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.
Remembering birthdays.
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.


  1. That is just part of being a woman and the young bloke is probably still smiling about it.

  2. I do all those woman things too, Frances, along with keeping my husband waiting while I do six million last-minute things there's no time for while he paces and sighs and letting my petrol-tank diminish to empty before filling it up. Husband also wonders why women shave their legs upwards from the ankle. That's the wrong way from the direction the hair grows, he tells me, but all girls do it.

    I'm very girly. I can't count the number of times men have rescued me from dire situations. I am hopeless at all things ungirly, although I have tried understanding the offside rule and once knew the names, injuries and ages of the entire Chelsea football team to cheer my father up when my brother lost interest in watching Match of the Day with him.

    I like being a woman. And my husband wouldn't have it any other way.

    1. Oh I left out the offside rule! It's been explained to me countless times, but I can't make head or tail of it.

  3. "W" has to be for women and I love being one, but I go straight for the politics!

  4. I like to think of those things as merely part of being human. Enjoy the things you enjoy and avoid attributing them to gender. Sometimes it's easy to over think things:-)
    thanks for sharing
    much love

  5. I like being a woman too and do most of the above, but I did go through a phase of wanting to be as good at some things as the boys (while still being 'girly'). So I was quite adventurous when young, and I learned to change a fuse and lightbulb. I'm also quite techy (more than my husband). We're also the opposite to gender stereotypes in that I have to be dragged to a doctor, dentist etc only when absolutely necessary, and husband will go right away!

  6. I can change a fuse. If I can locate the fuse box..

  7. Another splendid and understatedly (apparently there is no such word) humerous post. You should be a writer! On that subject I am hoping to consume your first book on the Kindle when I travel back to the UK next week. I interested to see your comment on why you blog, by the way. An implication that Blogland was a mean to an end rather than a means. Interesting.

    Anyway back to this post. Did I detect a frisson of defensiveness? I have long ago stopped being defensive when people say that I sometimes display traits which are more female than male. I can (or could!) dismantle a car (a Morris Minor to be specific) into a million component parts and rebuild it. I can build a wall. In fact I'm pretty handy around the house and garden (and not particularly modest either) but (after being told at 11 that my bitten nails were terrible) I keep my nails manicured, I remember birthdays and I am quite capable of crying with emotion.

    The main thing (in my humble opinion - I'm proud of my modesty) is to be ones own self and to be comfortable in so being.

    I'll shut up and go home now.

    1. 'Humerous'!!! Oh dear. Crawl under paving stone time.

    2. Not defensive at all, GB. Just saying it as it is. As for the spelling mistake, I'll certainly forgive that if you're going to read my book(s)!

  8. Isn't it nice to know that some parents took the trouble to raise good boys and girls, who help us oldies. I could gas-up, if I had to, but I find there's generally someone around who's willing to do it for me. Obviously, they're hoping for the same treatment for their Granny, when she needs some LTC.
    God bless, Christine