Going by the statistics and facts, RC is a male dominated hobby. RC appeals to guys, and a small percentage of females, but generally speaking (we mean 99%) this hobby is filled with guys. Guys who love to spend money, tinkering, building, and
flying expensive RC Planes. Women tend to enjoy other hobbies, and while there are always exceptions, the ladies out there not only avoid RC but also tend to hate it. I’ve seen bumper stickers that say “RC WIDOW” for a reason. If you’ve spent more than one weekend at a flying field or at any competition, you’ve heard guys talk about how their Wives/girlfriends dislike RC. This isn’t true 100% of the time, but in general, women tolerate RC more than they support it. After many decades in RC, I figured I would take a stab at why some RC girlfriends and wives find RC as appealing as a Star Trek convention.
RC is expensive.
Most people live on budgets, when an all-consuming hobby like RC comes into your world, the monthly budget can easily be blown to bits. Guys who are normally responsible with their money, and those who never were, may suddenly become binge-spenders, dropping $100 here, $300 there, until the monthly RC bill nearly equals the monthly mortgage. There are guys out there who even go so far as to hide all of their RC purchases from their wives (stop looking around, we are all looking at you). There’s a reason for that, some wives and girlfriends look at RC as a colossal waste of money…this is money you could be saving, or better yet, spending on them.
RC is messy and dirty.
As men, we tend to love women for many reasons, not the least of which being they are prettier, cleaner and tidier than the average (any) guy. Many women want their man to clean up well, dress well, and eat well. Soooo, that’s kinda the opposite of flying RC planes. RC guys have dirt, grease and oils all over themselves after a day at the flying field. They spend hours on the hot asphalt, or rolling in the grass working on their planes to get one more flight in. RC guys dress like they’re stuck in high school or been retired for 10 years, in ragged t-shirts and oil-stained shorts. And let’s not even get started on the average RC guy’s food that can be found at the flying event. If food is offered, it will most likely be something Bar-B-Q’ed by a fellow club member. A chilidog is often the healthiest choice, which of course you top with a pound of onions. By the time we get home, we look and smell as if we picked a fight with a shop full of airplane mechanics who ended the battle by spraying us with glow fuel and stuffing an onion our mouths. Small wonder your wife/girlfriend doesn’t get all snuggly when you get home.
RC takes up a lot of your time.
This is the big one: when you’re into RC, there’s little else you’d rather do. RC consumes your thoughts along with your wallet. And it consumes your conversations, just listen to the guys who aren’t in the air in the pits, if they are not talking about their aircraft they are talking about someone else. Some guys use RC as an escape from their significant others, which only compounds the problem. Want to make your girlfriend insanely jealous? Start flying RC planes. Flying RC planes is like taking cocaine; once you start, you can’t stop. You’ll spend more time building, flying, practicing new maneuvers and hanging out with your flying buddies than you will with her, and that’s almost guaranteed to flip jealousy switches in her head you never knew existed.
RC Flying makes no sense.
I know, I can’t believe she said that either, but as guys, we tend to be simple minded…ie, dumb and stupid. Sorry, it’s true. Try answering these common girlfriend questions and then try to tell me we aren’t somewhat dumb. “Do you win money if you win an RC flying competition?” No, no money, but some events give me coupons for some…umm…RC purchases. This one gave me some coupons for some free CA glue…which I will need because of that slightly less than perfect landing. “Is the trophy really nice?” Not exactly, it usually looks like that “most improved bowler” trophy on the shelf over there…just with a statue of a plane on top of it. “Did you get to fly your plane all day?” IMAC competitor response- Eh, not quite–I did get two flights in before I bounced the landing and broke off the main gears, I spent the rest of the weekend scribing for the Judge. Pylon racer response – I did get in two really fast heats before another guy and I flew into each other’s planes on turn 1, then I spent the rest of the weekend counting cuts on turn 1. Combat Pilot response – Not exactly, I flew in the first round, I was on fire!, got two cuts and came around sighting in on my third victim, when this guy came out of nowhere and plowed right through my plane, it was spectacular! The crowd went nuts! All I could say was “that was the best midair I’ve ever seen! It was so cool, and then I spent the rest of the weekend launching planes and counting cuts for the other guys. Basically, the same as all the other combat weekends…I need to go buy some more CA glue. Helicopter competitor response- not really, I started my first program and I was in the middle of the lowest tick-tock I ever did, when all kinds of crap went flying everywhere, we picked up what we could and John and I went back to the pop-up and drank beer the rest of the weekend. It was fun…hey how much do we have in the checking account…I need some parts.
Sorry guys, I was going to prove this statement wrong…but……
RC makes us act like children.
If I haven’t offended everyone with my generalizations yet, maybe I will now–RC can make grown men act like children. When else would a 30yr old man watch out his window all day for the UPS delivery guy to show up? When else would an adult male lie about his whereabouts or money, unless he was actually doing something really bad? When else would a grown man scream like a child or get in a fight over a toy plane? The last time most of us did these things is when we were children. RC planes can make all of this stuff happen again…in your 20′s, 30′s, 40′s, 50’s and even into retirement. Women tend to find this type of behavior appalling. When they tell us you’re acting like a child, what is your response? Mine is, “no I’m not, I’m not, I’m not, not, not, I’m not”…as I walk away into the shop.
Yes I already know–plenty of you have girlfriends and wives who don’t mind RC at all, and are supportive of your fun. That’s awesome. Pat yourself on the back, because you’re in the minority. And please, get rid of that smug look on your face!
Do you have any other ideas about why your girlfriend/wife hates RC? Share them here.
That’s dang funny…. I’ll let you guess why. 😉
I constantly clean and maintain my aircraft, and my race cars. Because, a clean vehicle is a reliable vehicle.
Pre-flight checks, range checks, and control surface checks have become second nature, as a part of my flight routine. I don’t care to crash my models…just because I don’t sit inside the cockpit.
Races and airshows are entertaining. And, women like to be entertained. Take her to the races! Take her to the airshow! Buy her a hot dog or a snow cone. If you can’t take the heat then stay out the kitchen!
That article made me laugh and really hit home. Except My girlfriends hobby is photography. One day My receiver failed. the plane hit the woods. without zooming in on the video I would not have found the plane. She always comes with me and knows more about RC planes than she would care to admit.
We all should have married Debra
You are a lucky man Mike, my hobby is also Photography (actually more than a hobby, it was my profession for 23 years before becoming an editor here). Hopefully she won’t have to documents too many airplane woodland excursions.
Debra is a wonderful person, and I am sure she would appreciate the proposals; but I think that would be illegal in many states.
The unfortunate reality surrounding the “…male dominated hobby” of RC is that its the very community that perpetuates the stereotype. Life is all about balance. And when one becomes all consumed or ignores what’s around them (Ahem! Your significant others interests perhaps?) things are bound to go wrong. Yes, I do act like a child and get excited when a package arrives or run to a window when a C-130 flies overhead because I love aviation. As for my wife, she’s the same way about her hobbies and interests and I’m thankful for that. In my opinion, this article highlights what’s wrong and continues to build the case for why the stereotype lives on.
Satire is always about stereotypes, this is meant to make you laugh. I don’t know of anyone who really matches these descriptions, although I do know a number of people who fit into bits and pieces of these descriptions. Comedy only happens when there is an imbalance, balanced lives are good things, but there is nothing really funny there.
Generally speaking, the ladies dont like RC for the same reasons they dont like all the other things guys do; its not just RC. Simply, it isnt time spent with them. If the ladies arent the center of attention, they arent happy. The ladies are extremely competitive on a personal level. My wifes mother goes with her husband fishing and reads her book even though she hates fishing. They are still together because she wants to spend time with her man instead of creating conflict.
I am blessed! I spend to many $ on my models and i have two on the table being built, for 2 years now. She has put up with this for many years. She even said I should by a trailor like others have to keep things in one place. Which I did! Recently I had some health issues and she takes me to club meetings, flying on weekends and to other fly-ins. Plus she helps me carry everything to the flying tables, then sits back to read for as long as it takes.
I usually argue the fact that I don’t hang out at bars, strip clubs or use meth. It helps…a little.
According to research, between 50% to 75% of women are unhappy. There is no amount of attention, money or listening that will change that. Women feed on drama. Create dram. Watch drama on TV. Discuss drama. Why, maybe the air conditioned house, the dishwasher, the washing machine, the TV, etc. The happiest women are in relatively poor countries. North American women are depressed, stressed out, self mutilating, over-medicated, an-orgasmic and need someone to blame it on.
RC flying is usually cheaper than golf…
Your response alone leaves me with little encouragement of the future growth of our hobby into the female gender. Perhaps you should hang within the ranks of a Good ‘ol Boys Club where you can proudly pat each other on the butt, smoking a cigar, whilst you complain about how women have ruined your life and should have never been able to become pilots.
With your level of bigotry alone, it’s no wonder families are not introducing themselves to radio control. If you’re not happy, look in the mirror at the person making the decisions. Don’t let what can be a wonderful community become your hate-filled collateral damage.
I’m still shocked that this article was even published to begin with. While you may have thought it was ‘tongue in cheek’ funny, you left comedy no room for interjection between the many pot shots at women. If you want a “Mars” based rc community you’re going the right direction by publishing this dribble.
Sunny : your article was interesting, but why pick on RC airplanes I started in the 60’s with u-control, and along with RC I still build and do some flying. Still have my old Kraft radios just upgraded my Kraft Signiture to 2.4 but mostly fly my 72 mhg. Rigs. Futaba, JR. There are lots of ways to spend your hard earned dollars, The flying club I belong to has 10 members. We fly SAM and as some would say we are dieing on the vine. We have one lady member an X wasp, and she is a real joy, She flys better than I do, and is about 14 years older. I’ve herd her say more than once,(why don’t more girls do this) most of our members also play golf, including me. There are many hobbies that consume time and money, One of our comments in the club is ( girls are from Venus boys are from mars) okay so be it. It is still a great hobby and it’s my sanity,
my girl is just as much of a fanatic as i am..so none of that really applies except the expense part. some people ask why we fly..it is like some people fish or play golf or whatnot to get their minds off things…people like us, we fly..
Good thing then, that I have a girlfriend who is just as mad about RC planes as myself. We fly together, we build together, we watch RC videos together. How perfect is that? 😉
You’re a very lucky man 🙂
So as a non-RC, non-flying wife I can vouch for this article. If your wife does support you by getting excited with you over a new plane, does go the the field sometimes, has been in a hobby shop with you more than once, has watched more than one recording of your plane in the air, has held a plane whilst you test the engine (prop, landing gear, whatever else) and doesn’t emotionally blow out at the money you spend : make sure you do acknowledge her support and make some time to show her love too. This is an all consuming hobby and most of us cooler chicks get that. Just remember at the end of the day she is the one consoling you after a crash, loving you and keeping you warm at night. Just saying. Safe landings x
I liked that. A very good read and lots of things I could relate to. I can’t believe the people who commented in a negative manner. What a bunch of losers.
My Wife loves me to have a hobby but hates the amount of $$$ I spend on it instead of saving. But at the same time she is very tolerant of it because she knows it makes me happy. Does she come watch me fly? – no. Can she? – if she wants to.
If any woman took exception to this I suggest you go bag your head. I feel sorry for the bloke you are married to, and if any bloke took exception to this then all I can say is, watch out, your slip is showing.
Cocaine? Yes, I would imagine its very much like being addicted to cocaine. I look out into the scenery as Im driving and everything becomes a flying field. I spend endless hours building, refining, tweaking my radio control jets and then going to the flying field and practice, practice, practice until I am all out of charged batteries. Ive been in the hobby 2 and a half years and not a week has gone by that I didn’t fly anything. Its madness… its a sickness.. and I may need a multi step program.
TOTALLY STUPID !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Women are not into RC for the same reasons that a man would not enjoy sitting around chatting while getting a manicure. We have different brains.
Oh yes of course there are exceptions!
When I have to buy something about RC plane I always brougth my own bag…leave all the box in the store…bring the parts only…when my wife asking I always..belong to my friend he want me to assembling and setting
Sometimes I changed the carton box with old boxes so she never that I Just by new plane
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