Tuesday, 20 December 2011
The Differences Between Men and Women
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.