident in her stint as a tour guide at historic house museums, showcasing her knowledge of architectural history. Beyond journalism and history, Ree has a unique flair for coffee culture. As a barista, she's operated a coffee van at various events and markets, showcasing her skill in coffee preparation.