Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Differences Between Men and Women

I had difficulty getting a sunset shot last night. It had been a clear sunny day but just as the sun was setting the clouds rolled in. Only by moving from my usual spot was I able to capture a bit of a sunset. Maybe I will have better luck tonight! 

One thing that continues to bug me at times is my womanliness.  Now I'm not saying I don't enjoy being a woman. I do! However, I learned real quick that being a woman and choosing to live an off the grid, homesteading, lifestyle made the differences in gender pretty obvious. I'm not a big person, I'm 5 ft 5 inches (well, that's stretching it a bit) and about 125 lbs (give or take depending on the day). I guess all things considered I am kind of average in height and build for a woman and growing up I always kinda figured, probably like most women, there was nothing I couldn't do if I put my mind to it. I mean really! In this day and age we are constantly bombarded with equal rights messages so why would I think otherwise?

I have never considered myself to be a feminist in any sense, I just always figured that my being a girl didn't mean I couldn't do anything, it just meant I would have to maybe work a bit harder at some things. Then we moved out of the city and into a lifestyle where things are a little bit different.

First of all there is the whole peeing in the woods thing. That struck me right off! I've never been more envious of the male gender than when we were in the middle of something important and I would realize I had to walk all the way back to our "campsite" to use the makeshift toilet we had set up. Talk about frustrating! Of course you probably don't want to hear much about that but I couldn't help throwing it in because until you have lived it, you don't realize how frustrating it can be.

But by far the most frustrating thing was my stature and strength. I'm not weak. I'm just a woman! We had decided a long time ago that we were going to do everything ourselves. That meant we were doing all the building ourselves too. Every nail, every board hand placed and done by us alone.  I loved it! We were building our home from scratch, just the two of us. The sense of accomplishment was fantastic but I always, always felt like I wasn't able to pull my weight. I could only lift so much and that was it! It didn't matter how hard I tried or how I leverage things there was only so much I could do.

Mountain Man was great and supportive and never asked more of me than I could give so I was the one pushing myself and making myself frustrated. I just couldn't help it! I wanted to feel like we were really doing this together and that I was pulling my weight. In the end it seemed he was doing so much more than I was and I felt like he was building everything himself. I know this was all in my head but my frustration was quite palpable at times and I'm so glad he was so patient with  me. This was something I had to work out for myself! I had to finally realize that was the way we were made. Men and women were made differently and I just had to accept it for what it was. Still, I couldn't wait for all the hard physical building to be over so I could prove I would be able to carry my weight more.


  1. Wow! I just find a bush when the need arises! There's not much modesty between us anymore!

    We cleared our site, built our cabin and outhouse, and made a laneway ourselves. I'm about your size. I may not have the physical strength of my hubby, but I can bring ideas such as using brains before braun. I never feel I'm contributing less - I always know he appreciates my being there. He lets me know my "lady" touches mean a lot too - he didn't have home baking (the man loves his brownies!) or quilts before he found me. There are plenty of things that need doing that don't require braun. Everyone pulls their weight here - even the dog pre-washes the dishes :) Take care. Gloria

  2. Well... I did eventually learn to not be so modest. I know he appreciates me too as he tells me often, so these were my problems not his. You are so right about plenty of things that require brain and not brawn! Although, he has plenty of both! As for the home baking? That is going to be the subject of a future post. :) Thank you so much for your comments!

  3. I struggle with this issue too, but in a little different way. I adore my IT hubby but he is not into all the physical stuff around our little homestead. It's not that he's not willing, he just doesn't have "the bug" that makes a person want to do all that stuff. I REALLY want to do "all that stuff" but am hindered by my lack of strength to do it all. Mine is more of an age issue at this point. (I used to be a formidably strong female specimen.) So...trying to choose what I CAN do myself, and what dreams I have to let go of...hard.


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