Playing the Girl Card

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Girl Card

Just like the “Man Card,” we girls have a card as well.

When I was younger, I held my Girl Card pretty close. I felt like I had to prove that I was just as good as the boys. So I handle 90% of my “stuff” on my own. (The other 10% consisted of a flat tire in sub-zero weather that I “handled” by calling my dad.)

It was good for me, because it proved – not only to the world but to myself – that I am woman, hear me roar. And not to get too high on my soapbox, the female of the species does have to prove themselves in the world. While I think that things are improving, we all still hear about the “glass ceiling” and “increasing leadership gender diversity” in business. Title IX gives parity in the educational system to women’s sports, but, in my experience, the boys often get the better fields, practices times, etc. And women are often still expected to take the majority of childrearing responsibilities or face the wrath of society for being “unnatural.”

Let’s take a quick time out: I want to be clear that these are all generalizations. My husband and I evenly shared raising the kids. Many schools’ girls’ teams are better supported than the boys’ team. And the fact that corporations are increasing the number of women in leadership positions all show that we’ve come a long way, Baby.

And I will be the first to admit that there are a goodly number of girls who are not helping the cause by personifying all of the worst stereotypes…the dumb blonde, the gold digger, the girls who can’t survive without a man to take care of them. We women need to be the strong individuals we can and should be.

That said, I began to realize as I got older that I didn’t have to prove myself at every turn. And the “Girl Card,” played judiciously, could be a good thing all around. It didn’t make me less of a person to admit that I couldn’t lift a box that weighed more than me. It didn’t diminish my worth if I asked my husband to clean the bathrooms, since he was “stronger than me and could scrub harder.” And yes, it didn’t make me “one of those girls” if I used a bit of flattery and eye-batting to get a job done.

With great power comes great responsibility, so you have to use the Girl Card for good, not evil. But with that mindset, THWACK! That was my Girl Card, hitting the table as I played it.

 

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