Monday, October 17, 2016

The Bug

A few weeks ago, I was working at a computer when I heard a strange buzzing in my ear.  At first, I thought it was a fly, but then I turned my head and saw a GINORMOUS insect buzzing around right next to my head.

Obviously, I screamed.

The insect landed right on the computer monitor.  So obviously, I couldn't use the computer anymore.  Not until somebody (else) killed the flying terror for me.

A female physical therapist came over to me and asked if I was okay.  I explained about the giant bug on my computer and that I was basically paralyzed with fear.  The therapist then reached over and smooshed the giant bug with her hand.

If I were a man, I would have been totally emasculated.  As it was, I was a little emasculated.

This has happened before.  I think there was a jar I couldn't get open or something along those lines.  I certainly don't mind getting help with something that either frightens me or involves physical strength that I don't have, but it does make me feel slightly like a wimp when a woman helps me.


  1. I'm just impressed you were still close enough to witness the smooth. I would have still been running like I had a lava field at my heels.

  2. This reminded me of a WaPo story in which the boyfriend dumped his girlfriend because she could change a tire and he couldn't. We need to stamp out these stereotypes. I worked my way through college working construction. It didn't bother my husband that he didn't know which end of a hammer to hold while I could build a house if I needed to. Different strokes as we used to say.

  3. Meh, I hope she cleaned the bug goop off your computer screen for you.

  4. This is simply a reflection of how society raises us in terms of gender. Girls must like pink, skirts, dolls, housekeeping, be delicate, never swear, etc.Boys have to be tough, like blue, play with trucks and tools, don't have to know anything about taking care of a house or a baby and so forth.

    You feel comfortable when each gender is acting as society expects them to. You can be weak or fearful and long as it is a man helping you. It might make you feel weirder if a man got terrified of a bug or couldn't open a jar and a woman helped him.

    We need to deconstruct these ideas and rules. It will take time, you and I might not live long enough to see true gender equity, but maybe the girls we raise? Or the girls they raise? It might take a long time, but look how far we've come. I believe one day we will get there.

  5. As I tell my students... we all have weaknesses. Often there will be one or two jobs that we just cannot do, and that's okay. That's human. And that is when we must reach out for help, or find a way to work around the problem.

    1. That's one of the beauties of coupling. Two people have different strengths cover each other's weaknesses.

    2. So long as you couple correctly. Once had a patient come in that was a weak point for the two of us who were on (significant burns, and both of us have a history of our own significant burns). I took the case as the other person was still wearing their burn suit it was so recent. It was tough though!

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  7. How do you think a man may have felt in a similar circumstance? Personally, I would have captured the offending beast and returned it to the wild.

  8. "If I were a man, I would have been totally emasculated."
    If you were a man you'd have killed it yourself.

  9. My mom used to pick up spiders in her bare hands and carry them outside when I screamed! She was never bit. I have no idea how/why she did such a thing? Maybe her mom did it? ... (She would also sometimes smush them if she was feeling less willing to take them outside). 1) Yuck. 2) Yes, my mom is a bad ass. ... 3) I'd have screamed for help too! And all things considered I am pretty tough. Just not around bugs!

  10. Hey, I was 30something and my mom had to come over to kill a yellowjacket in my house because I couldn't get it and it was freaking me out. I had been out of my parents' house for well over a decade and was a new mom myself. In my defense, I had stepped on a yellowjacket nest a few years before and been bitten and stung at least a dozen times...