Although I grew up in what was historically a male-dominated world, I was lucky enough to never really experience chauvinism on any grand scale. I come from a family of very strong, very handy, capable gals and it never occurred to me that it wasn’t the norm everywhere for women to take the lead in any given situation. Of course today isn’t uncommon or unusual at all…women are running ranches, starting colts, featured in western magazines, riding broncs, cowboying on outfits, experts in agriculture, and they’re doing pretty much everything else that had been conventionally done by men and being recognized for it. It’s an awesome thing. But something I’ve noticed is that, even though it’s now widely accepted that we are just as able and competent as our cowBOY counterparts, we still get a lot of flak for being GIRLS.
Sure, we can trot out with the guys in the morning and work alongside them all day long, but if we take a few minutes to swipe on some eyeliner beforehand, we get shit for it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been heckled when I show up somewhere with my pink spurs on my boots, pink gloss on my lips, and pink nail polish on my fingers. Now, I’m not the type to get up two hours early to put on a full face of makeup before I go out to roll around in the cow shit, but I do like to remind everyone that I am still a lady and can be feminine without being any less tough.
I LOVE being a GIRL. I never leave the house without earrings on. My neck rags smell like Victoria’s Secret vanilla and orchid body mist. I keep a tube of lip gloss in my duck coat pocket. And though my hands are scarred up, my nails are ALWAYS painted…even if that polish is chipped 99 percent of the time. I like to soak in long bubble baths with pretty-smelling candles burning at the end of a long day, and I like to doll up, curl my hair, and pile on the bling for a night on the town. I don’t like to be told how to ride or horse and I don’t need to be babysat pushing a herd, but I do like to be led around the dance floor. I can drive just about anything and in pretty much any weather, but I like when a man comes to pick me up for a date. I don’t need him to saddle my horse, but it is nice when a guy holds a door open for me. I don’t think it makes me weak…I think it means I have class.
I don’t think we’ll ever hear the end of it from our buckaroos about our girlish ways (and I know we dish out as much as we take in good humor), but that makes no difference to me. My tack and gear will always coordinate, I’ll always take a few extra minutes in the morning to moisturize and spritz on perfume, and I’ll just wink when one of the boys makes a joke about my mascara’d eyes when I climb in the pickup to go feed, because I’ll know he’s paying attention ;)