Man Power

I’ve been out with a saw today, tackling a fallen tree. Yesterday involved spade work. I’ve always considered myself a bit of an amazon, ready to get to work with axe or shovel as required, not afraid of the heavier jobs – I had to be, the only way I’ve reliably had wood for the fire was by cutting it myself.

I can put in a good hour or two, working hard in intensely physical ways, and that’s about all I’m good for. Now, in that time I can get a fair bit done. I’m also aware that male ancestors not so many generations back, were doing that kind of thing all day, every day. Raising the topic with Tom before I set to typing, he talked about manual labour, and enjoying it. I can’t imagine working physically for that many hours. I’ve coppiced willow and planted trees, painted fences, and all sorts, but for eight hour working days? My body won’t take it. I was in a lot of pain today from yesterday’s digging, and no doubt with today’s sawing, I will hurt tomorrow as well. My hands are killing me, typing this – everything else I can put up with, but not that. I can work inside a house all day, or in less intensive physical ways, but I could not do what my male ancestors did.

Mostly, I’m not that drawn to gender difference as a concept, I see myself as fairly androgyne – especially in terms of how I think. I don’t believe in socially defined gender roles or assumptions about personality. There is more to life, and identity than what you have in your trousers. Even when I’ve been doing intense physical work on a regular basis, I can’t sustain more than a few hours a day, and it takes a significant toll on me. When it comes down to it, your average bloke has a lot more muscle power than your average woman. I feel like I ought to be able to keep up – I can’t – and that’s an uncomfortable thing to have to acknowledge.

At the same time, I want to recognise the strength that enables (some) guys to work in this way. Especially those ancestors who worked with their hands all their lives. The more I do, and struggle with, the deeper my respect for those who can and will do such work day in, day out. Nursing my aching muscles, I want to honour the men who use their strength productively, making, protecting, supporting and enabling others.

I wonder what my life would (will) be like, when I don’t have to take on what are traditionally male jobs. I’ve hefted a lot of coal… How would not having to do the heavier work affect my sense of self, my gender identity? Will that bring a sense of loss, or will it enable me to be more feminine? I don’t honestly know, but it will be interesting to explore and find out. How much of my sense of self has grown out of necessity? I don’t know. How much of how I think I should be will change when it’s not needful for me to be out swinging an axe or wielding a bow-saw? Time will tell.

Mistress Rae’s Musings: What happened to Human Intergity?

It’s no big surprise that rudeness has become prevalent in society these days. But when it comes to ‘internet rudeness’, a line should be drawn somewhere. I find it amazing how people love to hide behind a facade (their ‘chosen’ alias and their keyboard) and spew their negativity or trollish comments or unintelligent rantings and babblings, often with no merit. What has happened to having politeness, manners and consideration for others? Has our integrity decayed that much? It’s as if people ENJOY being knuckle-draggers or love feeding off of trite comments, especially on ever-popular forums. I often wonder why people take delight in others misfortunes and grievances. I have noticed that other share the same concerns as I, but with so many millions of people with access to the internet, those sad and sorry ‘cowards’ delight in having some sort of delusional power over others when it comes to the internet, as no one can physically ‘attack’ them after they’ve made their ugly skid-mark online.

Such trolls need to take a step back and really analyze what they say and do. Do they not recognize that they make themselves look like a fool when they act so belligerent and disrespectful to others online? Negativity travels fast, true, but their own negativity will backfire right on themselves in the long run. Whatever you type out there in the vastness of the internet, STAYS there once it’s posted. One should THINK before they type. It’s too easy to damage your own online image, but if you simply don’t care and find being a troll merely amusing and fun, spewing your venom and trying to hurt others for your personal enjoyment, why not get a backbone and use your own name instead of hiding behind another?

Too often, I’ve seen people try to bring others down in order to make themselves feel better. Makind’s willingness to be heartless and without compassion in a insane world is the real horror. The internet culture–although with its benefits, allows for such cruelty to exist and thrive. We’ve ALL got to live on this continually shrinking planet–why make matters worse by being so revolting to others? There’s enough pointless hostilities in the world as it is–stop adding your own sludge to it! Kindness, compassion, integrity, love, regard and respect are NOT weaknesses–they only show how STRONG one can be in a world that’s wallowing in its own crap.