Ha! Made you look. Don’t you hate those types of statements that make it seem as if we can all be shoved into one specific box? Some of my very favorite stereotypes and flawed logic statements (courtesy of Buzzle) are:
I’m Christian, so I must hate homosexuals.
I’m German, so I must be a Nazi.
I’m an atheist, so I must hate the world.
I’m Mexican, so I must have hopped the border.
I’m rich, so I must be a conceited snob.
I’m a guy, so I must only want to get into your pants.
I’m young, so I must be naive.
I’m from the Middle East, so I must be a terrorist.
All Italians are in the mob.
All Irishmen do is drink and beat their wives.
All Farmgirls are tough.
Whoa…wait a minute. What about that last one? All Farmgirls are tough. Why is that on the list? Well, let’s talk about it and my difficulty with the word tough.
A few weeks ago, our houseguest Mr. C., Sheldon and I were all sitting around the kitchen table playing cards. Suddenly out of the blue, Mr. C. asks me if I have a tattoo. I reply that I don’t (I’m sure with a whatyoutalkinboutWillis kind of face) and go on with the conversation. But, something about that exchange sticks with me. Finally, a few days later, this was the convo between Sheldon and me in bed (hot steamy scene NOT about to ensue):
Me: Hey-why did Mr. C. ask me about a tattoo? That seemed really out of the blue. Where did that come from?
Sheldon: Well, sometimes you come across as tough.
Me: Tough? What the FDashDashDash does that mean?
Sheldon: You know. Tough. I don’t know. Tough.
Me: You say that like it’s an insult. Like I must have a tattoo because I’m rough, tough and barely a woman. Where is this logic going anyway?
To which I think Sheldon responded by snoring. End of convo. To be fair, it wasn’t his argument.
But, I cannot tell a lie. This whole interaction first with Mr. C. and then with Sheldon just grated on me. I’m not a dip swillin, curse word flinging (well not every day), hard chargin broad. I don’t think there is anything wrong with tattoos but I have no interest in them. I have a handbag collection that I refer to as “my precious babies.” I can’t stand it when my eyebrows are ungroomed. I love pink and would wear it daily if I didn’t look like an idiot trying to cram into my 4 year old’s clothes. I love manis, pedis and kleenex commercials. I often drive the tractor singing the theme from Green Acres in my head all the while imagining myself as Eva’s character. Why the flock is someone calling me tough????!!!!
Fast forward many weeks and I’m still masticating on this idea. Let’s face it-if you want to homestead on a quarter acres or a thousand acres, you must have a degree of mental and physical fortitude. Why just this morning I killed a spider in my kitchen without even squealing. If that doesn’t show development along those lines, I don’t know what does. However, the word tough seems to have a connotation in this exchange that I simply cannot wrap my mind around-like it’s an insult. And to be fair-it’s not just this exchange. Go Bing the words tough farm girl and click on images. The amount of weirdness that comes up from the web is a bit off-putting, to say the least. Which to be fair to Mr. C. tells me that lots of folks hold a similar viewpoint when faced with someone who doesn’t exude softness on a daily (sigh, sometimes not even weekly) basis.
So, what’s a homesteading girl to do? I cannot imagine how anyone-male or female could live this life and still maintain that 24/7 stereotypical idea of feminine beauty. Much like baseball, there’s no crying in homesteading. But for women, I think the standards can be incredibly unfair. Yes, I haul 40 lb bags of dirt along side my husband. Yes, I spend hours cleaning the chicken coops. Yes, I drive the tractor, move the rocks and Lord help me, have participated in the demise of farm animals. I suppose that makes me tough, but why does being tough carry the implication that I am not soft, lovely and womanly? I do not know. Sigh. Why do I keep writing these blog posts that have no real solution?
For me, it all goes back to why we do this…The Blueberry. A lovely little girl who loves tutus but has no compunction about picking up a worm and shoving it in my face. Hopefully she will be better equipped to face a world where dichotomy in women is more embraced and we don’t all have to fit into a specific box to be pretty, womanly, smart or capable. My hope is that one day someone will refer to her as tough and she will smile and say thank you while changing the oil in her tractor in her couture gown. Seems totally realistic, right? Let’s hear it for #farmgirltough!