An Open Letter to the “Stronger Sex”

Dear fellas,

Truely I say, I love you.  No, I’m not being sarcastic.  I love you all.  Over the years you’ve brought so much joy and richness to my life, and I love each of you so much for it.  You’ve taught me how to play football, how to tie proper knots, to make a fire, and how to properly install hinges on a door and door frame.  I wouldn’t be the woman I am without all of the awesome dudes in my life.

But can we have a quick chat?

I am a single woman.  I am intellegent, good with numbers, handy with a hammer, and pretty strong.  I can efficiently, effectively, and happily live without any one of you snoring prince charmings in my home.  This doesn’t make me love you any less, I promise.  Nor do I think I am ‘taking away your manly role’ in my life, whatever that is.  The fact is, as a single woman in this world, you have to be able to do quite a few things if you’re going to survive:

  • Kill your own spiders
  • Unclog your own drains
  • Hang your own photos
  • Cook your own dinners
  • Carry your own groceries
  • Clean up after the toilet when it overflows
  • Flip the breaker when your hairdryer causes it to break
  • Change your own light bulbs

…See where this is going?

I just feel like I need to tell you, my wonderful male humans, that just because I can change my own spark plugs does not mean I want to be a man.  I do not want you to feel less manly in my presence if I can lift more than you, I’d rather you just appreciate a strong woman that can help you with the heavy lifting.  I happen to, most of the time, love being a woman.  I love my lady curves, scarf options, make up, dresses, and all of my, however non-existent, womanly charm.  And sure, there are days when I look at the grass on the boys’ side, and think ‘those boys have it so darn easy’, but the reality is that being a woman can be pretty great.  And it’s to your credit that I know where the fuse box is on my car, and because of such knowledge, and numerous other lessons, I can go out and not oly live a sucessful single life, for as long as I will, but can educate other boys and girls of the same things.  I want to be stong, intellegent, opinionated, and capable all of the days that I have the capacity to be such, and not because I want to be a man, but because I’d like to be a scuessful human.  And how is it, may I ask, that stong, independent, and capable are somehow manly attributes, and that by seeking these things in myself make me less of a woman?  I want to be a capable, strong, independent woman who doesn’t require hand holding, and wouldn’t you rather have that person for a friend or partner?

Now boys, don’t dispair, there are still plenty of “boy things I do not yet know, and A TON of things I cannot do alone (I mean moving a couch by yourself up two flights is pretty impossible).  And I’m not one to turn down your kindness of chilvary because I think you think I can’t do it.  I will happily let you carry my grocery bags or accept your offer to sit down on the bus, not just because I’m a woman, but because everyone likes to have nice things done for them.  Just like when I bake you a cake, you’ll happily eat it.  I can understand why you think that I’d like to be a man, and because you men are so proud of being men, I’m touched you think I’d like to enter your brotherhood, but really, I’m happy in this camp.

Please please know that I love you all, and you will always have cherished places in my life, and that my being able to do any ‘manly chore’ has nothing to do with anything.  I do adore each of you, and hope that you love, cherish, and encourage each woman you know to be exactly the woman she is and wants to be, whether that’s Betty Crocker or Rosie the Riverter.

I beg of you to stop putting yourselves, and the men and women you love, into tiny, easily organizable boxes, clearly labeled “men and women”.  Gents, I promise not to call you ‘girly’, ‘sissies’, or ‘momma’s boys’ if you do anything that might be in the “girl” box, and that’s not contingent on whether or not you stop trying to label me or make me adjust to your standards of my gender.  Period.

I promise never to use the words/name of my gender to degrade you to because I don’t think that womanly adjectives are insults or that they somehow suggest a less strong person when used in reference to them.

As a thought, I was listening to “Man Up” (from The Book of Mormon BM Soundrack) with two of our girls here, and I was explaining all of the idioms only to realize that all of the ones about being brace are related to males — “Man up”  “Grow a pair” — and frequently when we talk about being less brave they’re being a “sissy” or a “girl”.  Fellas, straight talk, regardless of your gender, you’ve got to be strong to survive on this planent, male or female, weakness is not found in our gender, but in the person.

So chaps, all this to say, I love you so much, and I love being a girl, so can you please accept that I happen to be adapting to the needs of my life and desires of my persons when I act in whatever way that you might be deeming ‘unwomanly’?  I would love it if you just thought of me as a super awesome person.

Love you dearly,
Erica

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