I have always been a tomboy. When I was growing up on a farm, we had soft sand to play on, so tackle football was one of the things I could do without injury. Running around the acreage also was good, and climbing tall walnut trees a must!
I got to dig holes, make forts, wander every one elses’ orchards freely, and fish in the sloughs.
Once I had my trusty .22 rifle and spooked a jack rabbit, but could not shoot, because our dog got in the way. I was pretty good at a bow and arrow, but had to substitute targets of flowers instead of birds. The one time I shot a bird out of a tree, I felt awful about it.
The thing about being female in the 1950’s was that we were not allowed to do anything like get a job in the fields. It was just as well, as stoop labor did not pay.
My girl friend who did get a low paying job harvesting almonds was always thinking about the toughness of it and waiting for the day and season to end.
My brothers got to do things like go off to camp, march in a city band, get preferential treatment for college, praise for playing musical instruments, and in general being valued more than myself, simply because I was not a boy.
After my mom became ill, I was expected to do the family cooking, laundry, and weed the gardens. i also raised hogs for a Four H project, but that was gender neutral.
Now that we have national and International recognition for women, I look back and see that the mind of a woman who wants to be a male, can learn just as much as anyone.
As an adult I took flying lessons and rejoiced at the fact that women could become airline pilots. I was taught that the aircraft cannot tell the difference between genders of the person at the controls.
I am looking forward to celebrating the International Women’s Day on March 8.