Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Observation

This post has somewhat to do with Feminism. In truth, my interpretation (and that of many others) of Feminism is ultimately a belief that women should be able to exercise their full potential. I understand that there are current associations with the word that might make some more conservative folk cringe, and that's ok, because I am not really here to contend what the word means to the individual. 

I do however, mention this because I am, by the above definition, a feminist. I would also say that I, over time, have been known to be uncomfortable with the status of gender roles in society. A lot of this could be attributed to my Women's Lit class at BYU (or even all of my lit classes for that matter), but a lot has to do with the way I've observed being treated over time. 

For example, I notice that if I wear makeup the way I want to wear it, people definitely treat me worse than when I wear almost no makeup- because a woman wearing makeup is a bimbo or something. As a bus driver, I got a lot of guff, even from women- especially from women because of my choice of occupation! And I've noticed men try to push me out of the way when I'm trying to help with a task that's generally reserved for males, such as carrying heavy stuff. There's a lot more behind every situation, and I am digressing too much, because this is not really the point...

What is the point, then? Well, because of this discomfort that I have between roles, I generally don't like when men try to do things for me, ie: opening the door, carrying heavy objects for me, letting me butt in line, etc, simply because I'm a woman. It's kinda like, so what, you are a human, I am a human, why do I need to be in line first? I feel like when someone does one of these things, it's drawing attention to our genders, saying that I am smaller or lesser, thus I should get an advantage, like getting first in line. It's silly, but that's how these things have made me feel.

ANYWAYS, so but a month or so ago, I was in Skagway, and after eating in a public place, I got up with a couple of people (me and two men) and we went up to dispose of our plates at a garbage station- and the attendant, even though I was last to reach the station, grabs my plate from me, doesn't even offer to help the men out with theirs. I knew it was because I am a woman, and at first I wondered, "what is it that I appear that I can't clean off my plate just like the men?". 

But then it struck me- hurray!! I get special treatment. It comes unsolicited by me, as I have mentioned. I never ask for it, and I certainly prefer that I don't get it. BUT - if someone is going to offer it, I might as well accept it, happily. Is this silly? Shallow? Even defeatist? However, I figure that people are just trying to be polite, and doing it with the best of intentions. Why should I be rude and not show appreciation for their good manners? Plus, I guess it's true- if you can't beat em, join em! :)

I know I am rambling as of now, but I feel good coming to terms with one part of feminism. 

I think another part is the recent, new realization that I deserve being treated well. This comes from my therapist who once scolded me for not accepting compliments. I think I blogged about this before, right? Well basically, if someone says "that's a cute dress" or "you were so great up there" or "you are beautiful", I ought to accept it and say thanks! No more of this crap like "No no I was horrid" or "I don't think I'm pretty"- I realized it's awkward and even kind of rude when people reject compliments, anyways. So I think the whole concept works here. I shouldn't feel bad if someone takes my plate for me, I should graciously accept it. 

1 comment:

The Boob Nazi said...

I've learned to accept it too. And hey, it's not that I can't open doors for men sometimes too! (And I do.)