This weekend, I helped two of my friends move. They had just bought a house and needed people to help them get boxes upon boxes of stuff into a moving van in the driveway.
As one of three girls who were helping, I got asked if I needed help more times than I would have liked. Whether I was bending down to pick up a box, or if I already had it in my hands, someone always seemed to swoop in and ask me if I needed help carrying it.
In fact, at one point, I was carrying a coffee table up a flight of stairs when one particular individual stood at the bottom of the stairs telling me that I “shouldn’t be lifting that”.
I understand that the people asking mean well. It’s not typical or common to see a girl who is able to pick up heavy things, or even willing to try for that matter. In fact, when I got frustrated at one of the guys, my friend responded with “he’s just trying to help”.
To me, helping would be to grab another box and to load it into the truck. Standing next to me asking questions while I’m trying to carry something heavy is actually the opposite of helping, it’s hurting.
My frustrations with this day brought up a lot of questions. Why do people believe that it is okay to assert the stereotype that women are weak, even when they repeatedly assure them that they are not?
My strength is a source of serious pride, and not one that I ever want someone to question. If you wouldn’t question a guy of equal size and stature about their strength, why is it okay to question mine?
The answer is it’s not. If I’m not questioning it, neither should you.