Those of you who know me know that I'm a staunch feminist. In fact, I even teach a women's studies class from time to time. Perhaps that's why I get such a kick from doing all this home improvement stuff. Not only do I enjoy it for the extrinsic satisfaction of seeing something go from ugly to nice, but I think I also get some level of satisfaction from knowing that I, a woman, did it and I did it well. It's a pretty groovy feeling.
But, not all in the Bangor Foursquare feel the same way about this stuff (although I'm not sure which way our cat, Mancha, falls on this issue). Thom and I had several chats about this stuff this past weekend. Unlike me, Thom doesn't get a great deal of satisfaction from being sore and bruised, and from getting dirty and sweaty (go figure). However, I know he really struggles with being a man who is not interested in doing home improvement, especially when I am doing the work on my own. I keep telling him that I'll ask him if I need help. Of course I enjoy doing this stuff more when we do it together but I also know it's not his bag and I'm totally okay with that. Too bad the rest of the world isn't as okay with it.
In fact, when I was teaching the women's studies class last month for summer session, we talked about gender roles in class many times. Several of the students protested, saying that they didn't think gender roles really existed as much as they used to. So it was funny to tell them about being outside painting my garage when my neighbor walked by and said to me, "You're always working on the house. You should have been a man." Or the neighbor on the other side, when seeing me working outside, will say to me, "Where's your husband? Why isn't he doing this?"
Anyway, my point is this: I think we need to get away from labeling people based upon their genitalia. If Thom doesn't enjoy re-wiring the kitchen, that should be totally fine, just as it should be totally fine that I do enjoy it, despite the fact that I have ovaries. There should be no guilt, no obligation, and no prescribed way for feeling anything about what was traditionally "a man's job" or "a woman's job." Phooey on that. Why can't we just have "people's jobs," huh?
And that's all I have to say about that.