Wednesday, July 16, 2014

FACT: farm women are like muddy superheroes

A few of my friends have been posting about the “So God Made a Farmer” speech again. It got me thinking, while it is true that the majority of farmers are men where is the love for the women farmers and the farmer’s wives, and daughters? We are out there toiling away in the mud and muck too, ya know.

Seriously ladies. Farm women rock, and anyone that can have patience enough to keep dinner warm until an hour after dark o’clock deserves some accolades. I am convinced that Job has nothing on a farmer’s wife. My own father was late to his wedding because the cows got out, and mom had to wander around the pasture looking for him when her water broke because he was out fixing fence. True story. I was not almost born in a barn. It was definitely the back forty.

A rural life breeds a level of independence, self-reliance, patience, and empowerment that many of my feminist college professors would applaud.

There is just something about those times when you are left alone with all those animals or other responsibilities and Murphy’s law starts rearing its ugly head that makes for empowering moments. Is there a horse stuck under a hay feeder and no one else around? Yes, yes, you can grab two hooves and flip that sucker over so he can stand up before he dies. You've got this. Is the automatic waterer not working? Well, grab a tool kit because no one else is home this weekend and you are gonna find out how intuitive plumbing is whether you want to or not. Scared to death of driving a piece of large machinery? Tough luck buttercup. You’d better buck up, because it is nine o’clock at night and there is hay down and a storm on the way. Learn to drive that tractor on the fly. You are needed. You must rise to the occasion and freakin’ overcome lady.

And when you do? Well, you realize that there literally is no such thing as I can’t. You can do anything. Some things you may not like doing (ahem, mechanical maintenance), and some stuff that is easier with help from others (hello, fence building), but there is NOTHING that you can’t do when you put your mind to it.

That, that, is why farm women are awesome. We may bend to, or break from traditional gender roles; but when push comes to shove we know how to buckle down and just make things happen. I can roll out a made from scratch pie crust and cook a roast whilst washing dishes, and then step outside and perform “guy” jobs like mowing, or operating heavy machinery, or tend the livestock without missing a beat. Because I have had to stretch myself past my comfort zone, and because now I know that I can stretch that way I can't go back. And every farm woman I know can too, because we are amazing strong women and because we aren’t confined to a stereotype. We are, and can be what we want to be, who we are, and we are pushed to become even greater than we thought possible.

So while “God made a farmer”, he also made us. He did a pretty amazing job too, might I add. Pat yourself on the back. Even if you don’t see how awesome you are, someone else does and chances are they are either too intimidated to tell you, or think that you are so mind blowingly on top of this that you don’t need to hear it. But I know better, because I need to hear it too sometimes. For once don’t think of your failings, think of your successes, and feel free to be impressed!

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