I always thought I was a feminist. That’s what you call girls and women who believe that men and women are equal right? I even took a Women’s Studies course in university, thinking it would be sooooooo much easier than the Politics course I had originally signed up for. I assumed that taking the Women’s Studies course would be a brilliant idea. It would make my average higher. But when I got to the class I was in for a surprise. One of the first classes was about the movie “Cliffhanger” and the symbolism within. I’d never seen “Cliffhanger”, and so I was lost in terms of being able to discuss the symbolism. Did YOU know that Sylvester Stallone is hanging on a wire attached to a helicopter, and at one point he cuts the wire, which symbolizes him detaching himself from female influence and giving birth to himself?????? Huh????? The discussion about such things continued in my lab after class, where I increasingly felt as if I was NOT a feminist and had no business being in such a class. I ended up with the worst grade I’d ever gotten before (thankfully I never got another grade like that again), and cursed myself for the dumb decision to drop what I thought would be a difficult course for what I thought would be a “bird course”. In later years I took a Politics course and aced it by the way. Geez.
Though that class shook my belief that I was a feminist, I realized that I was just not a radical feminist. I was a liberal feminist by definition. And I feel like I’m pretty strong in many ways. I speak my mind, I stand up for what I believe is just, I make my own money and have my own bank accounts, and I feel I am very much equal to my husband. That is, however, not completely the case. Until last night I had not done something at our new house – which we moved into six years ago – that makes me seem like I wasn’t capable of taking on a role I would’ve assumed I’d easily adopt years ago.
Here it is. I cut the lawn. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous. As an adolescent, it was my job specifically to cut the lawn at our farm. I spent every single Saturday doing it…all day long…and I actually enjoyed it. But fast forward several decades, and here I am doing the inside housework and here my husband is doing the cutting of the yard. However, it’s not what it seems. I haven’t been avoiding it because it’s more like a guy thing to do (feminists are cringing right now). I’ve been avoiding it because THIS is my yard:
Okay, that’s not really my yard, but it’s close…kind of…This is my actual yard:
The pictures don’t do it justice, and they definitely don’t adequately show you how many levels there are and how steep some parts are. It’s not an easy task to push that lawnmower up and down those levels. There were a few times I thought, “One of my neighbours is going to see me struggling and help out. Or surely [my hubby] Scott will check on me and see that I can’t do it.” Nope. No one was helping this damsel in distress, even though I was taking a running start in several spots. And that’s a good thing, because even though I think I pulled some muscles (!), I also HAD to follow through and finish. You’re probably now wondering, How much of a wimp IS this woman if she was having trouble cutting the lawn? Well, I’m ashamed to show you, but THESE are my pipes:
Yep, big wimp! Despite my plans years ago to get stronger, my legs and arms have always been little sticks. But feeling as helpless as I did last night while pushing that too damn heavy lawnmower makes me want to follow through with that plan. I really do want to know (not just think) that I can do anything I need to, mentally, emotionally, AND physically, and that I don’t have to rely on anyone else to do anything for me. That feminist in me is screaming out!!
And I think I might take my neighbour’s advice and buy a self-propelled lawnmower…