Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Down and Dirty

I have an article in the current issue of Bicycle Victoria's Ride On magazine. It's for a section called Women's Spin, aimed at raising the profile of cycling among women.

This is the photo of our chook Louie that accompanies my words:

The gist of the article is that when I lived in Melbourne, I considered feminine to mean unruffled, neat and delicate. "If I could have sat side-saddle on my bike I would have."

But now that I live in the country where I grow vegies and keep chooks, you will often see me pedalling around in my dirty gardening clothes. "In the city I would check myself in the mirror before going out in public, but now I wear my soil-covered clothes and straw-filled hair like a flag I wave proudly to proclaim who I am."

I hadn't thought twice about it, until yesterday afternoon when Z and I were talking about the men and machines that have been working opposite our house for the last week. It has rained every day that they've been there and I commented to Z that I would much rather be warm and dry and working from home than drenched and cold and slipping around in the mud.

'But don't you like getting dirty?' Z asked me, stunned. And that’s when I realised that although I love the dirt and may even define myself by that love, I can't actually say that I like getting dirty. Not in the same way that a seven year-old boy can, anyway.


Anonymous said...

Thanx for this post Meg..... I have been feeling a little down about my lack of femininity lately. you hae definitely cheered me up.

Meg said...

I was thinking about you when I was writing this, MLI! How a woman's relationship to dirt changes when she grows vegies and has sons. xx

Feronia said...

Thanks for the post, Meg. This is a really interesting topic and one I've been thinking about lately too - how do we define femininity? Even in our apparently enlightened age, the answers can be alamring!

m.e (Cathie) said...

thanks Meg, it's true about living in the city & feeling like you need to be neat & delicate.
As for the girls of today, I look at other people's little girls and then look at mine & I LOVE that she doesn't live in a sterile environment & doesn't care if she is surrounded by chook poo or mud and loves digging in the veggie patch, because I want her to know that she still is a girl & femine nonetheless.

Meg said...

Cathie, that's great! Your daughter is sure to grow up with a balanced sense of self. Unlike some city kids whose parents are having to give them dirt pills to ensure they get some healthy bacteria into their systems that they missed out on growing up in sterile environments.

I read that the pills are a new treatment for asthma.

Umatji said...

Great post - now that I am outnumbered 3 to 1 by my men I have been thinking about femininity - do I have to ramp it up 3x???