Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I Ain't June Cleaver, Yo

When I heard the topic of the blog exchange, ‘what it means to be a woman,’ my first thought was somewhere along the lines of “oh lord in heaven, I’m SO not the person to write about what it means to be a woman.” I spent a couple of days pondering what I thought it meant to be a woman - and all the typical womanly issues came up. I thought of words like feminism, strength, dedication and soul. I wrote out a couple of lovely drafts, discussing how, despite our differences, we are all one in our feminism. Then I read those drafts and thought “Ugh - what a load of crap!”

So I thought I’d introduce myself to you all with what being a woman means to me. First of all, I’ve never once said the word ‘feminism’ out loud. I own the company I work for, which is a construction-based company, so I know all about making my own way in a male-dominated world, but I’m certainly not a burn-my-bra type of person. (If you saw my boobs, you’d know I NEED that bra.) I don’t do lipstick (gloss only, please), I don’t wear make-up most days, I will NOT wear pantyhose, I’d rather bite my nails than clip them, I prefer wearing ball caps, and I can’t remember the last time I put on a dress.

When our mothers were young – when I was young, you didn’t hear women saying they didn’t care about the frilly stuff. Because, really, they did. They wanted the newly painted house in ‘burbs, the three polished kids, the always-ironed skirt, the perfect hairdo. Nay, they needed those things – they were supposed to have those things. Heck, to this day, my grandmother irons everything everyday like a good little housewife – even her and her hubby’s pajamas. Because that’s what women do. And, how does my grandmother feel about the fact that I’m not married and don’t have kids at 30? Yeah, we won’t even go there.

The more women I hear open up, the more I find they, more often than not, feel the same way I do – and the more this whole ‘typical’ thing is becoming less and less. I find a lot of women now who don’t want the whole marriage-and-kids thing. And women who are married and have children are losing the Betty Crockerness that used to be, thank goodness. Heck, we admit now that we fart, we don’t shave everyday, we have ingrown toenails, and we pick gunk out of our teeth with our fingernails and don’t think twice about wiping it on our pants!

To me, this is what it means to be a woman – it means being real. It means being a human with flaws and annoying habits and smelly feet and uneven boobs. It means laughing at ourselves because at least we think we’re funny. It means not looking our best all the time and being just fine with that. And it certainly means not ironing our pajamas because we’re just going to pass out in them with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s on our lap anyway.

But mostly, being a woman means being truly honest about who we are, not who others think we need to be. But…um…don’t tell my grandma I said that other stuff, ok? She’s still upset about the kids thing.

. . . . . . . . . .

Written by C.M.Chase at www.tastetheworld.org.


Blogger MrsFortune said...

Love this post. Awesome take.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I liked that, CM -- and I think it's totally true. One of the best things about being a woman today is that there are less and less preconceived notions about what is "acceptable" and what we "have to do." We can be real and be human. It's a good thing.

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

Dude, thanks for cheering me up. I was just about to get some gunk out of my teeth with a business card. Now I don't feel so bad.

Rock on! :)

8:38 AM  
Blogger IzzyMom said...

I can relate to a lot of what you said. Excellent post!

8:46 AM  
Anonymous divinecalm said...

I just love the way CM writes!

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Muse said...

Right on Chase...and burping after a cold tasty beer is also good!! :)

11:04 AM  
Blogger kfk said...

Yes, letting our womanness all hang out is great. I mean, jeez, first we are human, then female. And just because we are female does not mean flowers and lace or pink and pretty.
And just because we have a uterus does not mean it must be used. Women don't have to be moms or wives or anything they don't want to be. The only thing they should do is be honest with themselves.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I love this perspective - keeping it real, being true to ourselves. But I have to take issues with the notion that a feminist is someone who burns her bra. I'm a feminist, proud of it, and let me tell you my collection of bras is worth more than some people's cars. (Well, the prepartum ones. SIGH I miss those lacy frilly things.)

4:30 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

My MIL was complaining to me the other day that she had really bad gas. My FIL overheard and said, "Now you know what it feels like to be a man." Yes, because only men have gas. My MIL caught some weird male disease, obviously, or had a curse put on her by my FIL's fairy godfather so she would know what things were like in his shoes. They've been married for 40 years. Surely he knows women have gas just as often as men do.

But my FIL . . . I love him, but heavens sakes the things that come out of his mouth sometimes. The other night he came home and the first thing he said to his wife was "what's for dinner?" I could have kissed my husband when he replied, "That depends. What are you making?". But then again, this is the man who encouraged me to burp and pass gas in front of him when we were dating. Because then he knew I was comfortable being real in front of him. Sometimes I wonder how he turned out the way he did since his Dad is sooooo obsessed with his wife's ability to cook, sew, clean, do her hair, and be thin. Guess I am just lucky!

11:00 AM  

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