People who’ve seen my shoe collection might laugh at this, but I used to be a tomboy. My idea of fun was making mud and rose hip pies, scrounging around with my dog, and getting dirty with the neighbourhood boys (I mean this very differently than young girls get dirty today–I’m talking actual dirt). My mother was always despairing over the state of my nails. Anyone who bought me a doll would be horrified to know what happened to it, and anyone who threatened my cousin better run for their lives.
Even today, I usually relate better to men. The women who become my closest friends were tomboys themselves–there’s not a girly-girl among them. They can kick ass, take names, and still look great in a pair of heels. But it took a lot of effort, time, and aggravation to find them.
I gave up on girls altogether in the fourth grade. Before that, I had a nice mix of male and female friends, but suddenly most of the girls I knew went through this strange metamorphosis. Everything was about the BFF, and God forbid if you had the same best friend from one day to the next. I couldn’t keep up with someone liking me one day and deciding not to speak to me the next. It was exhausting. So I went over to see what the boys were doing, and it was a hell of a lot more fun than that “want to be my bestest friend?” crap. Also, they were strangely loyal. If they liked me on Monday, I could count on the fact they’d also like me on Tuesday. And if we had a disagreement, they might have blown up, yelled, or stomped off, but once they cooled down, we were still friends. An argument didn’t turn into the end of the world.
By coincidence or design, I’ve lived my life competing in a boy’s (or man’s) world. Journalism was an old boy’s club, and when I worked at an insurance company, all of the power players were men. Kickboxing was dominated by men when I started training–there were very few women at my first club, and I sparred with men more often than not.
When it comes to my red prajioud test, there’s only one aspect in which men and women have different requirements. Men are expected to do 36 push-ups (three sets of 12), while women are expected to do 24 (three sets of eight). Guess how many I’ll be doing? Is being female really going to make me incapable of an extra 12 push-ups? I. Don’t. Think. So! Actually, I already know I can do them–did them yesterday. 🙂
How about my female readers? Ever feel like you have to prove yourself in a man’s world? Was it hard to be accepted? And if some brave men want to weigh in on how awesome women are, that’s cool, too. 🙂