So I have this sort of love/hate relationship with men. The feminist in me is frustrated that my boss got back today after being gone for two weeks (while I filled in for him) and went out to work with my male co-worker. Why would I care if they go out? I feel like its these types of bonding experiences that lead to high work appraisal and eventually promotions, continuing a cycle of male-dominated leadership positions and more lunches, etc. It would be inappropriate for my boss to go out to lunch with me just the two of us, even though we are friends, because I am a young female. However, my co-worker who is only a couple of years older than me, doesn't have to address this concern. Does that make sense? Nor will he ever have to answer to any of the sub-conscious (or not) concerns about babies and length of employment, etc.
At the same time, I would much rather work in a mostly male environment than in a mostly female environment and I almost always prefer a male boss over a female boss. I think females have to fight so hard to get to the top (in my industry, not in all of them) that many get this micro-managing witchy edge to them as a result, whereas male bosses can be almost lackadaisical in their approach and thus allow me more freedom.
Its an even stranger dichotomy in my marriage. I value being a strong and independent woman. "I can get that off the top shelf by myself, thank you." But sometimes when I'm in heels and a pencil skirt it can be a pain to climb on the counter, so I grab the longest kitchen utensil I can and try to spear down whatever I need. At times it would be a lot easier to admit that I could use some help. And maybe the strongest women are the ones who can admit that they can't do everything...............nah.
At times though, this fierce independence can be a bit destructive. One time, a few years ago, I decided I didn't need my husband's help to put up a stupid curtain rod. I made the marks and got the drill and bingo bango lets hang up some curtains.
Except I wasn't quite tall enough to get my buck ten weight behind the drill so I had to move to the top rung of the ladder. I pushed as hard as I could on the drill but the damn thing wouldn't go in the wall. So I pushed harder and still not even a dent.
I went and got a hammer and nail and figured I would start the hole that way. I also figured this wall must be made out of impenetrable steel so I hit that nail as hard as I could. Magically it went all the way in up to the head with just one hit. I spent the next 20 minutes gouging the wall out trying to get the stupid nail out so I could drill the screw into its place.
It wasn't coming out. So I decided I would paint over it and nobody would see the stupid nail. I went and found the paint and painted over the gauge marks and nail (I wanted to show off what I could do on my own and didn't want him to say "hey nice curtains but whats up with the nail and gauge marks?")
Its very dry where we live so I figured it would dry quickly anyway, so I got down and got the hammer and nail to resume my curtain rod project. (meanwhile its been about an hour and I needed to hurry before my husband noticed and tried to come help me - because remember I don't need his help). So I hit the next nail in really close to where the other nail was because that is where it needed to be for the rod thing to hang straight. Our 110 old house and its plaster walls decided that two nails side by side was two too many and the plaster fell back into the wall.
I was now looking at a two inch hole in the wall. I stuck my face against the wall to see if the plaster had fallen way down or just a little down (I don't know what I was thinking - maybe I could fish it out and duct tape it back in place or something?) but alas it was no where to be seen, especially with all the paint that was now all over my face.
So I went back down to the basement to get some quick dry plaster. I came back upstairs and plastered up the hole (just like putting frosting on a cake really) and went and got my hair dryer and an extension cord to dry the plaster quickly. It was about this time that my husband appeared at the door and asked what I was doing.
He suggested that he could hold the hair dryer for a second and give my arm a rest. I figured this didn't really count as helping me so I would accept. I went down to the basement to grab the screwdriver so I could re-open the can of paint to cover the new plaster. When I came back up he had the curtain rod hung. I hate you, I thought. I asked him how in the world he got that screw into our stupid fortress walls and he told me that I had the drill on reverse. I was basically just pulling the screw out and not pushing it in.
Awesome. I'm a moron.
My husband has now resorted to saying something along the lines of "Now I know you are Jo Warrior Princess She- Goddess and certainly don't need a man to help you but as your friend and someone who has more experience in this, could I help?" And if he says it convincingly, fully recognizing that I indeed do not need his help but rather am choosing for convenience's sake to accept it, then I say yes.
I think Anne of Green Gables had an abnormally large influence on me.