This is what hiking does to me. I start thinking.
I just returned to the motherland after 4 days/3 nights of hiking in the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. I backpacked with 35 lbs on my back, over treacherous terrain with the possibility of falling into the canyon due to the narrow, unmaintained paths. After we finished, we headed to Vegas for some R&R and see to Cirque de Solei and some good grub.
Honestly, I hated Vegas. It was a completely different world from the Grand Canyon. It’s like, let’s compare God’s creation to manmade plastic structures designed to mimic buildings (again manmade) in ancient Greece, Paris, and New York. Or, better yet, let’s take several different vices, including gambling, prostitution, and flat out stupor-drunkeness and smash them together in one city.
Like I said, hated it.
Where I could be free on the trail, talk how I wanted, look how I wanted (including wearing the same shirt for 4 days), Vegas was the total opposite. I felt almost peer pressured into dressing up, wearing makeup, speaking succinctly (hard to hide the Texas drawl sometimes), etc.
And now, I emerge from this experience with some new thoughts. Well, ok, not new, per say, but refreshed.
If you know me in person, you know I am a minor feminist. Meaning, I’m not a bra burner, but I am aware of women’s rights and how far we’ve come. I’ve read the Feminine Mystique as “recreational” reading and it had a huge impact on me. That said, I pose a question for you:
What is femininity? How is it defined?
Is it by the length of our hair? Whether we’ve shaved our legs/not? Done the laundry? Birthed children? Made dinner? Or maybe it’s our strength, our honesty, down to earthed-ness, and compassion.
Or is it our versatility to do all of the above?
I was inspired by this thought in part to a blog post by Cassandra Forsythe’s post, What is a Beautiful Female Body? and Some Women Think Biceps Are Gross. She writes about how a woman in her boot camp class fears the “bump” growing on her upper arm, i.e. her growing biceps.
As a female, future Registered Dietitian, workout enthusiast, former athlete, and now Grand Canyon Conqueror, this question begs for some contemplation.
I pose to you the same question that I keep thinking…to you, what is femininity?