To me, this picture represents a failure of feminism. Why?
Perception is everything.
Two potential captions for this picture:
Option 1. Strong, independent women—proud of their strength and certainly not looking for men to rescue them—carry 300 lb. cooler full of ice and beer 200-meters down the beach
Option 2. Physically strong, but still self-conscious women, get blisters and rip their hands carrying 300 lb. cooler 200-meters down the beach, as their dozen male friends—playing spike ball and drinking beer—watch them struggle and yell at them to, “Pick up the pace, ladies, and bring us our beer!”
While I can’t speak for the girl on the left, as the girl on the right I would say the second caption is more accurate.
While I was definitely amused, and not actually offended, by my male friends razzing us to move faster with their beer, the picture is a metaphor for something bigger I believe has happened: Men are confused what to do. They're scared to help competent, capable women for fear of offending them.
I asked two of the spike-ball playing, beer-drinking men why they didn’t run over to us and lend a hand like the gentlemen I thought they were.
“I didn’t want to piss you off. You’re stronger than I am,” said one.
“Isn’t that why you do CrossFit?” asked the other. “So you don’t need men to carry heavy shit for you?”
It’s true: I like being strong. I enjoy being able to carry 8 bags of groceries up 10 flights of stairs. And I enjoy being a useful human being on moving day.
But do I, and other strong girls I know, still enjoy a man stepping up and offering a helping hand? Heck yes!