My joy for today is being female.
There is a strange pattern happening when I run. If my brother or someone else is accompanying me, no one really talks to me, yells at me, or makes rude gestures. If they are not, without fail, in my 45 minutes out and about in my neighborhood, this does happen. Ah, the joys of being a woman.
Last Saturday, it was a group of golfers, all over the age of 60, who took it upon themselves to yell at me as I was running by. One gentleman (and I use that word in the most facetious tone possible), who already had a beer in hand at 7 am, made some strange gesture and body movements, which I think were intended to be sexual in nature, but I could not recognize as such (thank goodness).
I recently read “Bossypants” by Tina Fey. She talks a lot about sexism in this hilarious book, which often rears its head in disguised ways. Ms. Fey questions why interviewers always like to ask her what it’s like to be the boss of so many people. She asks in her book if people often pose that same question to Donald Trump. We all know the answer to that. She also mentions how in her improv days, skits had to have at least as many men as women in a skit, if not more. If there were more women, or (gasp) only women, it was deemed only appealing to women. This is still true of many movies. If a movie has a mostly male cast, it is not necessarily only for men. But if it has a mostly female cast, men are doing us women a favor by seeing it. This pattern of sexism has endless examples. If a woman is passionate about an issue or has a disagreement with someone, she is being “emotional.” If a man does the same, don’t we admire his passion and drive? Insert your own example here, dear female reader.
Being a woman comes with innumerable challenges. It also comes with innumerable joys.
As a child, my mom always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up. But it turns out, I simply wanted to be her. But I still dreamed big. I have a “Barbie for President” that I got in my pre-teen years. I was pre-med in college but wanted to be a stay at home mom. I then decided the goal of being at home required a sacrifice in career and I was blessed to know that my future spouse would have a job that would provide for our family. Some women are able to juggle demanding careers with excellence at home, but I did not want to try. I got a graduate degree that I hoped would be more conducive to work at home, and I have been absolutely amazed at the Lord’s provision in making that become a reality.
I am sometimes (maybe oftentimes) jealous of my husband’s near daily lunches out with colleagues. The kids ask him what he had to eat for lunch at the Country Club, and I think back to the cold macaroni and cheese that I picked off my kid’s plates at home. But despite these injustices, I absolutely adore being home with my precious kids. I love the weekends, but really look forward to Mondays and just doing our routine, the kids and me. I realize that some men are primarily at home with their kids, but they do not get the unspeakable privilege of being, in the words of Beyonce, “Strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.”
I recently saw an ad (for Athleta in the March 2012 Real Simple magazine) that I thought was a bit corny, but a great description of a woman’s life, while obviously allowing for many variations along the way.
Find a group.
Find a job.
Find the one.
Roast a chicken.
Run a 5K.
Run a 10K.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
We kick asphalt.
Power to the She.
You can keep on yelling golfers. It’s ridiculous that I have to endure you as simply a function of my sex. But I wouldn’t trade genders with you for anything in the world.
Enjoy your joys for today.