Man’s Work?

So I have a friend who refuses to ask a man to do something like take the lid off a jar for her. She doens’t want to imply/accept the idea that a man can do something she can’t do. So she’ll fight with a jar all day rather than ask for help. And I understand why. But me, most of the time I try for about five seconds and then hand the jar to Damon. I like to believe (and I really do think it’s true) that my take on stuff like that is that I’m well aware that if there were no help for me I would find a way to do it myself. So since I know I *can* do it, I don’t need to prove it. I will not drag a chair to a cabinet when I can just ask Damon to grab something from a high shelf.

I’m thinking about this because I’ve had a window wide open for about four days that I just didn’t have the height/muscle combo to get closed. And I had a bug in a glass that I couldn’t deal with. So I put the glass on the fire escape. I know that that qualifies as a mental rather than physical problem, but there it is.
I was so relieved that my friend John was coming over last night because I knew he’d take care of business for me. And he did. And then he hooked up my DVD player as a bonus.

So maybe I’m a big stereotype. And it gets worse. I like it. I like when a man conquers bugs and fixes electronics for me. And I like to cook for him in return. Could it get any more cliched?

But I like it. Maybe it doesn’t bother me because so much of my behavoir is stereotypically male, so I feel balanced out. I’m more aggressive than many of my male friends. Rationalization? Maybe.

Anyway, I’m in my new apartment and it’s perfect and I love it. I was unpacking very tidily, but that all went to hell last night and now the place is an explosion of boxes and wrapping paper. When John made the DVD offer I went plowing through all the boxes trying to find the wires. Then he and I ran through all the paper, which made it worth it.

Other good things from today: I joined Netflix and it’s all I can do to not play with the site pretty much all day. My first three movies arrived yesterday: Monsters, Inc., The Bourne Identity and Cool Hand Luke. I’ve seen the latter, but it’s been a really long time and I loved it.
Also, I’m making panzanella tonight.


7 responses to this post.

  1. Sista, I’m all about letting a man do the hard labor stuff when I’m feeling a bit peckish. I have nothing to prove and, let’s face it, the norm is for men have more upper body strength. That’s just the way we’re built.
    I’ve even been known to track Ryan down outside or in the basement so he could open a can of sauce. And if I see a bug, I squeal like a girl and make him kill it.
    And yes, in return, I cook and do the laundry.
    And yes, I’m still a pretty cool, open-minded chick.
    But, damn….those lids can be tough to get off!


  2. Woman, get back in that kitchen.
    And take of them shoes and socks, y’hear?


  3. Bite me.
    (See! I am still woman. Hear me roar!)


  4. Skip gets very tickled…
    …that I’m such a feminist tomboy, but get very into painting my nails and scream when the cat drags in a dead rat from the porch. And I say “Thank you” when men hold the door for me, even when I’m not carrying anything, because I would do the same for them. Nothing to prove. šŸ˜‰


  5. I love it when I hear a wife tell her husband “Bite me!”


  6. Re: Skip gets very tickled…
    I wonder if for many women with our (Fierce_Rabbit, Steakums, me) social, educational, financial advantages — which are really unprecedented — that we fear marginalization far less than women in less favorable positions. I mean, I think I can show dependencies largely because I don’t have any secret fear that anyone around me might seriously perceive me to be weak. I’ve got as much or more power as the men I know, and I feel good using to my and their advantage.
    I think the three of us have created social/professional worlds for ourselves where there’s not nearly as much second-class citizenship as many other women face.
    When I feel weak or helpless, it’s not a big deal. I know it will go away and I don’t have any problem leaning hard on Damon or anyone else around who seems stronger at the moment. I know I’ll be on the strong end again shortly.


  7. Good points…
    …just how far “up” one can go woman before both men and women are forced into a different kind of social straightjacket? It seems like very few people who come from wealth are able to truly take control of their own lives and become their “own person.”
    Last night watching “Girl With a Pearl Earring” with my daughter and her friends, I was reminded of how the vast majority of American women are so much better off than women in the rest of the world or women at any other time in history. Not that there isn’t more to be done, but we are incredibly fortunate to have such choices.
    A lot of my lack of personal anger is due to plain old gratitude; I have the luxury to reserve my anger for those who get screwed over due to lack of resources.


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