How a role of a girl/woman changes so many times and society expects us to be the best at it all

I am proud to be a woman and I have written about it time and time again. But I know it is a male dominated society whether you live in the east or the west. If you are from the east or live in the east, you may experience the gender difference everyday but living in the west is not too different either.

In a developed society like Australia, we always read and discuss about gender pay gap and other issues which are basically making women’s position less valuable than men.

From the day girls are born, they are taught to play with dolls so they can be a good mum one day and I really like this photo because it is true too.

We really need boys to be a good father in the future for sure. But let’s not start a gender war in this post, instead I want to share my personal journey as a woman and how expectations build up as you acquire new roles as a girl/woman.

Like so many of our parents, education was on the top of the list for my parents so both me and my brother didn’t have to do much household work and instead were encouraged to concentrate on our studies. My parents never thought to train me to be someone’s DIL from the beginning and I am thankful to their view. When I first came to Australia and made my first ever chicken curry, it turned into a chicken soup. Let’s not even talk about the taste. Anyway, as you know I have improved a lot from then :).

Wedding Ceremony

But then I got married and became a wife and a DIL and I suddenly I needed to know how to be a good wife doing cleaning, cooking and looking after my husband. And why don’t men to do the same for their wife when they get married, there is definitely a double standard to that.

I thought the west would be different in this context but to my surprise it is the same story in most western households as well.

I am thankful that I have got a very understanding husband who helps me in every step of my life. But a society expecting a girl to be a perfect wife and DIL overnight because just she got married is so unfair and puts too much pressure on a girl/woman. This is the story of most of the people living in Nepalese society and many others too.

I really don’t understand that even though a woman does the same amount of work outside the home, she is still expected to come home and fix the dinner, clean the house and look after all the other chores while men can come home and rest because they are tired. I am sure it worked in the past as men were the bread winners and women stayed home but in these modern days where both partners work full time jobs, the same expectation is definitely unfair.

Instead we should be training our sons to look after themselves and do house hold chores so they can take equal in responsibilities along with their wives. Men should not be helping to do household chores but they should be doing them. This will make sure that the relation goes smooth without any hurdles.

If a woman wants to look after their partner that is her individual choice but don’t expect a girl to be a woman overnight just because she gets married.

The same goes when a woman has a baby. Yes, she with her HUSBAND decided to bring a baby into this world. But do not expect her to be a Super mum as soon as a baby arrives in this world. No one knows what to do the first time, we all learn in the process. So why is it a mum’s fault if a child does something naughty? Why can’t be it be the dad’s fault if you really want to point fingers at someone?

Chhori (3)

I love the changing roles we have as a daughter/sister/wife/DIL/mum but I hate the expectations that come with it. And I feel boys/men have to live up to less expectation than for girls/women.

Do you feel the same way? Do you think the society expects too much from girls/women compared to boys/men?

Take care everyone,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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15 responses to “How a role of a girl/woman changes so many times and society expects us to be the best at it all

  1. My father is the one who cooks, whether for big parties or everyday meals, even to this day. My mother would be the first to acknowledge that my father is the better cook. So I grew up in a Southeast Asian household without gender-specific expectations.

    This was definitely not the case outside of our home. And for this, I will speak of the other side. There was a time when my father was in between jobs, so my mother was the one who worked, and my father stayed at home to cook and send us to school, etc. While this was ok with us, it definitely lowered my father’s self esteem. He had to suffer through society’s expectations of him to be the provider, but here he was doing household chores.

    Women are not the only ones who feel pressured that they have up to live up to something. Men do too.

    • I have to say that you are so blessed to have a family like that. I am so sorry to hear about your father. I do understand that men who does housework and look after the family is looked down upon in Asian society. I hope it will change for everyone in future as it is such a beautiful way of sharing everything with your partner.

  2. Great post, nepaliaustralian! I have seen subtle gender based discrimination (maybe prejudices is a more appropriate word..) in Europe as well. More so in Poland than in Finland, among the two countries I have lived in. But according to a recent statistics, Poland has one of the least gender pay gap in Europe.

    I have to say that the women’s position here is light years ahead than the ordinary Nepali women. We have so much to overcome to reach to the level of Western women (although it’s not perfect like you suggested). I am glad that your husband is a true partner in everything; including household chores. It is unfair that most societies around the world still expect women to tend to child care and tiring household chores PLUS earning money as a man outside home. Double standards.

    • Well said, Pooja. I am with you all the way.

      Anthony Dai

    • When I was in Nepal, I thought, in west there will be no gender bias so was so happy when I finally got visa to come to Australia. But alas, my dream was shattered in thousand pieces when I discovered that it was not the case. Of course it is not as bad as it is in Nepal but defiantly there is no gender equality in many aspects. I hope when Chhori grows up, she will get to live in different society than this.

  3. Such an insightful post with so much substance. Yes, the double standard also frustrates me. I’m blessed to have a very feminist husband and a father-in-law who lets me truly be who I am. I agree that there is a lot more stress on women by society than there is for man. CEO of Pepsi once wrote an article saying, “women cannot have it all,” referring to the fact as a South Asian woman, that even as a CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation, once she stepped into the house she was mother, daughter, wife. I have so much respect for stay-at-home and working Mums, even more so after becoming a mother myself.

    Almost all Asian cultures prefer sons. Gender inequality in Nepal stems even before birth. It’s the reason why Nepalese, in blessings say, “may you have two sons and a daughter.” When a daughter is married off, she then belongs to another family. Whereas the son will later on be the caretaker for the elderly parents. Nowadays in more educated families, it’s getting easier for some. My family has always said “Chhori ta ghar ko Laxmi ho.” Daughters are like the goddess Lakshmi, bestowing blessings of abundance. Yet for many, the old stigmata remains. I know women who have gotten married and the next morning had to partake in house duties! It’s absurd. I’m glad to say I’ve never been put in that position.

    Overall, I’m glad to say I have a true partner as my husband and I trade off on house and baby duties. I think the change starts in everyone’s own house. I also have a son, and he’s about your chhori’s age. I plan to start with him – teaching him the value of cooking, cleaning, and helping around the house. I will try to break the cycle starting with him! Wish me luck. 🙂

    • First of all I have to say, I am so happy to find your blog :).

      It is definitely a blessing to have a open minded family as you need to deal with them every day. My husband is hands on partner who does everything including house hold chores and looking after our daughter.
      I am definitely going to teach Chhori that every gender needs to do their share in life which means she is expected to help me and her dad round the house with the chores and she can expect the same once she meet a man of her dream one day. If I have son one day I will teach him the same values as well so he can respect the equal gender concept.

      I am so glad you are already planning to break the cycle with a son and if more mum will do that we don’t even have to talk about this issue at all.
      Nepali society is slowly changing but it won’t be what I want to be in my life time. But we can start the change and hope it will make a difference in future.

      • Likewise, I am happy to find your blog! Please continue to share your adventures, it’s truly fun to read. I’ll be sharing my Nepali-American-British adventures too! 🙂

  4. Good post, and recognizable. I must say I’ve always guarded my personal boundaries well. I’m a working mom too, we both work. And though I do certain chores extra, he does other chores as well. That’s not to say I don’t recognize the difference in expectations. Having a husband who is willing to be equal partners helps!

    • We are so lucky that our partners are so hands on. Wish I could say the same for millions of women in Nepali society where they work outside and come home to do more work while their husband (and family if there are) just relaxes, watch tv and chit chat until dinner is ready.

  5. I don’t really know how others are doing it but in our household I do most of the chores such as cleaning and more often than not also cooking besides getting Nathan ready each morning and getting him too sleep as well.
    It might be because I grew up seeing my dad helping out with several chores each week even though he is from a much older generation (75years old now..)

    • That is so nice that you are helping your wife in every aspect of life. You should see how men do nothing and expect everything to be ready in Nepali society. Keep being the example for Nathan so one lucky woman will not complain about these stuffs in future.

      • There are also man like that here in Germany who just come home and expect everything to be ready but it is slowly getting less. I guess it will also. Change slowly in Nepal with the upcoming generations 🙂

  6. Commenting on this one could be dangerous territory but briefly I have always been a good allrounder and able to do anything outside or inside the home. Whether I enjoy the work at home is a different matter though. I hate cooking most of all but at the moment I have to do it. I do make a good chicken curry I think although I hate handling the raw meat.

    I’d say that women were worse off in Nepal than in Europe and do far more than their fair share of work. While the men are chatting and smoking with their friends in the sunshine or playing cards or having a drink.the wives will be busy cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, doing the shopping, carrying the heavy loads, growing the vegetables and much more.

    • As you have mentioned, men in Nepal are regarded as privileged gender and that piss me so much. How can a baby from birth be separated like that. I am definitely going to teach my kids that every gender is equal and everyone must do their share of household work as well as outside ones.

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