Interpretation by Nan Michaud
Week 2 : “Man’s World“ Yes, the poem for week number two of “The Book of She” is titled “Man’s World”. Accidental irony? Or just serendipity saying, ok, people, let’s cut to the chase.
In grade school I remember being told that, no, I couldn’t grow up and become “such and such” because “such and such” was a Man’s Job. (And PS: stop eating ice cream because you’re a girl and it’s bad for your figure.) I wonder how many of you have had a similar experience? Or how many of you continue to experience this fixed form of titling on a daily basis in your careers, or in your volunteer work, or even at home?
Are girls expected to do the house cleaning while boys mow the lawn? If you grew up in my 1980’s household, the answer to that question was, You bet your arse. But I’ve left all that behind. Now I clean the house AND mow the lawn. When do we start learning these gender distinctions? When did you? And how long do we hang on to them? Which ones do we quietly embrace and which ones do we openly reject—perhaps with outrage?
When I wrote (and finally finished) this poem it made me laugh. It still does because I think to myself, Pfffft, what a bunch of BS.
Still, the struggle is a reality. And it haunts me. Us.