Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Not Just A Girl
I have always been grateful to my parents because they never, not one time, told me there was anything I could not do because I was a girl. I was encouraged to try anything (as long as it was fairly safe) and praised when I tried.
My grandmother used to tell me that after I became fourteen years old I would no longer be able to 1. wear shorts, 2. tie my fathers shirt at the waist when I wore it, 3. go barefoot, and a variety of other nonsense. My parents didn't directly contradict her to me. They only showed me by example that I could do whatever I felt I had the capability to do.
Naturally I was considered a tomboy because I liked playing with the boys. But I liked to play dress-up and have tea parties too. Naturally I got into a lot of trouble too.
As it is with a lot of large families some of my aunts and uncles were very close in age to me. I followed them all over the place. A couple of my brothers were there too.
The boys decided it was a fun thing to catch snakes. Not to be outdone I caught snakes too. It wasn't until much later that I realized I had caught all the snakes. Those boys were as scared as I was but I was the one stupid enough to show them that I was not afraid.
Volleyball was the acceptable sport for girls in the schools I attended. One school I went to had a really good volleyball team. I loved playing there. Our team was undefeated for several years. That included tournament games. We were good.
I played softball and football with the boys. Not at school. That would not have been allowed. I went to one school where the boys and girls even entered the building through separate doors, for goodness sake. No fraternizing with the opposite S.E.X. To this day I have not figured out how several of the girls got pregnant (pardon me, became with child) under those circumstances.
When I was in high school I took courses to prepare me for college. I had English classes, science classes, math classes, civics classes, swimming, pep club, chorus, band, modern dance, gymnastics, and team sports. It looks like a lot when I look at the list but it was spread over several years.
The one class I was not able to take was calculus. Why not, you might well ask? Does being a girl sound familiar? I was a girl and what on earth would a girl ever need with calculus? I was shocked. I had never been restricted in that way before. I went to the proper authorities but they all had the same opinion. So I do not have calculus on my resume.
So, well before Women's Lib became a cause my parents let me follow my interests no matter what other people thought should limit me because I was female. I am thankful every day that they allowed me to become a strong individual.