The Screwdriver Manifesto

We, the Screwdrivers of the world, hereby declare:

1) The tool social world has heretofore been ruled by a hammerarchy  This has created a "hammercentric" worldview that privileges the position of hammers amongst tools, while downplaying the role of screwdrivers.

2) As a result of the dominance of this hammerarchy, hammers have been given a hugely disproportionate amount of the glamorous tasks such as "pounding things," while screwdrivers have largely been relegated to such inferior positions as "making things turn around-and-around." (Note carefully the semiotics of this dialectic: hammers are interpreted as driving things forward, while screwdrivers merely serve to keep them in place.)

3) Reinforcing the superiority of the hammer role, hammers are often paired with nails: long, robust, smooth, penetrating objects. Meanwhile, in hammerarchical ideology, screwdrivers are thought of in connection chiefly with screws: smaller, more delicate, fussier items that need "guide holes" (provided by hammers!) to even function. (This denigration of screwdriver-related items has even leaked out into the world of the "users," where we hear expressions such as "screw this.")

4) Even more tellingly, in tool belts, the position given to hammers put their working side up top and on display. But screwdrivers? They are stored with their working end facing downward, and only their handle fully visible, as if to say, "I am just here for the use of others, and my actual working parts are somewhat of an embarrassment, and must be kept hidden away."

5) THEREFORE, we declare:

6) Henceforth, tool society must be re-structured to give equal status to both hammers and screwdrivers.

7) Social justice requires that we establish "diversity in pounding things" initiatives, and we not rest until fully 50% of all pounding of things is done by screwdrivers.

8) Furthermore, the gross inequality in terms of nails and screws must be corrected: every screwdriver should be encouraged to work more with nails, and less with screws. Early education initiatives must be adopted to teach young screwdrivers that nails are no more a "hammer thing" than are screws, and to encourage young screwdrivers to go into the "pounding things" fields.

9) Lastly, all attempts to assert some "natural" roles for hammers and screwdrivers must deconstructed as screwdriver-hating praxis functioning to reproduce the hammerarchy, and to continue privileging the role of hammers in the tool social world.

Screwdrivers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your spinning around-and-around in place!


  1. I think the comments here support the theme of this blog post.

  2. Written like a real tool, Gene


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