So I'm at the gym, and I'm sitting there in my little machine feeling all buff and stuff as I rack up the weight load. Yeah, check me out: I'm repping and sweating and getting stronger by the second. Don't mess with ME, man! Look at those muscles! They're expanding under my skin like little Mount Everests. Hah! I wouldn't want to run into ME in a dark alley. I am woman! Hear me ro–
There is this guy sitting right in front of me whose biceps are the size of my head. And he's lifting weights whose poundage, I am quite sure, exceeds the legal limit. Behind him, the free-weights area is filled to the brim with dudes right out of the WWF. They're all tatooed and ripped and huge and ginormous and omiholycow whatamIdoinghere? If one of these guys falls on me I will look like a tube of toothpaste somebody stepped on.
The people who go to the gym at eleven o'clock at night are much larger than the ones who are there at five in the morning–when I usually try to go. And I have to say that as a girl, I am feeling intimidated and absolutely like the weaker sex. You don't want to run into me in a dark alley–not because of my bodacious muscularity, but because my shrieks of terror as you walk past will obliterate your eardrums. Serious auditory damage, people. You don't even have to threaten me.
When it comes right down to it no one can deny this fact, from the ever omniscient Wikipedia:
"On average, males are physically stronger than females. The differences in strength are due to females, on average, having less total muscle mass than males."
I was feeling pretty bummed about this as I put my youngest to bed, helped my second youngest find her track shoes for the next day, listened to a new song my second oldest was learning on the guitar, and texted my first born good night at her college dorm.
Then it hit me. Wait a minute! I am not weaker! Not by a long shot. I mean, look at this: I gave birth to FOUR human beings. FOUR (4). FOUR times, little people grew inside my body until they were the size of a Smart Car, forcing estrogen and testosterone to careen through my brain and other organs in epic quantities, along with every nutrient said babies required. Four times they leached calcium from my bones and teeth, and set milk glands roaring to life with such enthusiasm that several nations' food supply issues could have been solved had anyone known how to take advantage of it. And these babies packed enough extra poundage onto my body that by the end of the pregnancies I had completely lost my ability to turn sideways–as I no longer had a sideways.
THEN, my weaker-sex body flushed more hormones through itself, got its muscles all working in proper sequence, and ejected those kidlets from itself like a champion pitching machine. AFTERWHICH, I fed, bathed, diapered, clothed, nursed back to health, mentored, coached, taught, listened to, chauffeured, cooked for, laundered, cleaned, tutored, cheered-on, signed up, sat in meetings for, filled out forms for, volunteered, accompanied, taught to drive (by shrieking–which, I believe I have mentioned, I'm really good at), comforted, grounded, laughed with, tried not to laugh at, stood up for, waited up for, disciplined, spent sleepless nights over, did all the wrong things with, figured out the right things with, read a bazillion parenting books about, attended a bazillion parenting classes for, drove the longest way possible to answer a dance invitation with, and pushed on a swing–All. Four. Children. Plus I managed my husband's schedule, went camping when I didn't want to, and gave them all vitamins.
I am not weaker. I just don't need fat biceps to do all that.
Thank heavens. Now I can go to the gym with pride. And we won't even TALK about how a woman's brain is smaller than a man's because it is all densely packed with verbal skills, and multi-tasking skills, and shopping skills that men can only dream about.
Look out, boys. Woman of densely-packed people-building skills coming through. Don't let my dainty muscles intimidate you.