Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Not Helpless

Cutting a joist

“It’s dangerous” I said but, she persisted so I agreed. “Put on the goggles, don’t let the blade touch the lumber before you pull the trigger and . . . “. Julie wanted to operate the saw. After she made several cuts I jokingly told her that after I’m dead and gone she and her sister can build a house. I said it jokingly but it’s a serious matter.

I was raised to open the door for women, carry the heavy loads and make sure they were kept safe and helpless. I’ve rebelled against what I was taught.

I let Julie do some of the heavy work. When we’re hiking I don’t offer a hand over rough terrain unless she asks. I expect her to do fifty percent of the driving. I try to treat her in such a way that she won’t become helpless when I’m gone.

Julie isn’t helpless. This morning she asked “Do you think a person of my size and strength can get a hand truck and move a filing cabinet?” I said I thought that was reasonable so today she’s doing the job herself rather than depending on some male employee.

In my opinion, that’s the way life should be. We – male or female – shouldn’t be intimidated by any task.


Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

The wife depends on me for the really complicated and heavy work, but she puts in quite a bit of labor all on her own. She'd just as soon let me use the power tools, but she's capable of using them in a pinch, and has before she met me. However, she IS a klutz, so I myself feel much more comfortable performing the potentially dangerous tasks. I think women play to our egos with that jar lid thing, tho, you know, when she asks you to open the jar, and it comes off remarkably easy, so you know damn well she probably could have done it herself, but just wants her Man to feel gotta love em for

4/12/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

It wasn't difficult for me to "stand back" and "allow" my ex to do any number of "man" jobs. She liked working on cars, building things, and etc. She liked doing it and I don't.

Standing between her and trouble - that was a different thing. Although she had black belts in differerent martial arts, honest belts I must add, I was always her shield.

A competent person, male or female, doesn't threaten me. When it comes to dealing with situations I doubt I will ever be able to stand back.

4/13/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger anonymous julie said...

You rock!

It's tough to find a balance between not-being-helpless and letting somebody be a gentleman.

A lot of guys my age are reallllly intimidated by the competent female. I can cut straight and true with power tools or a hand saw, operate a drill, paint a room, weld, shine shoes, drive stick, and put my kayak on top of my car... backwards and in heels. *wink*

But some think it's pretty darn cool... and it's okay if a guy carries heavy stuff and opens the door...

4/13/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Round Belly said...

My man is needed to make me laugh. I use him for other tasks too but to helop me lighten up is the important job I couldn't do with out.

4/13/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger squire said...

Just this morning we were talking about our schools not offering "home ec." or "shop" anymore.

4/20/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Melody said...

"man jobs"? I will try not to get on a soapbox here, but I was the one who preferred shop and drafting over home economics anyday. Don't get me wrong - I love to cook and in another life or even this one if money and circumstances allowed - I would be in culinary school. But I can barely sew on a button and could care less about housekeeping. I do what needs to be done.

But I jobs. My father-in-law is one of those "little lady' kind of men. It drives me crazy. A snippit of a recent phone conversation:

Him: Are you two watching television?

Me: No, I am packing.

Him: Packing, what for?

Me: I leave for Dallas in the morning (I have told him this no less than four times in the past six weeks).

Him: Is Davey going with you? (My husband's name is David and no one but them refer to him as Davey).

Me: No, it is for work.

Him: You are going by yourself?

Me: [Sigh.] Yes. (Okay in actuality there would be about seven of us from my company there, but I was traveling by myself and his insinuation was pissing me off.)

Him: Well, I can't believe Davey isn't going with you. When do you leave?

Me: The flight leaves around 6:30 am so I'll leave the house at about 5'ish.

Him; Well he is taking you to the airport right?

Me: No, why would he?

Him: [ more like a growl.] If I wasn't down with this knee replacement, I would drive up there and take you myself. (Note: he lives south of the town I am flying out of. I live 30 miles north.)

Me: wouldn't. Though I am a mere female, I can manage to drive, check-in and walk on to a plane all by myself. What could having David there possibly benefit either one of us?

Him: You aren't feel well are you?


4/20/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

"We – male or female – shouldn’t be intimidated by any task." I so agree, but first I must made a modification: We, "whether we're male or female, shouldn't be intimidated by any task just because it's considered to be a male- or female-type of task." In other words, our gender alone shouldn't intimidate us, even if the task itself does.

I usually :-) love challenges, and being able to try to overcome or handle them.

4/22/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Beardedoverland said...

Living off grid has taught both of us what work is...

4/12/2010 08:25:00 PM  

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