Power: Womanís Key to Independence
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Menís workÖwomenís work.

If you were raised old-school, like I was, youíll know what Iím talking about. Certain tasks have been deemed by society as either male or female roles.

Relax. This isnít about sexism or gender equality, but merely a sweeping generalization to demonstrate a point.

Many men donít bother learning how to cook or sew, and many women donít know how to use or repair small appliances. ďLearned ignoranceĒ is what Iíve heard it called.

Throughout the ages, men have been the aggressorsóthe handymen. Men take matters into their own hands. And when women need something done, we know we have the option of batting our lashes so a man will step up and take care of business. I envy menís resourcefulness. Letís face it. Whether theyíre good in the kitchen or not, youíd be hard-pressed to find a man who isnít masterful at pounding the last of the ketchup out of the bottle. But when we canít get the lid off of a jar, women look around for a man before we even make a second attempt. Itís just second nature for men to change their own oil. Theyíre more than eager to snake out the plumbing. Women, on the other hand, think of these as dirty jobs best done by a man.

As a single woman, Iíve long since learned to revel in my freedom. But I must admit, I get a little frustrated on occasion. Some time ago, when my multi-pressure shower massager got stuck on a focused pulse setting, I wished Iíd had a man around to fix it for me. I tried everything to switch it back to the regular shower setting. I took it apart, chased the slippery hose as it flailed around the bathroom, and tinkered around with it to no avail. After several vigorous showers, however, Iíve come to enjoy my showerhead even more the way it is. What started out as a source of frustration has turned into a means of relieving tension.

But not all situations take on a positive spin so easily. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and went shopping for the perfect ladiesí multi-tool. Now I can drill, buff, or screw anything that needs attention. And I have to tell you, thereís a certain satisfaction in knowing I can get any job done as well as a man.

Does my inability to hook up my own stereo system mean that I canít make beautiful music without a man?

Also, I canít help wondering: Now that I have my own power tool, do I still need a man?

As far as conversations and companionship goes, I have plenty of male friendsómost of whom have gladly offered their services if I should ever need a helping hand. As kind as their offers are, I donít want to become dependant or lose sight of the fact that I can take care of myself.

I still donít know how to rewire my stereo, but Iím proud to say that I am the master of my domain.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? Email Christine at single@keynotebooks.com

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