20 Things Every Woman Should Know How to Do

Want to feel like a full member of the card-carrying woman elite? If so, then there are a few initiation tests you need to pass first. Read on to discover the trials every woman should know how to overcome.

You know that woman who seems to understand how everything works without ever picking up a book or Googling it? Or that woman that knows how to do everything, despite the fact she’s never really had direct experience?

These women are elites.

They are the definition of proficient, strong and resilient. They epitomize what our gender is capable of.

How? Well, they passed the initiation tests: The 20 things that every woman should know how to do. Oh, and they didn’t just pass, they aced it.

And guess what? You can too. Here’s how.

1. Perform CPR

Even if you’re the type of girl that gets woozy over a paper cut, it’s essential that you have some understanding, knowledge and hopefully experience in first aid. From CPR to wound care, you never know when you’re going to come across a situation where you can lend a hand, or even save someone’s life.

You can enlist in a first aid course at your local community college for a small fee and within a day be a fully certified first aider. Otherwise, invest in a few good-quality books and review them with a trained first aider.

What are you waiting for?

2. Sew

woman sewing

Picture this: it’s the night of the award ceremony you’ve been looking forward to all year. You’re dressed in a skintight, body-hugging, designer dress. You look incredible and feel amazing. Then, as you delicately bend to sit down, you hear a loud rrrrriiiiippp.

Uh-oh. What do you do?

Well, if you’re part of the woman elite, you carefully place your clutch over the impacted area, make your way to the bathroom, shuffle the dress off, and quickly sew in a makeshift solution. Easy. Then you accept your award with dignity.

But if you don’t know how to sew … Well, that’s awkward.

Learn how to sew. It’s worth it.

3. Politely turn down propositions

It doesn’t matter if you’re Angelina Jolie or the typical girl-next-door. Chances are, at one time or another, you’re going to be faced with an amorous man (or woman) that is all over you. Or wants to be all over you.

Knowing how to politely turn down these ardent invitations is a delicate art, and one that members of the woman elite knows and understands.

Next time you get the urge to push (or shout obscenities at) a particularly grabby guy at the club, resist the impulse. Then think ‘What would an elite do?’

4. Change a tyre

You were probably expecting this one, but it’s actually pretty important to know how to change your own tyre. Yup, even in the days of Google and YouTube instructional videos.

Because if you’re alone on the highway, with no cellphone service, and are unwilling to hitch-hike your way into town (baaad, so bad!), you’ll want to know how to change your own tyre. And quickly.

Trust me.

5. Spot a fib

From buying a car from a sleazy salesman, to decyphering when your BFF has gone back to her toxic ex, knowing how to spot a fib is ever so useful. Elite women know when someone is handing her crapola on toast and when there’s a better deal, a better option or even a better truth available.

6. Cook one ‘good meal’

Okay, so you’re not really expected to be an expert, chef-worthy cook. Unless you want to be. But if your idea of a good meal is a drive-by of Micky D’s, then this tip is for you: learn to cook one, just one, good meal.

Whether it’s impressing a date/boss/co-worker/mother-in-law, you never know when you might have to entertain. And if chinese takeaway or pizza won’t cut it, you’ll be thankful that you know how to make a world-class spag bol.

7. Ride a bike

Smiling woman in red glasses riding on a bicycle on a countryside road

Hopefully, this is something you learnt when you were a wee nipper. But if it’s not, then hop on your bike. Seriously. Not knowing how to ride a bike is like … well, not knowing how to ride a bike! And how are you meant to know what ‘it’s just like riding a bike’ means if you don’t know how to do it. Hmm …

8. Talk to children

There’s nothing more awkward than an adult who doesn’t know how to speak to children. Asking a five-year-old what their college preferences are, or a seven-year-old how they feel about relationships might seem okay in your head, but in reality, it’s weird. Learn how to speak to kids, on their level, so if you’re stuck with one for any reason you can safely, happily and easily navigate the situation. And earn brownie points from their parents. Score.

9. Public speaking

It’s listed as our worst fear, above even dying. But elite women don’t fear public speaking; they crave it, because they know that it’s an opportunity for them to flaunt their personality, knowledge and even sense of humor. So woman up, enlist in a Toasters class, and get over your fear of public speaking.

10. Defend yourself

As much as we all wish that the world were full of happy, smiling people who had nothing but our best interests in mind, sometimes this isn’t the case. And no matter how safe you are, every now and then you could be put into a situation where you need to defend yourself. Knowing how to get away safely and call for help could be the difference between life and death.

11. How to tie a tie

I don’t know why men always expect us to know how to tie a tie – but they do. It must be in some MANual or something. In any case, it’s expected. So if you don’t know how to do it, learn. Quickly.

12. Build IKEA furniture

Apologies in advance, this is one of the trickier items on the list, but once it’s been accomplished you’ll feel so proud of yourself you’ll want to put it on all your business cards:

Jane Doe

CEO of Mega Awesome Company

Knows how to assemble IKEA furniture

13. How to wheel and deal

Okay, so we bring our fathers with us to buy new cars and organize finance solutions. But that’s more for their sake, not ours. Because, we don’t need them to negotiate on our behalf. We are more than capable of that ourselves, right? Right. And if not, we know how to smile and flirt. Just as good!

14. A classy up-do


All members of the woman elite can easily sweep their hair into an elegant up-do with nothing but a bobby pin, their fingers and skill. Within five minutes. Any slower than this, and you need to keep trying. Practice makes perfect, ladies. Think female Macgyver.

15. Mow the lawn

But … that’s a man’s job, right? Well, I don’t know how you allocate chores in your household, sweetheart, so it might very well be. But what if you live alone, share a house with a group of women, or simply don’t want to be defined by stereotypes? Well, then you’ll need to know how to mow the lawn. Smile, it’s kind of fun.

16. Handle a blackout

You’re mid-way through Crazy, Stupid, Love (you didn’t think we could get through an entire article without a Gosling reference, did you?) when the power goes out. Pitch darkness. What do you do? Hint: the answer isn’t scream, cry or go to sleep. 

17. Be spider and creepy crawly savvy

Even if you live in the most insect-free area of the world, you’ll still probably come across a creepy crawly once or twice in your lifetime. Knowing how to manage the situation without hysteria is pretty darn important.

Because you can only hide in the bathroom for so long before you need food. And water. And, well, before you need to go to work.

So invest in a little creepy crawly training (cough, ask Dad or a friend, cough) and feel confident in your abilities to maintain stoic in the face of adversity. Or in the face of a huntsman spider.

Side note: How can we ever be cool with huntsman spiders? Their names say “Hunts Man.” Not nice. So if you still scream if you see one of these suckers, don’t worry. You’re forgiven in advance. 

18. Drive defensively

Every time you drive your car, there is a risk that you will get into an accident. Fact. And this isn’t because you’re a crap driver, it’s because stuff happens.

The driver in front of you drops hot coffee on their crotch. Someone in the opposite lane sees a huntsman spider and steers into your car. Or the guy in the Ford (it’s always a Ford) doesn’t see the red light. But if you know how to drive defensively, you decrease your risk of being in an accident. 

19. Be calm in an emergency

woman calling emergency

Have you ever noticed that in an emergency there are two types of people? The kind that run around in panicked circles before face planting into a glass door, and the kind that calmly make their way to the fire exit. Which type are you? 

20. Be compassionate

And last but not least, even the busiest elite woman knows when and how to be compassionate. From helping an old person cross the road to rescuing a kitten, they understand that sometimes it’s just not about them. It’s about someone else. And they do everything they can to help that person.

Phew. How did you go? Do you know how to do everything on the list? Let us know!

About the author

Cassandra Lane

While Cassandra readily admits to being a rampant cupcake aficionada (how could she not be with an almost-brother-in-law that owns not one, but three cupcake shops?) she happily works off her lust of all things sweet and sugary by slogging it out in the gym and outdoors.

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  • Should also add Drive a stick shift (manual transmission) car .
    Every woman should know how to drive a manual transmission and operate a clutch pedal!