Physical Strength is Feminist

Leave a comment

September 11, 2015 by Darlene McC

Let’s start with a little story.

kittens make messes

I’m cute…but you need to go to the store…

This morning, soon after waking, I realized we were in desperate need of cat litter.  We have 3 fur-babies & 2 boxes in our household and it’s been a busy week.  So this wasn’t going to be a patch job with a 5lb bag.  Nope.  I needed to go haul the big guns.  The biggest boxes I could find.  I also have no interest in wearing a bra on my day off, so I caught a few side glances on my way there but no actually color commentary.  Phew.  That created a good baseline for my return trip.

With a 20lb box of litter in each hand I wended my way back toward home.  I’ve had a lot of shoulder and posture work in my program this summer, and the farmer’s carries served me well.  Shoulders retracted and depressed, core steady, my back felt goo.  Solid.  In contrast to the way over, every guy I passed said some version of “good morning”.  Not unpleasant or creepy; but clearly I’d caught their eye.  One did offer to help, though I comfortably refused.

It is interesting to me, though.

—-

can you just open the door?

here honey, let me get that for you.

We’re taught as young girls, and as we grow into women, that we should expect help from me for physical tasks.  Movies, commercials, comedy; they’ve reinforced the idea.  Men are stronger, after all.  (right?)  Carrying boxes (and groceries, of course), hauling suit cases; and in this subtle form of polite, well-meaning misogyny it’s reinforced that we can’t do it.  We can’t carry the heavy thing because we’re not physically strong.

Been playing with this brain nugget for a while.  Still working on fully forming it: If feminist is about equal expectation for everyone and women not being afraid or thought of as ‘less than’ or ‘other’, and if you can train to improve strength, isn’t strength training in itself an expression of feminism?

Maybe not for all!  And, of course, it’s okay if that’s not you and you don’t care and yadda yadda.  If your feminism feels like “I want someone else to carry it I don’t care” I’m all for it.  All that is okay.  But if your goal is true independence and a life without fear, the ability to move and own your body confidently in a space is one vehicle to get there.

And the look on the construction worker’s face when I asked him to get off my steps and effortlessly continued on with my 40lb load was fantastic.

What’re your thoughts?  Post in the comments; I can’t be the only one thinking this way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Instagram

I'll be thankful every day of my life for the love this woman has shown me. #grandmother #grandmotherslove #forevergrateful
Who wore it better? #decadechallenge
Little sister, all grown up. How blessed am I to have been a part of your perfect day. To get to share in your joy, and thereby multiply it with everyone else who came to celebrate. . Stunning 📸 by @stephanie.mccauley . 20 years ago our parents met. But I think our 5 siblings are the ones who really made out on this deal. . . #love #positiveemotionproject #bride #bridesmaid #fallwedding #bonussister #littlesister #perfectday #sisters
We're so good at making relationships complicated- with others and with ourselves! 🤦‍♀️ But when I peel away the layers of pain, defensiveness, and unhelpful patterns I'm left with 3 truths: 1️⃣ We're all human (I think👽) 2️⃣ We all have something to contribute. Unique combinations of skills and interests. Our passions and what we care about. They lead us to contributions that no one can make. And your world needs to what YOU can bring into it. 3️⃣ We all make mistakes - you. Me. Your boss. Your parents. Your kids. @msrachelhollis & @tonyrobbins . everybody. When you accept that you can forgive yourself and others for their human-ness. No one comes out perfect. We're all a work in progress. If you can accept this you can stop expecting perfection from yourself and others. Do these 3 ring true for you? Which of them do you struggle to accept and live? #growandchange #growthmindset #coaching #coachmentality #selfdevelopment #human #humanrace #acceptance #acceptyourself #weallmakemistakes
💃 . 📸 @brittanyboote . #joy #dance #curlyhairdontcare #curlyhair #weddingphotography #danceparty #dancelikenooneswatching #twirl #twirldress #letitgo #iloveweddings
Grad school update! 🤓 I haven't been posting often because I've been LEARNING! It's been wonderful so far, but it's also like trying to jam a watermelon into a teacup. 🍉🍵 😳 My brain is so full I'm worried it will pop. What are your go-to strategies when your mind is fizzling but you still have things to accomplish? 👇 . . #penn #pennmapp #levelup #gradstudent #gradschool #mapp15 #mappster
%d bloggers like this: