16
Sep
06

On Gender and Double Standards

This drives me absolutely nuts.

Gender should not dictate life choices or societal expectations.

Future housefrau Dr. Paul talks about how things haven’t changed. Very true. Househusbands are still very much a rarity.

I do have friends who think that university is just a place to find a husband. Doug‘s met a woman like this before. And, to be fair, I wouldn’t mind, if the guy’s rich. LOL.

The specific point Paul mentioned was that it’s fine, even normal, for a woman to feel that way. But if a man says the same thing…He’s not considered a real man.

A man doesn’t knit or cross-stitch or do any similar crafty stuff. He should be in the garage, tuning his sexy sportscar.

On the other hand, if a woman’s in the garage, tuning her sexy sportscar…People think, “Wow! What an independent woman!” She’s taken a huge step forward for feminism!
Karin brings up a different kind of double standards: Parents treat daughters differently from sons.

They definitely do. It’s the whole “One penis vs a whole world of penises” issue, like Elisabeth said.

What it all boils down to is that I’m an adult with rather less freedom than her younger by three years brother.

Understand, it’s by choice that I don’t date. I’ve 2 brothers and dozens of boy cousins around my age and older. I believe that boys are only good for carrying shopping bags until they reach their early twenties. By nature, I’m not a partier either.

Nor is it that I’m not allowed out the house. I am. My parents just insist on finding out who I’m with, where I’m going and what time I’ll be back before I leave the house. My brother leaves the house, grabs his bike and cycles a couple of kilometers away to his pal’s place and comes home whenever.

They pick me up from school, whereas my brothers, including the youngest who’s 6 years younger than me, return home on their own.

I can live with that, because I know I’m leaving. That is my endgame, and that’s what I’m playing for.

That said, I’m relatively lucky.

I’ve girlfriends whose parents spend tens of thousands of dollars to send them overseas to study.

This girl, we’ll call her R, is super-smart. She regularly tops the maths and physics classes. She wants to become an engineer.

What’s wrong with that? I say nothing. You’d probably say the same thing. In fact, if you don’t, this probably isn’t a blog you want to read.

Her parents say that it’s not a career that suitable for a girl. They want her to become a teacher because it’s ‘suitable for a girl.’

WTF? You are paying soooo much for her study in a good school, and when she wants to become an engineer, you decide that she should be a teacher instead?

This are Asian parents you’re talking about. Money Money Money. Engineers earn more than teachers! And it’s not like she wants to become an artist.

Sometimes people really fuck with my head.


7 Responses to “On Gender and Double Standards”


  1. September 16, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    My wife (Japanese) has one sister, one brother. Her parents always treated her brother preferentially even while spouting the “oh we all love you the same” bullshit. Worse yet, he really doesn’t deserve preferential treatment. This is the guy who, when my wife developed MS, told her how fortunate it was that she got it rather than him, since he’s so athletic & would thus be far more devastated by the condition.

    My high school girlfriend (Chinese) has 4 sisters. Not particularly pertinent to your discussion, but it was remarkable how radically different the parents treated each girl. For one, they paid for her to go to UCLA. One they threw out of the house (for no really good reason, when you get right down to it). My gf essentially had to pay her own way through school. And, once again, the whole time they’re getting the “we love you all the same” routine (except the one who got tossed out).

    The male son thing is definitely an ethnic phenom, I think, since I’ve seen “first Asian male syndrome” so many times I believe it really exists. That’s not to say you don’t get the same phenomenon in other cultures, of course.

  2. September 16, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    May, I hope your friend takes engineering classes, no matter what her parents say. As for Doug’s bil, what an asshole. If my brother said anything like that, he wouldn’t be welcome in my house anymore.

  3. September 16, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your good wishes. I appreciate it!

  4. September 16, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    Loved, Elizabeth’s take. And while there was a double standard in my house, we never gave one gender/or child prefential treatment.
    Equal pay for equal child.

  5. September 17, 2006 at 6:17 am

    I always figured I’d be the kind of parent who would have no trouble treating them equally. Not so. One is well behaved, the other not. ONe gets punished more because of it. I have no idea if that’s because boys are supposed to rebel.

    Alice

  6. September 17, 2006 at 7:56 am

    My parents — at least my mother — treated me differently than my brother. It’s not that she liked one more than the other, but different expectations. I just had more to fulfill than him and that made me resentful for a while.

  7. September 17, 2006 at 10:22 am

    Ah. Double standards. Just hope we’re not guilty of the same in the future :)


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