I love the “Because I am a girl” media campaign. It is a campaign based on the slogan that Girls’s Rights are Human Rights and works to empower girls to break the cycle of poverty that affects so many families. This campaign recognizes that women, more particularly mothers, will not only better themselves if given the opportunity, but they will bring their children along with them on the journey to a better life. Conversely, and sadly, in developing countries, men just look out for themselves. Women – selfless. Men – selfish.
I have long been a supporter of the Because I am a Girl cause. Being a girl in a developing country takes on a whole different dynamic than being a girl in a country as blessed as Canada. Because I am a Girl in Canada……..has a whole different tone.
Because I am a girl…… I was not supposed to become a surveyor. The surveying world, when I entered it, was the exclusive domain of what I like to refer to as the old boys. Girls were not welcome. But the times, they are a-slowly changin’, and today more and more woman are discovering that they too can be one of the boys. Sure, I still hear my co-workers try to explain to clients that they were not talking to the receptionist – that girl is an Ontario Land Surveyor and she is the president of this company. I still have to work harder than any man ever would to prove that I am competent and dependable. I still have to sit in a room full of my colleagues who will address the room as “Gentlemen”. Because I am a girl.
Because I am a girl, I have the privilege of ensuring mankind does not cease to exist. I get to bear children! This is, I am sure, the envy of every man out there. I have twice gotten to experience the thrill of childbirth. It is a right of passage into motherhood that binds all of us mothers together. And, with my youngest, I was thrilled to have the experience “au natural”. Yup – got to the hospital too late for any kind of pain assistance. And why was I a little late getting to the hospital, you ask. Could it be that I had to wait on my hubby, who actually did wonder if I should just drive myself….. he is still alive today, only because the son he so willingly donated his Y chromosome to, melted my heart at first glance. But let’s get back to this privilege granted to me based on my own double X status. There really is nothing in the male world that will offer any comparison to childbirth on the pain scale. They would like us to believe that passing a kidney stone is equal. What? This tiny stone? Even a small newborn weighs in at 6 pounds and has these arms and legs flopping about. Kidney stones – best give this one to the gals. Truth be told, we like to tell the horror stories of childbirth, loud enough that all our men will know that they are inferior on this stand. I hear men bragging about the time they broke their arm and did not even go the hospital until the next day – or how that stepped on a nail – went right through my boot it did. Ha. You got nothing on your wife – she is the real “man” when it comes to pain. I have had my body kidnapped by a fetus for a total of 18 months, culminating with 2 opportunities to “stretch” the limits of human suffering……all because I am a girl.
Because I am a girl, those same hormones that allowed me the joys of childbirth, also allow me to further test the limits of discomfort in the menopausal years. I have already spoken about my displeasure with this inevitable process. One thing that really bothers me every time I say the word “menopausal” is that even the word is unfair. MENopause. Just pisses me off. This is a WOMAN thing!! And to better understand the whole woman thing, check out this lovely poster that needs three columns to get through the symptoms. 3 Columns!
Holy crap. 34 symptoms….. because I am a girl. Irritability….. really!?! Fatigue….no shit geniuss. Weight gain…….. fan-friggin-tastic. Mood swings…… step closer and I’ll show you mood swings. Changes in odor…… gives me something to look forward to. Memory lapses….. I keep forgetting that one. Joint pain……. a nice addition when you are trying to drop a few of those unwanted pounds. Sounds to me like this is going to offer a lot of content for my blog over the next months and years. And all….. because I am a girl.
Because I am a girl…. I am going to focus on just one of these new symptoms. I did write earlier about the dreaded HOT FLASH, but it’s just a warm up for the NIGHT SWEATS. I have been pretty lucky so far – with this being just a recent addition to my ever lengthening list. The nights sweats are pretty much just that – a hot flash that does not know when to stop. You wake up with the usual hot flash, and some times it even pretends to end. But it will not end until you have lost every shred of sanity and have soaked through every piece of clothing you own. I spent a great deal of my life working out, so I know what it is like to work up a good sweat. It feels uncomfortable but healthy. These night sweats are nothing like that. The sweats continue long after the hot flash is over – like a cold sweat – followed by another hot flash , and more cold sweat, each cycle leaving you less able to deal with the next unrelenting hot flash. There is no winning. I want to reach out and hug my hubby through it all – after all it is MENopause related, so obviously his fault. But one of us must stay sane for the children. Even in the depths of agony and unrelenting forces, I will still put the children first. Because I am a god damn girl.