1) Crying. I really thought I was over this once I went through puberty and stopping caring about That Boy. Little did I know that having your face leak is a constant for girls and women alike. We can be wearing our Prada power suit, Christian Louboutin shoes and look like solid steel, but wait until the tears start falling; immediately a strong, successful woman morphs into a hysterical female who cries at the drop of a hat. All the tough talk of independence and man-like behaviors (never let them see you sweat/cry, talking constantly in sports terms) goes right out the window. Instantly the division of the sexes is reinforced; no matter how tough the talk, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. Tears are not welcome, tolerated or even understood. Of course, I am making sweeping generalizations and I’m aware of that. I know not all men are stoic, dry-eyed and emotionless. But the majority of the ones that I have met just channel their hurt feelings and wounded pride into anger, the acceptable emotion for manly men. I get angry and somehow it’s unacceptable. Go figure. If you cry, you’re (again) a hysterical female but if you get angry you’re just a bitch. I love that kind of wacky logic.
2) People think I’m cute. I’m physically pretty small, apparently. In my mind, I’m 6 feet tall and bulletproof, but in reality, I’m 5’5” barefooted. Not a huge, overpowering form and no, I do not strike fear in the hearts of men when I walk in a room; it’s more like, “Oh look! How cute. She must be helpless and fragile and must need someone to take care of her.” Nope, that statement is completely false. I can take care of myself and while I may not be able to lift a VW bug off someone, I have the intelligence to avoid dangerous situations. Should I find myself in one, arm myself not with guns and bullets, but with intelligence in plotting, disarm them with dimples and cripple them with my cuteness.
3) Everything else:
• Not being able to take off my shirt on hot days
• Not being able to (effectively and neatly) pee standing up
• Not being able to go my entire life without putting a razor to my legs, armpits or whatever else women are expected to shave off. (‘nuff said on that subject)
• The obvious monthly issue that even when it ends, another wondrous event occurs – menopause. Which brings more:
• Hot flashes
• Night sweats
• Mood swings
• Anger issues
All that being said, as I near turning 50, I think I’m finally starting to embrace my girl-ness. Nothing like a strong girl growing into a strong, beautiful woman who is beautiful because she loves herself, estrogen (or lack thereof) included.
Thanks to all of you who have lifted me up when I was down, picked me up and carried me when I couldn’t walk and gave me love when I had none for myself.
Thanks as well to each and every soul who has fought for all Americans and allows me the freedom to write this post.