19 August 2009

Take These Pink Ribbons Off My Eyes

You know, it's bad enough when a man automatically assumes you can or can't do something based upon your ownership of ovary real estate, but I think it just might be worse when that attitude comes from a woman.

I pride myself in being able to take care of most things when it comes to cars. I can change my own oil (but don't because I don't want to); I know how to change a tire in 95 degree weather and a dress; and I keep a little pouch of emergency items, like jumper cables, in the trunk. I'm no mechanic, but I can tell the difference between a battery and an alternator. I know when to go for help, and I usually call my dad or my friends who are mechanics or work on cars as a hobby.

Anyway, yesterday, a friend of mine left her lights on all day, thus rendering her battery dead when we were dismissed from training at 3:30. I told her I had jumper cables with me and that I would help her, but when I arrived with my Aveo, lo and behold, she had an older gentleman with her. Which, you know, is fine, except that I already had my hood up with the cables connected to my battery. So me = all ready to go.

Well, dude pops his hood and asks for my cables. Blinks galore from me. But I unclip them and hand the cord to the guy, all the while staring at her incredulously.

"I'm just terrified of the sparks," she said.

Okay ....... I mean, I guess I could have damaged her confidence in me by having to text my friend, asking if it mattered which colored end was clamped first (which is doesn't), but it's not like I'm incompetent. I have two arms and two hands, I know what a battery is, and I can differentiate between black and red.

To make a long story short, I was fairly annoyed for a minute but got over it once I realized that I wasn't having to do any physical labor, as simple as it was, in the heat. So, yay for me. But the concept still burned in my brain for the next few hours.

Have we, as women, completely been brainwashed into thinking that a man can solve our problems? I mean, look at the lady mags that I personally loathe. Nearly every situation or quiz eventually about how to find/keep a boyfriend/husband/whatever, implying that, without such an accessory, our lives are somehow left wanting. After we manage to snag a member of the opposite sex, it's all sunshine and kittens, according to the Elle/Cosmo/Marie Claire/etc. Powers That Be.

The sheer idea that we cannot function separate from a male partner really gets me riled. I can balance my own checkbook, do my own taxes, take care of my own car, mow the lawn (and maintain the mower), play Miss Fix-It in my own residence ... This list could continue for pages, and I'm assuming that a great number of other women can do the same thing. I guess this goes back to an earlier post, where I posed the scenario of a woman feeling accomplished because she did something period or having that same emotion because we did it without help from the menz. I'm always amazed and slightly irritated when a man patronizingly congratulates me when I tell him that I've done something that is usually male dominated.


Me: Remember that rattling in my car I was telling you about? I figured out that when I was checking my oil I didn't completely secure the little prop up thing.
Guy: Really? Good for you. I'll bet that was hard for you, you know, as a girl.

If I were a guy, I don't think the congratulations would have been offered, seeing as I would have been preternaturally given knowledge of all things with an engine at birth due to my penis. But it was the last sentence that really made me go off on this friend of mine. "Yeah, it was really hard to lift the hood and see it dangling there." He made a hasty retreat into the excuses of, "Well, most girls just go ask for help if something's wrong" and "They don't try to figure it out on their own, especially if they have the information readily available." This portion of our conversation was quickly terminated, once he saw that I was about ready to strangle him. I think we then talked about the new "Gears of War" comic. Oh, and he also thinks it's hot that I'm into that sort of thing, which just confuses me. I don't get all turned on when a guy friend of mine likes stereotypically female interests. I just don't understand, and really don't think I ever will. Until then, I'll refuse to ride side saddle, I'll eat big steaks and I'll enjoy blowing up things on my xbox.

And in closing, I leave you with this:


  1. Ugh... I hate ignorant people. Thankfully, people think I'm butch enough that they don't pull that crap with me (i.e. people seek me out when they need heavy things lifted...). haha

    I think they see the super skinny gorgeous girl and think that all they're capable of is sullenly walking like a horse up and down a catwalk and squinting at the camera like you say Tyra Banks does when she tries to show "fierceness" through her eyes. hehe

    So what's worse? Having people assume you are incapable or having people assume that you can do lots of things and constantly bug you about them?? The grass is greener on the other side of the fence, says I. :)

  2. Hey, at least you can say no if you don't wanna do it. I wasn't given that option. It was just, "You have a vagina and therefore cannot help me."