Friday 5 June 2015

The Limit

New computer working worse than ever, so back on the little cherry red Toshiba.

I am too tired to say anything but that it is always worth your time to learn how to drive. I have discovered just how far I can carry the ingredients for meals for a company of Girl Scouts, and it is from the nearest Tesco to the roundabout outside Aldi, i.e. 0.7 miles.  Too bad I had 0.4 miles to go. I would have been soooo grateful if any man, including Mr Jenner, had stopped to help me. 

As it was I finally  succeeded in waving down a cab. This was after I had decided I would have to carry half my groceries at a time, putting down two carrier bags  after every few yards and then running back to haul the army rucksack. I had in fact begun this  routine when I saw the cab again.

It did not occur to B.A., when he got out the army surplus  backpack, that I would not be able to carry it 1.1 miles when it was full. That didn't occur to me either. Nor did it occur to me that not all the groceries would fit in it.

I was pretty depressed there by the roundabout when it started to rain, and I wondered--not for the first time--why it was not thought necessary when I was 16 to sign me up for d riving lessons.  I always thought it was because I was a girl. This is surely not true, though, as my mother has been able to drive since she was a teenager.  I should have learned when I was a teenager, as then I would have had my parents' cars to practise on.  My brother was taught how by the militia; he practised on tanks.

At any  rate the upshot is that a car-free lifestyle is just not practical if you have invited the Girl Scouts for tea and supper.  Also women are just not as physically strong as men--which I knew already. Howeve I didn't know the limits of my own female strength, and now I'm very cross.  The bag of flour exploded, too. 

 really don't see how it is that Mr Jenner can "feel like a woman"; nothing makes me "feel like a woman" than all the humiliations and physical limitations that are part and parcel of female life. My biggest dread on the way home--besides a heart attack--was that some jerk would yell "Well, you wanted to be equal" out his car window, and I would die right then and there from  rage.


  1. Why did you never learn to drive?

    1. Heather in Toronto8 June 2015 at 14:34

      As someone who has lived in Toronto for 10 years, I can say it's not surprising at all. Huge numbers of people here don't have cars. Between the terrible traffic, expensive parking, and decent public transit, lots of people just don't consider it worth it. There are condo developments going up that aren't even building resident parking lots. Lots of people do have their driver's licence and just borrow or rent on the occasions that they do need a car, but others (including myself) have never bothered. If I ever end up moving away, I'll likely have to actually learn to drive, but for now there's simply no need.

    2. Yeah, what she said. My mother's parents were Toronto born and bred and neither of them EVER learned to drive. I figured that since they never needed to drive, I would never need to drive and... Sigh...

  2. It's not hard to learn. You could probably learn most of it in about a few weeks. Especially if you don't have to drive in London (or Sydney.)

  3. I am female and can carry a ridculous amount of groceries (or anything else) over long distances. Female =/= weak. Forgive my complaining, but I really don't appreciate being told that humiliation and limitation are part of my femininity that I should just accept. It is not true.
    Army surplus backpacks, however, are brilliant things.

  4. It's so hilarious when men are like, "Well, you wanted equality!" Hello, I was born in 1990. I was not around in the 1960s demanding 'equality' or whatever.

  5. As a former boxer, I know female does not equal weak. However, as someone who used to spar with men I know female equals physically weaker than males. Alas. Especially the kind of males who win decathlons, capisce?

    But I wish you were with me yesterday, Laika, to carry my bag! And I am glad you have never felt humiliated over girl stuff. Blood on the back of the skirt is one of the horrors I was thinking of. Oh, and that wonderful "flooding" incident last year.

    My point is not that being a woman sucks, it's that it's a little more complex than make-up, nylons, high-heeled shoes and. "looking pretty". It's deeply physical, not just "a look" or an act.

    1. Yes!! And that is why it is so offensive when men think that they can just put on a dress and lipstick and suddenly turn into a woman (or women trying to turn themselves into men).

      They're reducing womenhood/manhood to externals and feelings.

    2. I'm sorry about my argumentative reply. It's a bit of a touchy subject for me. My physicality is very important to me, both as part of my identity and professionally.
      For example, I work with a your guy who is literally twice my size and is stronger. That is to say, he can deadlift more. But it's I who climbs the biofilter columns, I who goes up on the roof (as said roof gets pulled apart by a storm) to secure the motors. I am by far the more physical of the two of us. Being female is not a handicap, nor is it a humiliation.
      I would go so far as to say that being female is not a bigger part of my identity than my eye colour - it's a thing, and the way God made me, but I don't think about it much or consider it highly important compared to, you know, my actions and abilities..
      What does hurt is when someone goes on about how women are "weaker." Define weaker! Is it who would win in a fistfight? Okay, then men have the advantage 90% of the time. Is it strength-to-weight ratio? Endurance? Then the picture is less clear. Agility? Then women have the edge.
      I don't really like it when other women go on about how men are stronger. In many cases that I know more personally (not you, Seraphic, but others) there's a strong undertone of "We are the GOOD women who accept how God made us. You others are unwomanly, and no man will ever want you." As a boxer, did you ever get this?
      I don't accept that version of reality. I have shown time and again that it isn't my reality.
      If you are ever back in Toronto, though, you can count on me to carry your bags :)

  6. YAY! Actually I have sad stories about my super-athletic days (and good ones too of course) but being so strong (back then) wasn't what made them sad!

    Debate is a good thing! I think we can talk about this more next week. The subjects of female strength and vulnerability are very interesting to me.


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