Why is It So Hard for Women to Open Jars and So Easy for Men?

Have you ever noticed that it’s often easier for men to open wooden jars and containers than it is for women?

It’s a phenomenon that has been the subject of much debate, with many people claiming that it’s due to differences in strength between men and women.

But is this really the case?

In this article, we will explore the science behind why it’s so hard for women to open jars, and what can be done to make it easier.

We’ll look at the role of muscle strength, grip strength, and joint flexibility in opening jars, and explore some simple tips for making jar opening easier for everyone.

Is It Really About Male vs Female Strength?

In recent years, the popular narrative has been that men are naturally equipped with more physical strength than women, making them better suited to open jars and bottles that require a lot of effort. However, this notion has been debunked by many researchers, who claim that the cause of this difference lies in the way men and women use their muscles.

jars on a kitchen table

Studies conducted by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that while men are generally stronger than women, this strength is largely due to the way they use their muscles. The research reveals that men use their arm strength more often in common activities such as carrying heavy bags, reaching for items on high shelves, and opening jars.

In reality, it’s not entirely about strength. Instead, the real issue lies in the design of the jar lid itself and the difference in hand size between men and women. When it comes to lid design, regardless of gender, the size and shape of the lid can make a difference. Usually, male hands are larger and stronger than female hands, so a lid that is designed for larger hands may be harder for women to ergonomically open. This is why it’s important to have a variety of jar lid sizes and shapes that fit different-sized hands.

Why Do Women Have Difficulty in Opening Jars?

Whether it’s a jar of pickles, a jar of jam, or a jar of olives, we’ve all had the experience of trying to open a jar that just won’t budge. It’s especially frustrating when you’re in the middle of cooking and need to get the jar open quickly! Have you ever wondered why women have more difficulty opening jars than men? The answer may surprise you.

In conclusion, the difficulty that women have with opening jars may be related to the size of their hands, the strength of their grip, and their lower upper body strength relative to males. Women may also be discouraged from developing the skills associated with opening jars due to social and cultural stereotypes. To correct this issue, it is important to provide both genders with equal access to the educational, physical, and social resources needed to develop hand strength and dexterity and help break free from gender-based stereotype-driven behavior.

Cultural and Social Factors Affecting Opening Jars

As women, we have come a long way in proving our worth and strength in all aspects of life. Unfortunately, there are still some stereotypes that persist and can be quite frustrating. One of these is the idea that women have difficulty opening jars.

The notion that women can’t open jars is nothing more than a stereotype. In reality, there are several factors at play that can affect anyone’s ability to open a jar, including the size and shape of the jar's lid, the type of contents inside, and the strength of the person’s grip. The truth is that anyone can have difficulty opening jars. It could be a man or woman, a young or an old person.

It can be a powerful symbol of the limited access to practical skills that women have faced throughout history.

A jar lid is a reminder of the daily struggles and impediments women have faced while striving to achieve the same level of self-sufficiency as their male counterparts. In many parts of the world, women have been barred from learning or practicing manual activities that men have traditionally dominated.

This has resulted in women lacking practical, self-sufficient skills such as using tools, engines, and machines, working with wood and metal, building and repairing items, and so on.

Tools to Make Jar Opening Easier

As a woman, I know all too well the struggle that comes with trying to open jars. We've all been there, struggling over a jar of pickles or jam, getting increasingly frustrated as the lid refuses to budge. The cause of this difficulty is often attributed to our lack of upper body strength compared to men. Though this may be a factor, it’s far from the only cause. The thing is, jars are designed to be difficult to open to make them more airtight and secure. This can make jars challenging to open even for those with strong arm muscles.

Fortunately, there are a few tools that women can use to make jar opening easier. One tool you should always have on hand is a rubber jar opener. There are jar openers that can be attached to the countertop or wall and require minimal effort to open. There are also jar openers that feature a built-in knife that can be used to cut the top off the jar. There are also jar openers that feature a hand crank that can be used to open the lid of the jar with minimal effort. Finally, there are jar openers that feature a suction cup that can be used to grip the lid of the jar and pull it off with ease.

jar of fresh


In conclusion, it seems that the ease or difficulty of opening jars likely has to do with the strength of a person’s hands and fingers, as well as the various techniques used.

While strength differences and techniques may play a part in why women have more difficulty opening jars than men, overall it is not a hard and fast rule.

Women are just as capable of opening jars as men are and can use techniques or tools designed to make the task easier.


Why do I struggle to open jars?

To make it easier to open those stubborn jars, start by wiping the lid with a towel to remove any oil that might have built up over time. From there, use rubber gloves or a cloth to ensure a better grip when attempting to twist it open.

Additionally, try running the lid under warm water or using another object to press against the lid while twisting. Finally, if all else fails, don't hesitate to ask for help. With any of these techniques, you should be able to twist open most jars with ease!

Can women open jars?

The answer is a resounding yes! Women can successfully open jars. In this day and age, there is no need to feel limited or defeated by a stubborn jar lid. No matter your strength or size, if you follow the right techniques and use the right tools, you can easily pop open any jar in seconds. As long as you know the correct way to go about it, opening jars is something that any woman can do.

What muscles are used to open a jar?

Opening a jar requires both hand and arm strength. The primary muscles used include the rotator cuff muscles, wrist extensors, and flexors, forearm supinators and pronators, biceps, and triceps. These muscles work together to generate power to twist the jar lid open.

jar of pesto on table

Additionally, having a good grip and generating force from your shoulders can help make the task more effortless. Learning how to store strength in your body can immensely help in increasing your ability to open jars with the least amount of effort.

How many people struggle to open jars?

It seems that jar lids are a source of frustration for many people, especially those with limited grip strength due to arthritis. Fortunately, various techniques and tools can help make opening jars easier.

These include using a towel or wet hand to get a good grip on the lid, using a jar opener, or using a tool like the 'JarMate'. Regardless of what method you use, it is important to take your time and make sure you open the lid safely.

Author - Fred Felton
Fred Felton          

Content Creator / Editor

Fred Felton is a copywriter, editor and social media specialist based in Durban, South Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in creating high end content. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. Currently Fred specialises in the wooden arts and crafts space, focussing on innovative wooden product design. He is also a keynote speaker and has presented talks and workshops in South Africa.


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