A coworker and I were talking… after I’d failed to notice some paint on my arm until after I’d gotten to work.
She’s also a female in her 30’s, and we were discussing various home improvement projects we’d tackled… and ones we planned to tackle or need to tackle.
Part of this conversation had been overheard by a woman older than us… possibly in her 60’s maybe? Not real confident on my age estimation.
She informed us if we just act helpless, people will do these things for us.
The coworker and I both laughed initially… but she continued on… and we realized she actually feels that way.
I know part of it is a generational thing… but then, I know a good number of younger females who feel that way as well.
I really can’t imagine being there…. being in a place where you feel like your best avenue to accomplish something is to use your skills at making someone feel like you are helpless and need their pity to get them to do things for you.
That’s just so not the view of life that I have. And I’m grateful to have been born into an era where I have the choice to feel like I’m completely free to not take it.
Have I walked into Lowe’s and had sales staff completely ignore me when I need them to cut some boards down for me to fit for transport home? Yes.
Have I walked into a local hardware store and had someone give me this tone as if I must not have the foggiest idea what I was looking for? Yes.
Do the elderly ladies who live next to each other across the street still give me their looks of pity when they see me doing things like adding fluids to my car? Yes.
But by and large, society could care less, and just shrug.
While this lady had her list of the things she’s accomplished through her skills with people…. I have my list of things I can do for myself.
And my list… makes me feel powerful, strong, and like armed with the Internet for reference, I can accomplish anything. I am superwoman.
Not always well, not always on the first try, but I can do it.
I am capable. I don’t need to have someone else do things for me if I don’t want to.
I can light pilot lights, wire new phone jacks, replace and program thermostats, replace ceiling fans, replace the plumbing under a sink and take it apart for unclogging if needed, replace the sink entirely, replace faucets and showerheads and toilets and shower curtain rods, replace cabinets, pull up carpet, refinish floors, put frost coatings on windows, paint rooms, replace built in mirrors…. and a million more minor things.
I will soon be replacing the strip lighting in the bathroom, replacing its switch, and while I already have the power off replacing all out of outlets in this ancient house with new grounded outlets so that i can stop having to hunt down the stupid 3 prong to 2 prong adapters.
For each outlet…. this takes about, oh, a minute longer than just replacing the switchplates… its just two extra screws… moving the wires from the color coded screws of the old one to the same ones on the new one.. and putting things back the same way they were when you opened it… and was a cost of an additional 57 cents per outlet.
My mother recommended I call an electrician.
I may not agree with a lot of the feminist perspective on things…. but I do greatly appreciate my position to be able to play with power tools and not just kitchen tools.