It is no secret I like “masculine” and “manly” things. I drive a Harley. I am a firefighter. I compete in Lumberjack sports. I ride an ATV, own a gun, and was on the Archery team in college. I have a science degree. I do these things because they are fun and I enjoy them. I applaud other women who do the same. On that same note, if you’re a girl who is trying to impress guys by out-drinking them (they are likely to win every time-it is biology), watching sports you secretly hate (Oh yes, Tom Brady is sooo amazing at being a running back. or a quarterback. or a lineback. He is a back-something right??), or saying stuff like “I can drive a 4-wheeler right through the mud” (no, shit, if you went around a mud puddle, I would backhand you), PLEASE STOP. Seriously, why must we fawn over men like that just to get them to like us. If they don’t like you for you, fuck ’em (not literally, please) because sooner or later the truth is going to come out and really, who likes living a sham for THAT long?
Anyways, I do things and have interest in things that are typically male dominated. I always have. Why? Because I like them. I drive my motorcycle because there is nothing better than feeling the rumble of the motor and the freedom of the road and smelling all the different smells you’re denied driving a car. I am a firefighter because not only do I get to help people, I get to “play” with fire and bust shit up. Lumberjack sports = additional proof God loves us and wants us to be happy-it is just so freaking fun! ATV, guns, and bows and arrows? I like doing stuff outside and have a good eye. Lastly, my science degree? Instead of asking for the latest Tamagotchi, I wanted science kits. I mean-science is just absolutely fascinating. And you can blow shit up in the lab. That’s pretty cool too. I do have a lot of feminine interests (dressing up, diamonds, dance, flowers, art), but that doesn’t define me either.
However, nothing drives me more crazy than people either dismissing me or being amazed at the fact that I have a vagina. My husband is a firefighter as well and when we are out together and it comes up, people automatically start talking to him about being a firefighter and will even turn their backs to me. Oh, no, I don’t know what “knocking down the fire” means or what a Halligan is. My husband usually has to say “She is a firefighter too” and they turn and look at me and usually exclaim “wow!”. Men have even tried to help me down off the fire truck after relaying the hose on top. I am flattered but please, you know you wouldn’t help a lady into her desk chair in the office so stop playing those games. I’ve noticed the men that dismiss my being a firefighter most are men who are closer in age to me and newer at the firefighting scene… Sorry to make you feel inferior, bub, it isn’t my fault I’ve seen more fire than you.
Most recently, we met an acquaintance to drive up to bike week together and this guy didn’t know ahead of time I would be riding my own bike. He couldn’t stop talking about it. When we finally got there, he couldn’t stop talking about the fact that I not only had my own bike, but I could ride my own bike. Well, I would hope so seeing I drive it on public roads and that would just be a complete public hazard.
I think the saddest thing for me has been when I gave tours to a few different girl scout troops. I have given talks and tours to the girl scouts in my town for the last few years because they think it is a good thing for the girls to see a woman doing that type of profession, and I absolutely agree. The part that crushes me is when I ask how many girls would like to be a firefighter some day. I usually get crickets. My heart breaks every time. Why don’t they want to be a firefighter??
I’m not talking about gender roles and that girls should be playing with trucks and boys with barbies… I just want little girls to feel like they can do whatever they want. I don’t want anyone to feel like they aren’t allowed to do something because of the parts they were born with. I grew up with parents who supported me through every crazy dream and idea I have ever had and helped give me the confidence to do whatever I wanted to if I put my mind to it. I don’t care if you think it is good, bad, or ugly that I have an interest that strays from the typical. I am not trying to get attention for doing these things, I just do what I want and I don’t give a rich shit if you like it or not.
What I think I am getting at is that I just want to be treated like a normal human being. Not a guy, not as a girl, but as a person. I don’t want the fact that I could potentially save your ass or the fact that I can put a motorized two wheeled contraption in drive and make it go be any more or less awesome because I don’t have a penis. So please, when you hear about a girl being able to do things that aren’t “girly”, don’t make a fuss about it unless you would make a fuss about it if they were a boy (I’m talking about if they just went off a jump and did 6 backflips on their dirtbike, not just the fact they ride one). Most importantly, don’t assume anything just because the person is a female.
I just do what I want and I do what makes me happy. Leave me be.
I saw this posted on Facebook and it got me thinking. I need feminism so I can do what I want and not have to hear what you think about it just because I am a chick. A very interesting project, and I loved it.