Monday, April 21, 2014

Female Masculinity

My aunt is a successful business woman. On top of working a 60-hour job she loves, she lives on a four-acre working farm in TN, raising rabbits, alpaca, pigs, chickens, and dogs.

My aunt is not married.

With all of the "masculine" work that needs to be done, she relishes the task, and does it.

If she wants a new desk, she refinished a table leaf, buys new legs, stains them, and builds it.

If she wants to buy and take care of a horse for a while, she does it.

If she has to build a new roof for the second chicken coop, she gets the material and creates it.

While she may not claim "full-feministic" values, she is one of the strongest pro-female voices in my life, and I learn a lot from her example. She's strong, physically and emotionally. In her job, she has to manage large teams, and she has to understand the psychology of men and women, understand their differences, and utilize their strengths and weaknesses for success.

She mentioned a book called The End of Men, and in it, she says that more and more women are going to college and getting degrees...and that perhaps at some point, women CEOs will be the norm as more and more men choose to not pursue these degrees.

She's such an interesting person. We love to listen to her stories about trainings, and her insights. Women don't raise their hands as often as men when they have questions. Why is that? What can we do personally to not feel stifled by a culture that values masculinity as the priority?

Even though we don't see eye-to-eye on every issue, it's great to have a person who thinks there should be more equality, but also doesn't ignore the differences in men and women. Instead, she utilities the strengths of both, and cultivates a desire to be intelligent regardless of gender.

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