Muscle Women Get No Respect

Would you carry THIS around?
Would you carry THIS around?
If I could, I would live by two songs:

1. Helen Reddy’s I am Woman (“I am strong, I am invincible, I am WOMAN!”)1
2. Irving Berlin’s Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better from “Annie Get Your Gun.”

It’s not that I’m competitive or anything. I just don’t like to acknowledge limitations. It’s more exciting to have limitations rise up and bite me on the rear. That, however, is a whole other story.

Years ago, I saw a television miniseries about Israel’s first female Prime Minister, Golda Meir. There was one scene where the young Golda was living on a kibbutz and doing some work along with some of the other women. Whatever they were doing needed running water, and for some reason the water stopped. The women started to complain about how they were going to have to go get a man to get it working again.

Bear in mind that these were not delicate ladies. These were toughened female kibbutzniks, used to roughing it. But if anything came up that looked like it required muscles, they became as helpless as a fluttery Victorian lady with a tight corset.

Anyway, Golda shocked all of them by climbing up onto a roof, grabbing something that looked like a small wheel, turning it, getting the water going again and yelling down to ask if it was working okay. It was. No need to bother any of the guys, who probably would not have been thrilled to be asked, anyway.

Speaking of water, in ancient times it was the job of the woman to go to the well, draw water using a big pottery jar and carry it home. They would carry it on their heads, their shoulders or their hips. Do you know how heavy a jar of water is? Of course, you do. In those days, nobody cared. Women were supposed to have kids and carry water around. The men would help out by having lots of sex and making the women pregnant, but other than that it was hands-off. Women’s work was women’s work, and that was that. The men had other things to do, like going to battle against the town up the road and working to get their other wives pregnant.

Fast-forward to the present day. Centuries of chivalry have gotten women used to the idea that they are no longer pack mules. The scene is the office break room or pantry, where the water cooler is located. Guess what! The water cooler is empty. There are at least four big full giant bottles of it on the floor, but so far nobody has replaced the empty one, which still sits on top of the machine. What is a thirsty woman to do?

There are two choices:

1. Get a man to do it, however unwilling he might be at that moment. Thank him profusely.
2. Do it herself.

Before you get your panties in a knot, ladies, listen to me. It is possible. Women are working as beat cops, construction workers, subway motormen, crane operators. Changing the water in a water cooler should be a snap for us. It’s all in the balance and the motion. It’s how you position the bottle and how you use the body. I know, because I have done this myself. More than once. Really.

The reaction that I usually get when I deliver this great news to my fellow office females is, “Are you out of your mind? I’m not going to do that, ever!” In other words, I should shut up and not even mention such an asinine suggestion, lest the men get word of it and rise up in rebellion against being looked upon as automatic muscle machines.

The really stupid thing is that the same men who don’t enjoy being shanghaied to change the water in the cooler tend to look askance at any woman who will do it for herself. In other words, the woman in the above paragraph who shut me up is the one who is much more likely to be asked out.

It looks like my career as an office female liberator has been effectively terminated.

Real women know what to do with water.
Real women know what to do with water.

1I am Woman, written by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton

Share this Post:

7 thoughts on “Muscle Women Get No Respect”

  1. It IS a little intimidating to change the water bottle if you have never done it. The weight is not so much the issue (for most men, anyway) as the faith that the watercolor won’t overflow before the new bottle is properly seated. You really have a lot more time to make the movement than you probably think, if you haven’t done it before.

    1. That was the trick: not to spill water on the floor. I think I managed to keep from doing that most of the time. I learned how to change the water bottle because another woman showed me, so it wasn’t so bad. We were the only two women in the office who were willing to do this, though. If you ever want to make any woman indignant, just suggest that she is capable of putting a new bottle on the water cooler.

  2. Yes. And this begs the question: why are those replacement tanks so big and heavy. I’m a massively buffed out guy (i lift cars off of trapped kids just for fun) and I NEVER go near those things.

    1. Um … maybe because water is heavy? 😉 If they made the bottles smaller, they would have to be changed even more often.

Comments are closed.