"If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman"
Anyone besides me remember Helen Reddy? As a child of the 60's I was just a little to young to fall in love with (or swoon over) the Beatles. I was a feminist but just missed the bra burning phase. I think my generation (or perhaps it was just me) took feminism a bit for granted. I knew I was good at math and science and never thought once that a boy could do it better. I even asked a boy to my senior prom (he turned me down, alas).
This does not mean I feel that women have achieved entire equality. I think there are still "glass ceilings" although some are now installed by choice--women like me who want to be at the top of what we do but realize that it isn't necessarily consistent with being the kind of mothers we also want to be.
One thing I have always resented is the simple fact that I will never be as strong or as fast as most men. I will always lose at arm wrestling with even the wimpiest guy. I am also amazingly stubborn and don't like being bullied or assumed to be incapable of anything due to my stature (which is a tad less than 5'5''/110 lbs).
I had one of those mighty mouse moments today. I was walking my son to an activity when I saw a neighbor whose car was stuck in the snow. I stopped to offer her a push and there ensued some pushing, forward and back, a bit of digging with a shovel and so forth. A fellow helped for a few minutes and wandered off. A young woman came by and was going to help but while she was fiddling with her I-Pod, I gave a final heave and the car took off. The woman looked at me and said in an admiring tone: "You're strong." A sense of womanly pride swelled my frostbitten lungs and I mentally showed off my biceps. It was a nice moment.
In all honesty, it isn't about showing off. One of the things I like about winter here is that someone is always willing to stop and give a push to a stuck driver. When the world seems bitter and angry it is warming to see a neighborly moment or two and to contribute oneself.