For all my talk about women’s strength being so incredibly important for self-defence and self-confidence, I haven’t talked much about the actual practicality of strength, and how great it is to be able to take care of yourself as far as everyday shit goes. Maybe this has something to do with self-confidence, too.
Jenn and I did our pilgramage to Ikea today, and managed to pack up the entirety of a queen-sized bed and another whole trunkload of shit. It took the two of us to move one of the more ungainly pieces of the bed puzzle, and as she picked up her end, I watched her biceps clench; ah, yes, the benefits of working out with free weights regularly. Does it look great? Sure. Yea. But more importantly, it means you’re able to heft 50-100 lbs without too much trouble.
I came home and started the purging of the old bed, pulled out the 50 lb box of paper underneath it, deconstructed the old single bed and cleaned up. I’m starting to put together the new one, and I’m thinking, you know what? This being strong thing? This is really cool. It’s cool that I can live in a house with another woman and we have absolutely no trouble keeping our shit together. I change all the light bulbs, cause I’m taller; I can heft the stuff that she has trouble with; she can grab the tail end of something to make it easier for us to move it around. We can make all the basic household stuff work. I can tie the trunk of the car closed when neccessary. I know about the wonders of WD-40 on everyday items. I know how to use tools.
We make our own money. We handle our own transportation. And we can heft around our own shit.
We were watching Vanity Fair last night, a good movie full of women freaking out about how they’re going to marry, worrying about their reputations, freaking out about sex or lack thereof and not getting to hop about with whom they please. Watching other people throw them into poverty, watching them using their wits to get out of it.
And you know what, shit’s not great right now, there’s a lot of people who’d be happy if my place in this world was as constrained as theirs was, but for now, I’m enjoying this life; being me and free and strong and smart and capable. It’s not often in history that women have been able to build lives for themselves without being *too* heavily stigmatized. And yea, I’m lucky; we live in a big city, so there’s more freedom. I recognize the constraints.
But right here, right now, it’s nice to be alive, and not too bad being female.