When I was very young I was extremely envious of men. I wanted to be a boy. Girls did the boring lousy stuff. Boys did the cool stuff; the things that I wanted to do. I used to dress, walk, talk, and play like a boy. I prayed every night that I would wake up in the morning a boy. I have no idea what the heck happened in my childhood that made me so insecure with my sexuality, but I was.
Around 2nd grade I gave up on the whole wanting-to-be-a-boy-thing. But I was still a tomboy. Then around 5th grade my enviousness of boys turned into hatred-like. I always wore the shirts "Girls Rule, Boys Drool". And I believed it too. In my little head of mine I could not comprehend that men had feelings, emotions, or even have the ability to think. I distinctly remember staring at the smartest boy in my elementary school class wondering how he was reading, because boys weren't smart enough to do that.
Because I was a tomboy I was also the loner of all loners. I had no friends. I would walk around the playground "looking for someone" all of recess, but really I was just pretending, there was no one to look for.
|Yes, my lion hair. And I'm throwing the ball against the wall...by myself|
In 7th grade my mom made me go on a diet. I lost weight and gained confidence. She took me shopping and for the first time in my life I bought "girly clothes". When I returned to school after summer break I received a lot of positive attention from my peers and began to make friends. I also began to do really well in school for the first time in my life, also giving me more confidence.
By high school I was normal. Finally. I had tons of friends, started dating guys, so on and so forth. But my viewpoint of men was still "men are stupid". It didn't matter how sweet or smart a guy was I thought they were just worthless really. Except for the fact that I was really attracted to them.
I went to college and got engaged to this guy. I thought he was the right husband for me because he met my checklist of things I wanted in a husband. Boy was I stupid. He viewed himself as a leader of his future home and me as the subordinate. Eventually we broke off our engagement. (Thank Goodness)
A few years went by. I was about 21 years old driving my car to work in the deserts of Pueblo, CO. The sun was just coming over the horizon making everything pinkish red. Dr. Laura Schlessinger's talk show was playing on the radio.
A women called complaining that her son was being bullied at school by other boys and she wanted to know what to tell her son. (This is what I remember, I'm sure other words were said as well)
Dr Laura: "Does this son of yours have a father?"
Woman: "Yes, my husband".
Dr. Laura: "Tell your husband to talk to your son, he'll know what to say"
Women: "What should I tell my husband to tell my son?"
Dr Laura: (angry and annoyed) "You are a woman, you don't understand what happens in a boys world at school, your husband does. Ask your husband to talk to your son. He understands him. He will know what to say"
Woman: "I don't think he will, what do you think I should tell him to tell my son?"
Dr Laura: (extremely annoyed and angry, now yelling) "Your husband will know what to say!" (She hangs up the phone in anger, not allowing the woman to reply). Dr Laura then vents to the radio audience: "I can't stand women these days! They think men are idiots! I hate this feminist movement. Because women are trying to be treated equal they think that means that they need to push men down. Men are smart, respectable, kind, gentle......" She goes on, and honestly I don't remember anymore.
I do remember the light that came on inside my head. I remember realizing that I was EXACTLY that woman that she was describing. Somehow, somewhere, I was taught that men were worthless, innately dumb. I was WRONG. I never knew. I never knew that men were wonderful, intelligent people, who had so much to offer to me and to everyone. That putting a man equal to me doesn't make me less. I changed that day for the better, for forever.
Can I tell you how happy I became after that? I no longer was at war with the other sex. We were a team. I no longer had a wall up every time a man tried to give me advice. I learned from his wisdom and appreciated it.
I'll be honest, sometimes I still struggle because of habit. Recently I became bitter towards men because I was getting paid less than men for doing the same job at work. That really made me feel less. Less important. That I had no value in a mans world. But that is just a bump in my journey. I'm working on healing.
I'll tell you one thing. If I never learned this lesson I would have never married my husband. I value him so much. I would have never recognized his wisdom. I would have never fallen in love with him. And he is my everything. We truly are equal, in every way.
Oh....and we can't forget about my 10 month old son Elias. I'm excited to see the man he becomes. I will be very proud. I already am.