Chapter 33 | Manly Things

We were raised to believe that many things in this world are for men only. Have you ever shopped for something that is considered “manly”? How did it go? For me, it went horribly. I was treated as ignorant because of my boobs, I assume.

The item I wanted to purchase was a car. The Toyota car dealer wanted to sell me a Corolla without electric windows and a beige material interior for a higher price than the decked-out model listed online. He said, “it’s the only one left, if you don’t buy it now, it’ll be gone and you’ll be out of luck. It’s the last one.” Right. No, thanks. I ended up buying a Mazda.

Now let me ask you this. Do you work in a field that is “for men” only? I worked in high technology for five years and was surrounded by men. Whenever I showed some knowledge, it was met by their shocked faces. When I wasn’t flat out ignored, the men either mansplained, cut me off, objectified me or harassed me. Fun times.

How about some home renovations? It can be a lot of fun (even for women). I shingled the roof of our house with my then-boyfriend and his family. “What?” someone said. “You climbed on the roof and used a nailgun? Shocking!” Oh, is it? I thought I had legs and arms that allowed me to do manual labour. Wait, looks down I do!

And finally, we need to discuss sports. Did you know? Most sports are only for “boys”. Even figure skating used to be for men only.

Earlier this year, I took a boxing class with a girlfriend. When I told my German class about it, a classmate shook her head and told me, “You’re a pretty woman, why would you do that? It’s not a sport for women like you. What about your face?” To make things worse, the boxing trainers often asked for some “strong guys” to help set up the punching bags. My girlfriend and I always stepped up and helped (and magically succeeded).

But it’s not all bad. This year, during the Fifa World Cup I read the following on Twitter:

It made me happy—we’re starting to put women forward as strong and awesome. Keep it up, world!