Is a ring that has a 4.8mm diameter and is 1.2mm thick equal to a ring with a diameter of 7.1mm with a thickness of 1.6mm? And if they are does that mean that you can switch out rings that are 8.0mm with a diameter of 1.6mm for rings with a diameter of 9.5mm and a thickness of 1.6mm? The above paragraph probably gives you flashbacks to the math class and word problems, right? Except this isn’t actually a word problem. It’s the type of mathematical wrangling that’s involved when making chainmaille jewelry. That’s right, making jewelry involves mathematical computations. Jewelry isn’t the only thing. Lots of things that women often do, things that men like to call women’s “crafty” things often involve complicated math. The problem? Crafts aren’t where you would think to find complicated mathematical equations so both men and women often dismiss it, perpetuating the cycle of “girls hate math.” Think I’m lying? Chainmaille, as I said, is all about math. Need to find out if the rings you just bought will work with the tutorial you just found? Well, if you have the exact rings that are specified, you’re probably good, but what if you want to make the design bigger or smaller? How do you figure that out? Simple, math. In chainmaille, you would use the aspect ratio, which is the inner diameter of the ring divided by the wire width or gauge. As long as your aspect ratios are the same, you can make the design bigger or smaller. Deviate from the aspect ratio and you’ll quickly find yourself with either something that doesn’t hold its design or is so tight you can’t do anything with it. Moorish Rose from TheRingLord.com Ok, so that’s chainmaille, but that’s a fringe craft right? It’s not really “girly.” Chainmaille was used by Knights of the Round Table and stuff. That’s totally girls horning in on boys areas again. Dismissing the whole bit about girls taking over areas traditionally considered “boys only zones” let’s try something that’s more the domain of women, shall we? How about quilting. Quilting uses math constantly. Need to figure out if that design you came up with will fit on a twin sized blanket? Math. Need to figure out how large each individual blocks need to be? Math. Fractions to be specific. Let’s take an example shall we? I’ll even make it easy. A quilt will be 60”x60”. The pattern is blocked. With 1 large block of a patterned fabric and another block of the same size that is solid. The solid color block is further divided into 4 smaller blocks, 2 of color A and 2 of color B. Given the dimensions of the quilt and taking into considering a ½” seam on all sides, how large do the smaller blocks need to be? That sounds suspiciously like word problem. Huh. Women don’t even realize they’re doing math in their everyday lives. Women that can adjust recipes on the fly often put themselves down when discussing math. They’re not smart enough for math. All those numbers just confuse them, but they can balance a checkbook in their head down to the last penny. They can size a person up and make adjustments to a pattern to get a perfectly fitted garment. All of these things take math, some more complicated than others but the thing of it is that women are doing it. Sometimes without knowing it and at the same time being told they’re not good at math because they’re not men. They’re “crafty” instead. Which really? Based on the above examples probably means they’re ridiculously good in math. The point is that even if a young girl doesn’t want to be an engineer or a computer programmer or a doctor, they still need math. She needs math when she makes those friendship bracelets. She needs math to figure out whose Barbie will fly the farthest in that home built trebuchet. She needs math to build the trebuchet. She’ll need math when she brings you, her parent, breakfast in bed as a thank you for letting her build that trebuchet and make those friendship bracelets.