A few weeks ago, Emily Wax of the Washington Post wrote an awesome article about the latest shift in the gender wars, and the recent role reversal that has resulted in empowered women taking over a host of tasks traditionally done by men. This article opens with “The latest chapter in America’s gender wars is being waged in the aisles of a Fairfax Home Depot.” The article focuses on women who have grown fed up waiting for men to deal with home repair and maintenance tasks, and have taken these tasks on themselves – to great success! This has prompted me to look at my own life in a different way, and I think it’s something worthwhile for every woman to consider.
Empowered Women are Capable of So Much
In the past month, I’ve installed a new toilet seat, and replaced the broken aerator in my kitchen faucet. I’ve also baked dozens of holiday cookies, cooked an utterly fabulous Christmas dinner, and provided some totally delicious food for a New Year’s Eve potluck. My friends gave me a Stanley multi-tool for Christmas, as well as a new set of cutting boards and some kitchen gadgets. And I had a manicure and eyebrow wax to get me looking fabulous for the holiday season.
As women, who says we can’t do it all? I know I’m eclectic, but I pride myself on being a better mechanic than my husband-to-be, as well as being an ace in the kitchen and knowing how to look gorgeous when I want to. I don’t feel I’m constrained to any particular role in life – if I want a delicious hot fudge pudding cake, I can make one. And if I want to repair the short that causes my refrigerator light to not work half the time, I can do that, too.
The key takeaway from Emily’s fabulous article about the latest chapter in the gender war is that empowered women can do anything they want to do. You can be a homemaker and a fabulous cook, but that doesn’t have to mean you’re at the mercy of someone else when it comes to making a home repair or fixing a leaky pipe. Are you an empowered woman? If not, isn’t it about time to branch out and learn some new skills?
Empowered Doesn’t Have to Mean You’re Not Feminine
The counter-argument to empowered women is that empowered women aren’t feminine. Somehow, by learning these traditionally “male” skills and taking over some of those tasks, empowered women cease to have those elements of femininity that most identify us as women. But that’s simply not true. There’s no reason you can’t repair your plumbing and then go get a manicure to treat yourself afterwards. Or wear a fabulous, lacy, frilly bra while you’re painting a room, or refinishing your hardwood floors.
Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do. Become an empowered woman. Stop relying on other people (men) to do things for you. Kill the spider. (I taught my dog to kill spiders for me!) Re-caulk your windows. Buy yourself a beautiful bra for the joy of it. (I recommend the Conturelle Provence Bra – it’s one of my favorites!) Celebrate your femininity by giving yourself permission to do anything you want to do!