Rant post #1 of ~24,597,309
I promised myself that this blog would not devolve into a repository of my often ill-conceived and barely-articulated rants. But since this is my blog, I can do whatever I want, so I am temporarily suspending that promise in order to talk about the ladyfolk.
- Try, try, try to relate to me on a level beyond our diets. There is so much more to me than what I choose to put in or not put in my mouth. (That’s what she said.) If you think that I am flattered by your comments that I’m “lucky” that I don’t need to worry about having a few holiday treats, I am not. I just feel awkward. Jokingly-but-seriously excluding me from even considering joining the office Weight Watcher’s group is not cool.
- At the gym, if I’m feeling ambitious and pick a weight that is waaaay too heavy for me and I fail, don’t snicker at me. It’s rude. Likewise, if you think my tiny free weights are cute, maybe don’t show it on your face, unless you want me to punch you. I don’t have much upper body strength but I’ll give it my best shot. One type of exercise is not better than another, just different.
Very much the thesis of this post is that women should be supporting and respecting each other as individuals in all facets of life—the working world, the physical fitness world, the social world, etc. I mean that, even though I just hypothetically threatened to punch a chick in her face. We women are our own worst enemies, and that’s dumb. We are constantly putting each other down, if not to other people, at least in our own minds. And if we’re not putting each other down, we’re evaluating. I can say with 85% confidence that there is no woman living or dead who has never evaluated her physical appearance against that of another woman. Perhaps we get a confidence boost when her boobs are smaller or her hands are bigger. Perhaps we vow to diet until we too have tiny waists and thigh gaps. Ugh. The circumference of another woman’s thighs should have no bearing on our present moods. Why can’t we just see each other as people and not as potential competition? We’re never going to rule the world if we keep stabbing each other in the backs.
Unfortunately this manner of interacting based on physical appearance is as ingrained in us as blessing someone after they sneeze. If I don’t know a woman well and am trying to find some common ground, complimenting her shoes or hair is a pretty normal icebreaker. I don’t bother to delve deeper than that because I’ve already filled the silence. At the gym, I feel like I’m constantly being evaluated or am evaluating others (but mostly because I either have no idea what I’m doing or because the whole full-makeup-hair-did-matching-lululemon-workout-clothes thing just kind of baffles me).
What’s interesting is that when I think of my coworkers one by one, I know next to nothing about the married females (except stuff about their kids) but I have a go-to topic to talk about with the men—band, dogs, hockey, or running. I even have female friends with whom the majority of our interaction is based on fitness.
I feel like this is so socially accepted that there’s no incentive to form other types of relationships. Even I need to work on being supportive and not lumping women into unrelatable wife-mom categories. So this is what I’m going to do:
- Find something out about my female coworkers that is not related to diet or weight loss.
- Smile and/or nod at the other ladyfolk at the gym. We already have something in common—we like to work out. No point in being unfriendly or allowing my self to intimidated. I’m not intimidated by the dudes, so why should I be intimidated by the ladies?
- Steer conversations into realms other than diet and exercise. I am (clearly) not a skilled conversationalist, so this might require some practice. I might have to talk about myself more. I might lose a lot of friends that way…