My husband returned from a client meeting shaking his head in frustration. As an architect, he deals with all sorts of humanity, not the least of which are demanding, entitled, "I can have and do anything" types. But this time, the source of frustration did not stem from that ilk.
"This woman just kept deferring to me, saying 'I'm just a girl, what do I know?'; 'I'm just a girl, I can't do that.' I finally had to tell her to stop it."
I've got to say, that got my hackles up too. Have we not gone through enough with the entire women's movement? Has Gloria Steinem been flapping her lips in the breeze all this time? Is Hillary Clinton just whistling "Dixie" at this point? Hell's bells, woman -- how about a little support for your own gender! After all, support can be beautiful.
In this new millennium, women have come so far. We have taken on vocations that many never thought possible, but have always been capable of. And though we might not be able to out-bench press Schwarzenegger, we sure as hell can carry the weight of so much more than we're sometimes given credit for -- often by other women.
Why do some women undermine themselves and others? Why do they vote against the female candidate and insist that women shouldn't be part of the military? What are they afraid of? Are they threatened in some way? Supporting a woman's right to hold office doesn't mean you can't feel secure about your own choices. It means you're opening the door for our daughters. If you're unwilling to press the 'Going Way, Way Up' button on the Willy Wonka elevator that could eventually burst through the glass ceiling, then the only "sisterhood" you subscribe to is "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Can'ts".
I've been elbowing my way into the Boys' Club most of my life. As a female musician, I started my own band, and recruited a mix of men and women. I've been the only woman in a restaurant kitchen, only to be canned by a disgruntled male head chef who wasn't in the mood to push the boundaries. I've "fought" alongside my comrades in arms as a Civil War re-enactor, and when my company was hesitant to storm a cornfield at dawn, I overheard the Sergeant say "Well, if Squirt over there is going in, I guess I have to too." That always makes me smile.
So it only makes sense that as the wife of an architect/builder, I'm eager to get my hands dirty and learn the drill, so to speak. One of the women I look up to the most happens to be a 5 foot, 100 pound blonde, Nicole Curtis, who hosts HGTV's Rehab Addict. She's not afraid to do the heavy lifting. She restores old homes alongside the men in her crew, and she never, ever says "I can't." She never, ever says "I'm just a girl."
It's bad enough that we've been relegated to The Pink Aisle at the toy store, and that Lego now makes a special line of bricks "just for girls." But the other day, while strolling through the Sears tool department, when my husband and I spied The Original Big Pink Box, we couldn't believe it. A giant hot pink tool box just for women, complete with hot pink work gloves. Because the world is apparently willing to give us an inch on the tape measure of life, but not the whole nine yards.
"I'm just a girl?"
Really, I've had it up to here.