Thursday, 26 April 2012
W is for Woman
I am a woman. I like being a woman. Apart from a youthful tomboy phase, I have always been pleased to be a woman. I loved giving birth and breastfeeding; I like looking after people; and while I avoid housework at all costs, and have never spoken to snakes or fed illegal apples to a man, I think I'm a bit of an archetype.
Which bothers me. If I am programmed to be and act like a woman, do I really have free will? I have to be careful here, because a lot of women can do the more practical things associated with men. But I can't. Woman things I do include:
Spending hours on the phone.
Asking near-strangers whether I can cuddle their babies (I did this again only last Saturday).
Not understanding technical things.
Eschewing the politics in the paper, and going straight for the "human interest" stories.
Reading (too many) novels.
Getting lost (on journeys).
Cuddling horses ("Aw! Get away!" says Titch, who will only put up with it in very small doses).
This all came to me about two weeks ago, when I was on a journey in our new (well, new to us) car. I stopped for fuel, but couldn't open the petrol cap (I hadn't done it before in this car). Should I prise it open? Push it? Pull it? Then two soldiers - both probably younger than my youngest son - appeared. Could they help, please? Of course they could. One of them tapped the cap of the tank, and obediently, it flew open.
Afterwards, I felt very foolish. But could I help it?
After all, I'm a woman.