Character Bank – Mechanic Who Sews

This character bank is for a character who keeps a part of himself hidden. Why he does this and if it’s for himself that he does it or for someone else is not explained. All we know is that he has an outward identity that is one thing and a hidden identity that is something else. Maybe they are both a part of who he is, but maybe only one is and the other he does because that is what is expected.

We are told that this man is in his early thirties which probably means he has been doing mechanic work for many years, maybe even as long as a decade and a half if he started as soon as he was legally allowed to work. If it is something he enjoys, it might even be something he helped out with when he was younger, so that could mean that it is even longer than that.

Then we have a second thing he does, something he does in secret that he apparently sells online. And he is good at it. That is very clear. This man is very talented.

An interesting thing I note about the prompt is while it clearly identifies him as male, the prompt says, “their online business.” This presumably implies that there is at least one other person involved in this business. This person or these people have to be someone whom he feels he can trust since he has chosen to keep the business a secret. What is his relationship with them?

The idea that he makes incredible outfits, cushions, and furniture covers is most likely meant to imply a feminine side to him, but none of these things are really gendered activities. Given the topic, I went looking for some definitions and found these on wordnik:

tailor
NOUN
▪ One that makes, repairs, and alters garments such as suits, coats, and dresses.

seamster
NOUN
▪ A man or woman employed in sewing: in early use applied to those who sewed leather as well as cloth.

seamstress
NOUN
▪ A woman whose occupation is sewing; a needlewoman.

As you can see the first two are not gendered. The third is, but it is related to the second word. Admittedly, I didn’t know the second word existed before looking into this, but I did find it interesting. A slightly closer look into the words finds that some definitions of seamster specifically say “a man” while others talk about the word’s origins using the feminine suffix, so I don’t know what to make of that without a much deeper dive into the word. I do know that tailors are, in modern media, generally portrayed as masculine and seamstresses always as feminine. I’ve not seen the term seamster, but that doesn’t mean it’s not used.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Why do you think he is hiding his interest in creating things out of cloth? And do you think he enjoys being a mechanic or is it just something he does because it makes him money?

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