Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mistaking Disinterest for Incapability Earns You a Swift Kick in the Arse

I was brought up to be an independent, strong woman. I was always told I could do whatever I wanted to do. My parents were equal opportunity teachers; my brother learned how to cook and do laundry the same as me and I learned how to shoot a rifle and play baseball, like him. We were allowed to explore our interests without worry as to their relationship to gender lines. The fact that I was into ballet and he baseball was just how it played out.

It was never on my radar that boys should only do this and girls should only do that. We all could do whatever our talents led us to do. It was that simple.

So that was how I lived my life. I went along knowing that I could do whatever I wanted, and if there was something I didn't particularly want to learn (like how to sew or how to change a tire) it was because I simply wasn't interested in it, not because I couldn't do them.

(PS, I can change a tire if I really have to and while I shouldn't be allowed to sew anything ever, I can if pressed into service. But warning, it won't be pretty).

So, imagine how, to my chagrin and confusion, as soon as I went from a single woman into a monogamous, heterosexual relationship I was shoved into the Little Woman role by virtually every service man (and they've all been men) who have visited our house since we moved in.

Maybe I just didn't notice it while I was single. Maybe it took being in a committed, male/female relationship to bring it out; I don't know. All I know is, now that I've moved into the 'burbs with a dude, suddenly other dudes assume that the person in the house with whom they can Get Stuff Done is the male of the house.

Maybe next time they ask when my husband will get home, I'll find Bauer and say "Here's the current Man of the House. He's got a lot of opinions; ask him."

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