Sunday, April 4, 2010

fulfilling my role

So I've been battling with the idea of gender roles recently. Trying to find that balance between doing what I love and doing what I'm told to do. i love to bake, cook, sew and even clean sometimes. i like to garden (but not farming really, which i might like i don't know) which also falls into the role of a woman. i spend most of my time when i'm at home in the kitchen. If someone else is around, I'm certainly trying to feed them. That goes for both guests, but also people i live with. I really love feeding and caring for people. I guess that's what most people refer to as 'motherly instinct,' which based on my instincts means i should reject that. if i don't want to be a mother, why would i have those instincts (which, is also sort of funny because a good friend of mine often tells me I'll make an excellent mother- normally after i bring her food i made- followed by my reminder to her that i don't plan on being one, let alone an excellent one)?

(the cookies i baked, that i then realized matched my apron. gender. role.)

But the thing is, I really don't know why I love those things. But do I love doing those things, or have I always been told I should love them? And if I love those things, because I have always been told I should, but now I really do, does it matter?

I guess maybe the balance is to do things that aren't within my role as a woman, traditionally. but there again, lies a problem. sort of. it's not that i don't want to, or that i wouldn't enjoy it, but i've never really had much of a reason (or a teacher) to know how to fix my car, or build something cool, or mow the grass and cook on the grill. that's not to say i'm not learning some of those things. I can put a hammer and nail to work, and am in the process of ensuring my oil changing abilities. i can (now, thanks to the guidance of a friend, yes a woman friend), change a tire. i can light a grill, but never do.

so maybe women just are more naturally drawn to 'domestic' work and have deeper urges to care for people. or, maybe that's a load of shit and i'm way deeper programmed than i ever thought i was before.


  1. I can install a mean garbage disposal. (Because I am awesome at basic plumbing or because I *need* to fix it to do my woman's work of washing dishes? Hmmmm...) I failed mowing 101 because my lines weren't straight enough and my dad wasn't pleased, haha, but I taught my mother how to extract the threads of a broken lighbulb (potato! Is this "wifely knowledge" or just a way to save money from replacing a light fixture?) I can get wax out of carpet and build furniture without directions. I fix vacuums on the regular. (Granted, a man showed me how.) I taught my fellow female roommate how to grill hamburgers. I'm a beast at setting up Internet networks. I carry my own groceries because, biologically, my center of gravity is lower to the ground and I make a pretty good packhorse. Learning basic car maintenance is a more a matter of responsibility than manliness (you're crusing around in a death pod... blowing a tire on the highway because you don't understand tire pressure is just dangerous.) And damn if there isn't something sexy about a man who can make French toast... but stay away from my zucchini bread because I do it best. Aprons are awesome because they keep our clothes clean. Just one pair of jeans you *don't* have to launder when you get eggwash all over them. Aprons can afford to get a little gross, haha. Crusty, smelly jeans are little unacceptable in class.

    It IS all about balance, Molly. I find if I spend too much time thinking on gender roles (am I making ten PBJ sandwiches because I am a mother figure who wants to provide or because I am just an awesome human being who would appreciate someone doing a favor like that for me?) then nothing becomes fun anymore. Keep cooking because your cupcakes/cakes/cookies etc. are amaaaaaazing, not because you're "supposed" to. You're lucky enough to have that kind of talent. My mother's chocolate chip cookies are terrible, mine are far superior. :D

    Animals don't "have" to ponder their gender roles vs. instinct. I suppose where that line blurs is where you are having your problem. Simply put - I like being a woman; I love being a human more.

    Then again, maybe *I* and more deeply programmed than I thought as well...

    <3 Mere

  2. you're great, and joe has proposed gender talk and coffee. i vote yes.

  3. Only if Joe serves *us* the coffee, hahaha.