Posted by: kaylawalling | January 19, 2016

Empowered Girls (Powerful Women)

“Are you a tomboy?”
“You really are your father’s daughter, aren’t you?”
“Are you sure you can do that?”
“Why are you so bossy?”

As a little girl, I spent a lot of time following my father who is a master carpenter, licensed electrician, and general contractor. He wanted a son until he realized his little girl could do the same things. My family spent my childhood empowering me to do all that I wanted. I helped my father do a lot of things. I helped build a dog house and our garage. I helped hang drywall and install hardwood flooring. Even now I help him install lighting or fix the plumbing. I still get asked the above questions. My ability to use power tools and fix things on my own makes a lot of more traditional people uncomfortable, but I don’t really care if it makes them uncomfortable. I am empowered by my talents and knowledge from exploring traditionally masculine trades; not only that, but also the so-called feminine abilities of cooking, cleaning, and sewing. As a young girl, I was empowered. As a woman, my knowledge is powerful. I can fix the roof and cook dinner if I really want. So why does society limit women to one sphere or deny the ability to hold traditionally male-dominated roles?

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Responses

  1. I had such a similar experience growing up; my father made sure to teach me everything he knows about fixing cars, repairs, and how to throw a spiral football. I think you’ll agree that the ability to do things traditional for both genders has helped widen your frame of reference. Loved that you shared a story with us and I think were moving towards changing these limitations put on individuals in the future.

  2. I really enjoy your take on the phrases that are so commonly asked of girls and even older women. It’s a shame that because of our sex, we are questioned for our abilities as if we are somehow incapable of accomplishing certain tasks (like fixing plumbing or a roof). I’ve always been asked if I were able to do things not only because I’m a woman, but because I am a petite woman who may seem frail. What people find out is that I am just as capable of carrying heavy boxes and getting things I need from high places. I hope that one day we won’t have to be asked those things because it will be so normal for women to do them that they are unnecessary to ask about.


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