Thursday, May 29, 2014

Heavy Lifting

 I don't really make a big deal of my "glory days." Which I hope will one day be eclipsed but anyway... if I've had glory days, I'd think it would be in high school. In marching band and winter percussion. To this day I feel a twinge of pride in the fact I marched fucking bass 5... well, technically 4, but the biggest drum in any case. Despite the fact that it was the one position that, even in our atypically feminine line, was always filled by a guy.

         Even before then percussion gave me, among other things, a certain pride in my strength. And it isn't even so much that I pride myself on being extremely strong (I'm not, really), so perhaps pride is the wrong word... I simply refused to accept the idea that "oh, you're a weak little girl, you can't do that."

        Maybe men overall have more physical strength. I'm frankly too tired at the moment to do proper research to refute or back up that common belief. But the idea that in every day tasks, it makes sense to assume that a woman can't do what a guy can? Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.

         I'm thinking about this right now because there was a heavy box that needed lifting at work. And while I was right there and it was my task, the guy I went to for help (because it should be team lifted) grabbed a little scrawny guy to assist instead of letting me. The other woman who happened to be nearby made a comment of "find a man to do it", which is almost worse. I guess it's a joke, but where do you think jokes get their humor? And then I got to deal with a tire display, and a coworker mentioned that they shouldn't be making me do that. Actually said something like "are there no guys there?" I just. Ugh.

            And, sure, maybe the guy in question was being polite, or chivalrous, or something along those lines. The (female) coworker who got mad on my behalf I certainly wouldn't get angry at, she was being protective. But what underlines this is still seems closer to sexism than anything else.

         I am a woman, that does not make me a delicate little flower. It doesn't in itself make anyone a delicate little flower, I'm not special. I'm not as strong as I'd like, especially now. But I am strong enough to do what needs doing.

         And I am tired enough of the perception that I'm not able just because I'm female that I feel like smacking everyone who acts according to that paradigm, even though it's never intended as offensive. And that's really the part that bothers me:

         No one actually says "you can't do, you're a girl." They just imply that I can't help them move something, or that a guy should have to do what I've been tasked with, or call someone in so I don't have to do work. It always sounds nice, or at worst business like. No one says it in a way that I feel like I can yell at them for.


          And then I decided that I'd go almost straight to the gym from work and go for some at least recent power lifting records. And then I crashed and ached. But the fact that I'm sick has nothing to do with missing-Y-chromosome related weakness (well, technically maybe, for some reason myalgia is far more common in women, but I digress), except that my mind tried to make that connection. One of these days I'll get better at not just ranting.

          POINT IS! I'm tired of society saying that women are inherently weaker, and shouldn't - or can't -  do heavy lifting.

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