Saturday, August 25, 2007

Did You Just Call Me a Girl?

A few weeks ago, the "kindergarten dads" came over for a sampling of beverages. I didn't know either of them well, but had spoken with them during the school year.For some reason during the conversation, I mentioned that I was a tomboy. In unison they said, "No way!" "Yes!" I replied and then I started down a long, spur-of-the-moment list about how I always was a tomboy. They looked at me in silent disbelief for a long time, then one said, "Well, you bat for the other team now."

I couldn't believe it. Did he just call me a girl?For two weeks I was really bothered at being called a girl, then it started to bother me that I didn't want to be a girl. What frustrates me about being a girl anyway?

When my mother first explained what would happen when I was a women, I told her "No." Then she had to explain to me that I wasn't getting a choice. Maybe that's it, no choice. Looking back through history women definitely didn't get a choice in life for marriage, education, or job. The word "choice" is intimately wrapped up in the abortion issue too.I do place an extremely high emphasis on being able to do what I want, but I don't think it's a lack of choice.

It's more the thought of not keeping up with the guys. I just always considered myself equal with everyone. I could never let my brother do something without proving I could do it. "Oh, yeah! Well, I can drywall the basement too!" The problem is he can do everything and he's my little brother. In college I was the first woman radio station manager, when the vast majority of the d.j.s were guys. The executive board was composed of all guys, except for my roomate. Our advisor was a sociology professor who said to me, "I can't believe they let you be in charge; and I can't believe you are in complete control." I didn't know I was doing anything unusual. I was just being me.

Maybe I think you can't keep up with the guys if you're being a "girly" girl. Ask my kids what I say when I go to the mall, they'll tell you I chant "I hate the mall." If I need to buy something, I go to a store that sells it and get out as fast as I can. Newspaper articles always state that this is the way men shop. Perhaps I'm missing some shopping gene. I know I prefer doing other things instead. Things that guys like to do.

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