When I’m playing Fallout 3, I love it when the Super Mutants say “Stupid lady!” as I’m killing them, even though I’ve not really much of a “lady”, I’m more like a broad or a dame (but not a floozy or a hussy!), which is perfectly fine with me.
My dad didn’t have any sons, so he just did the things a father might do with them with us girls instead. We went fishing, played catch, helped him work on the car, and he would buy us “boy toys” (which I think was really just so he could play with them ;). I was always at his side, and I don’t know if it was the things we did as much as that I just liked spending time with him. I especially didn’t care for fishing (oh, so boring), but one of my fondest memories involves my dad and I painting my Mustang when I was sixteen (too bad I wrecked it a couple of months later!).
My sisters and I mowed the lawn, changed the oil in our own cars, took out the trash. My dad would not let us get drivers licenses until we could change a tire by ourselves. When we kept fighting, he threatened to buy us boxing gloves and let us have at it. Yet, despite all of this, we never doubted or questioned that we were daddy’s little girls. He made it clear to us that knowing how to do these things had nothing to do with our sex, and everything to do with our ability to be independent human beings. He loved his daughters, and he wanted to make sure we didn’t limit ourselves to traditional gender roles. He always encouraged us to not let anyone tell us we couldn’t do something just because we were female.
When I was a nineteen I was a department manager for a store, and one of the things I sold in my department was guns. I once had a male customer who refused to allow me to help him, and he asked for “a man”, so I called one of the male store managers to assist him. When the manager found out that the reason the customer didn’t want me to help him was because I was female, he said “Gina is the manager of this department, and she knows more about these guns than I do. If you want to buy one, you’re going to have to buy it from her.”, then he walked away. My manager risked losing a sale, and angering a customer, in order to stand up for womankind. I sold that asshole two guns that day.
Within my lifetime, women in the US were not allowed to have credit cards without a husband or father to co-sign for them. When I was born in 1969, women only had about five careers they could chose from; teacher, flight attendant, operator, nurse, or prostitute. We have come a long way in that time, but there’s still a way to go. In the dojo not too long ago I had a male white belt karate student who did not want me (a black belt) to teach him simply because I’m a woman. I didn’t call a “manager” for help that time, I just told him if he didn’t want me to teach him, then he was free to leave.
I don’t know if I could make it in a male-dominated world as a “lady”, but this broad is equipped to deal with it, and still remain all woman as I do so. My daddy taught me well, and I think he would be proud.