The Heroine or the Rescued?

One of my favorite fairy tale books.

When I was little my mom always read me fairy tales in which the leading lady rescued herself (and sometimes even the prince).

The women in these story were never the rescued, they were the heroines.

Whether or not its having a strong mother or the women in these stories (or both!), I’ve always been my own heroine. I’ve had no delusions that someone else will come along and solve all of my problems for me.

But in a society where women usually are the rescued, where do women like me fit in?

And even though we logically know we can and ARE our own heroines, why is it that we still sometimes want to be rescued?

I know this seems random and not directly and obviously related to the usual content of my posts, but it really got me to thinking….

Is this whole “being rescued” thing part of the reason why women are so afraid of lifting weights and being bulky?

Is this why even the women who do lift weights sometimes question their own femininity?

Honestly, I’m asking a ton of questions because I don’t have the answers.

I see all of this duality in my own life.

I LOVE lifting heavy weights. I preach their importance to just about every woman I meet.

I tell them they won’t get bulky, and I believe it.

Yet sometimes, in those moments of self-doubt, I question my own femininity.

Are my arms too big? Shoot aren’t my shoulders just so broad….

I see this confusion between being my own heroine or “the rescued” even in my confusion over my future.

I’m driven. I want a successful career. I love working, in great part because I love what I do.

I feel like I would be selling myself short if I ever gave up my career ambitions.

BUT I’m also a firm believer that at least one parent should stay home with children if the couple decides to have kids.

And I’ve always wanted to be the parent that gets to stay home with my kids, but I also feel like this is partly me wanting to be “rescued.”

So now my question is, does it have to be one or the other? Don’t we all want to be heroes or heroines? Don’t we all at points want to stop fighting and have someone else save us?

Anyway, excuse the slight digression and ramblings. But hopefully it gets you to thinking about your own life and even why you or so many women you know are against lifting heavy because they fear getting bulky!

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Posted on November 6, 2012, in Uhm? and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. It’s okay for us as women to want to feel ‘rescued’ at times. For example, our toilet is leaking right now and I totally want my husband to rush in a fix the problem like my knight in shining armor. Even if it means him calling the plumber….just fix it. Could I do it? sure. but it would be nice to not worry about that…or all the light bulbs that need changing 🙂

    I think we have come along way in showing our strength and capabilities but I think it has backfired in some situations. I think men don’t know what to do around us sometimes because we have to show our independence….but we still want the door opened for us, right? We still want a man to notice when we are trying to juggle a heavy box or 2 kids or bags of groceries…notice and offer to help, right? I see that as respect and not rescue. That is what I want my 11 year old son to do. (and I don’t see a problem with men and women having different standards for military service…but I think we should be expected to do more than 1 pull-up…)

    About the children issue…..i always wanted to stay home and I was fortunate to have a husband who’s job could support that choice. I see my friends I graduated with(our daughter was born a year after college) who have been teaching for 13 years and I sometimes long for that missed opportunity….but it was the right choice for our family and I have no regrets. I took classes while mine were young, started a business and got involved in the community so I didn’t feel like I was ‘wasting away’. I commend you for wanting to be home with your children. It is a lost art and sometimes not an option in this economy.

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