Gender Roles

This is my dad:

He’s a man’s man. A guy’s guy. The All-American boy. He played sports and joined the military and was working as an EMT when he met my mom. One time he fell off the top of a moving vehicle and hit his head just right so that he lost his sense of smell. He’s the realest of dudes.

He always tells the joke about how he used to pray to be surrounded by beautiful women and that God has a really funny sense of humor.

Because these are his three daughters:

For the first 18 years of my life, our dad tried, with all his might, to make us men. We were in everything from soccer to softball to basketball to track. We went on family jogs that ended at the high school where he would time us running stadium laps and sprinting up giant hills. One time he made me take my glove off and keep practicing catch with him bare handed because I wouldn’t cover the ball properly. Seriously, the realest of dudes.

And after all of this, we still liked make-up. We still wore dresses that were too short to homecoming. We still had boyfriends and changed our clothes too often and took showers that were too long. And we still begged our dad to play the Barbie game with us when no one else was home (that might have just been me).

But recently, my sisters and I have been discovering mannerisms, nuances, and personality traits within ourselves and each other that can only be described as…manly.

For example, all three of us drink whiskey. On purpose. Because we think it tastes good. My sisters tell jokes befitting a locker room. A hypothetical bachelorette party has been planned complete with cigars, brown liquor, and the great outdoors.

And looking back now, the masculinity is not a new thing. Normal sisters fight right? Screaming and crying and even sometimes slapping are normal girl behaviors. But one time, I got socked in the stomach by one of my sisters. And another time, I elbowed another of my sisters and gave her a black eye. Even wrestling was a commonplace tactic in a disagreement. Make no mistake, the short brunette can do some damage.

In the end, it makes me really happy to know that I have two badass sisters and that all three of us fit into “a man’s world” just fine if we need to. Whether he meant to do it or not, our dad gave us the best of both worlds (no doubt with lots of help from our incredible mom who dealt with all the girly tears and clothes and boy drama) and taught us to push ourselves to be more than just what society expects.

So if you ever find yourself surrounded by my family, please excuse the belching and crude jokes. After all, girls will be boys.

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