I am a strong and independent heterosexual woman. I work outside, I don’t shave my legs and I’ve never worn heels. I’ve always had a hard time shaking the unfair assumption that I’m a lesbian. Besides this general perception that seems to follow me, I am also unreasonably shy around guys. When a handsome woodsman comes around, all the “strong woman” stuff goes flying out the window. I’m not antisocial; I can lead a group of people fearlessly, but I can’t make eye contact with a cute lumberjack.
What can I do? I don’t want to play the dumb ditz, and I’m really not interested in shaving my legs. How do I turn down the cultural perceptions and turn up the romance I’m craving?
Dear Lumber Jackie,
Masculinity and femininity are societal constructs that, while oppressive and ridiculous, remain strong ideals in our culture. Sadly, women are not allowed to be masculine without being deemed a “tomboy” or “lesbian” — sometimes making heterosexual dating tricky for women who don’t act a certain way or have perfectly smooth skin on their legs, armpits and nether regions.
Your challenge, Lumber Jackie, is to forget all that. Despite society’s gender pitfalls, you will find plenty of lumberjacks on the hunt for a strong woman. Really, your only obstacle is yourself; it’s time to grow out of your shyness. You say you’re a leader, so act like it. The next time you spy a worthwhile woodsman, you don’t have to be “the perfect lady” — all you have to do is muster the gumption to say, “Hi.” If it’s meant to be, the conversation will roll from there.
Remember, you don’t have to be demure and ditzy to get a date — you just need to be confident in yourself.
No shaving cream required,