As a liberated, modern, suffragette, I maintain that I don’t need a man to do anything for me. I’m smart, capable, strong, (newly) assertive and resourceful; my sex doesn’t bias that. Sure I’m a great cook, a strong communicator, and can sew a straight hem. I can also wire an outlet, drive a tractor, and excel in both math and science. I refuse to reside in the gender defined box.
As a single woman, it particularly sticks in my craw when people relate my relationship status to stereotypes – I bet you wish you had a husband/boyfriend to do “X-Y-Z” for you. As if I’m incapable to do X-Y-Z on my own. I usually respond with – why? I did it in half the time, on my own. And I did a fabulous job, if I do say so myself.
Insert horrific blow to my independent ego here –>
I woke up to a deflated tire on Monday morning. Not a big deal, I’m perfectly capable of changing a flat. Years on a farm, I’ve done it a bazillion times. Yes. A bazillion.
Unfortunately, there is a limit to my physical strength and those lug nuts were stuck on with a death grip akin to acrophobs clinging to the railing at the top of the Eifel tower. I heaved and pulled and swore like a sailor, to no avail. Lest you think I’m wussy, let me remind you that I can throw a 50 pound hay bale over my head. Repeatedly. You can take the girl off the farm, but I’m still farm-girl tough. I threw everything I had at those rascals and still they didn’t budge.
I eventually had to admit defeat. Chagrined I called a male co-worker to rescue me. The balm in this story is that even he struggled with those little devils. To his credit, he didn’t show up and condescendingly take the reins, emphasizing my feminine ineptitude either. He laughed at how ridiculously tight the nuts were on and once he broke them, we changed the tire together, swiftly and efficiently.
Moral of the story: when you can, do. When you can’t, there’s no shame in asking for help. Gender plays no role.
PS When talking to the BEIB about the incident:
Me: <jokingly> I could have used a knight in shining armor this morning to help me change my tire.
Him: <seriously> Aw. I would have totally let you use my AAA.
And that folks is modern chivalry.