My blog’s anniversary came and went without any fanfare. I’ve been working. And working. Oh! And did I mention work? Yeah… I hate to admit it, but I don’t bounce back from these long days as easily as I did even five years ago. Though I did help a work buddy move a 175 lb fireplace into a minivan (just the 2 of us) AND heave a king size mattress on top of a monster size SUV yesterday, no problems. I am woman… Grrr!!!!!!! LOL The lifting doesn’t seem to bother me as much as repetitive motion does.
Screwdriver = Bad
Heavy Duty Electric drill = Friend
It’s funny how many times a day I hear, “Don’t you have a GUY who can do that?” Strangely, this sentiment most often comes from another woman. It doesn’t seem to matter what I’m working on. There’s still this stigma, men’s work verses women’s work. I know I’m only one person, but I often feel like I’m fighting this battle to be seen as a PERSON, regardless of my gender, especially around other women. If a man needs help lifting something, it’s because the item in question is HEAVY. If a woman asks for help lifting, it’s because she’s a woman and therefore inferior and weak. That mentality drives me nuts!!! Yes. Some women can’t lift a lot of weight, however there are LOTS of men that are in the same boat! I’m used to unloading large pieces of furniture off of semi-trucks several days a week: mattresses, sofas, dressers… Many times, it’s not even about strength, but technique. When one of the guys at work needs my help lifting something, it’s because they KNOW that I can handle the item in question. They see me as a person, regardless of my gender, a person who is used to lifting 75+ lbs, unassisted on a daily basis. The fact that I can do this while wearing lipstick and a nice sweater is beside the point. 😉
I’m not sure what the answer is. People are square pegs. We don’t fit nicely in the round holes of life.
I think my personal life is being reflected in my recent book edits. Huge chunks have been yanked out and replaced. My characters are feeling my feminist frustrations. It’s not that I have anything against men, quite the contrary. I adore my hubby. I tend to get along REALLY well with the men in my life. But for some reason, especially in my earlier drafts, my female characters were a lot more helpless. In fact my first draft read more like a traditional romance. Girl meets boy, tragedy happens, boy rescues girl, they live happily ever after. I got all done, reread draft #1 and thought, “WHAT? How did THAT happen?” LOL If that was the story I wanted to write, then that would have been one thing. But…that’s not me. Pfftt!!!!!!! I’m not looking for anyone to rescue me. My hubby is my best friend. I love him more than anything. We are PARTNERS. We don’t need rescuing.
I think this happens a LOT when you’re learning to write. You start out, bumbling along, writing what you’ve seen in other books, trying to figure out what the heck you’re doing. Stereotypes are a LOT easier to write than the alternative. Shoot! When I think of my own life, would a person like ME make an easy-to-write character? He! He! Probably not. Women and men are complicated. In my limited experience, it’s not easy, as a writer, to capture this reality.
I’m glad my silly romance story got completely torn apart. I’m glad I’m writing a mother/daughter story instead, but it’s certainly hasn’t been easy. Fun? YES! I find myself giggling away as I edit. Of course, that could be the lack of sleep talking. Hmm… But Easy? Not really. It’s taken me a long, LONG time to get where I am, far longer than I ever thought it would. I haven’t really READ any books that explore the mother/daughter relationship, and the ones I have read are REALLY screwed up, like the mom is a psycho with a butcher knife or something. Eeek!! Umm…yeah. That’s NOT the direction I’m going for.
I often feel like I’m floundering in uncharted territory. There aren’t many books that explore family relationships out there, period. And though I drag a paranormal element into the mix, it’s still about family, flaws and all.
Have a great day!
6 thoughts on ““Don’t you have a GUY who can do that?””
I’m not quite as “feminist” as you are. I love being pampered, taken care of, and having doors opened for me. However, I don’t like being thought of as weak, especially mentally and emotionally. I know that might sound contradictory to some, but it really isn’t. I think men and women have different roles to play in some areas, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be flexible. My hubby does most of the housework. I’m pretty good at putting stuff together. I’ve put together the last three things that came unassembled. We work together to be a couple. But I still like to think of him as the strong protector. Yes, I can protect myself with the .357 under my bed. But I still feel safer when hubby is around. And I can’t lift 75 lbs. It doesn’t bother me that I can’t. But I sure admire women who CAN. I think this boils down to the fact, exactly like you said, that we are all different (square pegs) and we don’t all fit nicely into perfect little categories (round holes). I have admiration and respect for all kinds of people. The only ones I DON’T respect are those who are mean-spirited.
So true!!! 🙂 One of my friends told me that part of my “problem” is that I’m such a contradiction. I LIKE wearing dresses. I enjoy “girly” stuff like vintage china. I like wearing vintage jewelry. I’ve got a miniature, pink “my little pony” attached to the strap of my purse. He! He! But…I also like to use power tools and get filthy-dirty working on the car.
The other problem is, I’ll call myself a “feminist” and for some reason, I’ve run into a lot of people who misunderstand the meaning.
adjective 1. advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
noun 2. an advocate of such rights
Equal rights, that’s all. It’s not like I think that women are better than men or anything like that. I just want to be seen as a “person” first and a woman second.
You’d be SHOCKED how many times I’m asked if there’s a man around when someone has a question about warranty information for the items we sell at my workplace. I don’t care how you look at it, you don’t need to be a specific gender to answer this sort of question about a mattress or a sofa, and yes, it’s usually another woman asking said question. It’s almost as if “some” women trust the advice of a man over another woman. Quite honestly, either can read the warranty card! That SHOULDN’T be a gender issue. 🙂
The problem is that the meaning of the word “feminist” has changed in the minds of people these days. The true definition you mentioned has gotten lost somehow. People perceive feminists as women who want to be like men, not just have the same rights. And most of this has happened because women that claim to be feminists have changed the definition. A man mentioned not long ago that a woman got mad at him because he opened a door for her. I think it’s great that women can be feminine and strong at the same time.
I remember when I worked in the office at a hardware store. There was a woman who worked on the floor who was very young and pretty. She always got asked if there was a man who they could talk to about a product. When the man was approached with the question, he would say, “You need to ask Heather. She’s the expert on that.” It always cracked us all up. 🙂
Oh gosh! I’d NEVER get mad at anyone because they held a door open for me. I HAVE become annoyed when men have commented on my looks. I don’t care if either genders say something along the lines of, “You look nice, today.” But if you KNOW I’m married, I don’t want to hear a compliment that’s too explicit. I think that’s wrong for either gender. Again, I want to be seen as a person, not a bunch of body parts. I don’t dress provocatively. I’m not “asking” for anyone to look at me as if I was. That sort of behavior is…creepy.
Love the hardware story! Yeah…that happens a lot.
On second thought, even if you DON’T know I’m married, I don’t want a man…to be overly explicit in their “compliments” regarding my looks. Maybe some women like that kind of attention. I don’t. It’s just soooo…Ick!
I have male friends here at work that joke around about stuff like that sometimes. But these are guys who would never actually hit on me and mean it. We’ve been friends for many years. But a guy I don’t know? He better stick to “You look nice.” LOL