Every time I visit Hobby Lobby or Michales’ I couldn’t help but notice that they are predominantly female focused stores. Go through their posters and you will find that 70% are flowers or buildings with plants, the other 22% are couples kissing, women dancing, cute animals or something similarly gay. It is so hard to find a simple piece of abstract or realism. Where is a guy suppose go do his art shopping?! Especially if he is poor like me.
Then these women shopping there, who are basically 99% of their clientele, smile at you with these meaningful smirks. As if they approve of you for daring to look through their domain. I mean whats’ so freakin hard about decoration?? I would argue that Forest Gump can do it if given someone else’s credit card. I don’t need their approval and they can keep their smiles to themselves
While I am at the subject of shopping, let me also say that I hate all these big clothing corporations for making big bucks out of someone else’s sweat when the poor labors earn less than a dollar for a shirt they sell for fifty. But mostly I hate them for not making odd sized waists and X.5 shoes. Does their capitalist, blood sucking brains can’t get the fact that there are people who aren’t even? I bet God loves odd!
When we are not married, the whole idea about marriage is to find someone to love, care for and be taken care of. Once we do find that someone, it is all about getting married. Frustrated and desperate we sigh and moan and long to be together with the loved one. We are disillusioned into believing that once we are married, living with our loved one, sharing a house, a roof, a room, somehow everything will be fine. We believe it will be like the fairy tales of living happily ever after.
Without sounding too sexist, I must admit that it is women who generally hold such beliefs. I hope it is not the popular mass media & movies from India that emphasize so much on the pre-marriage aspect of life. But it is true that Indians and Pakistanis trick their youth in believing that somehow the wedding day is the pinnacle of happy life and life after that is all rosy and smooth. It could be said the same thing about Western Culture
As a matter of fact, married life is about adjusting to live with another individual and at times with another family. It is about learning to sleep while the other snores, to realize that blue is not everyone’s favorite color and that curtains are a good investment. It is about figuring out who will make the bed in the morning, walk the dog or do the laundry or vacuum the floor and how often & at what time. It is about mood swings, remembering the little things about the other, fights over remote, cleaning the bathrooms and about where to go and when. It is about grocery shopping, budget, paying the bills and being expected to act all mature, responsible and diplomatic.
And then … your first child is born.
It doesn’t matter if you are born here or there, have a brown skin or white. Girls aren’t the first choice. They might be better than nothing but certainly not the first choice.
My cousin had a baby daughter. His elder brother has two daughters. I heard about it 3 days late. It reminds me when one of my aunties had the 5th daughter born and I came to know about it when I went to their house four five months after her birth. It was heart wrenching.
What is it in the girls that we don’t like? Are we afraid they might turn out of be sluts or are they so much of a financial burden? Are they generally more disobedient or do they change our way of life too much?
When I say that girls aren’t the first choice in any culture, I base it on the comments I received from friends when they hear that I’d prefer to have a daughter first than a son: From “Wait till she turns 13” and “Do you own a baseball bat for all her boyfriends” to “Boys are easy to manage”. Every culture has its own biases against girls, just different forms of fears.
“B” has a 14-year-old son, she shares with great joy his girlfriend stories. “C” has a 12-year-old daughter, she is dreading that she will demand to be dating soon.
He/She is so nice to the whole world but not so nice to me. I have heard this many times from people about their spouses, parents, siblings and friends. Probably justified in some cases and probably not in others. I mean I can even recall days when I am mad at something, thus all grumpy at home but if some stranger knocks on the door I put up a smiling face. Or I would be frowning and quiet yet if a friend from out-of-town calls me, I am all cheery for the time being.
Part of it is that we are seeking some comfort and knowing that if the people who care would notice our bad mood, maybe we will get some sympathy. But it’s not always the case. Sometime we are mad at those whom we can be mad at. For example, we should be mad at ourselves for being in a bad financial position but instead we take it out on our kids. I have seen that happen, where someone’s ego got trashed in a party and she immediately takes it out on her own family.
The other part of it is that we have different expectations from different people. Our relationships define how we react to someone else. Like, we might pat the back of our friends’ son for graduating but we want our own to be summa cum laude. But the son probably thinks that his Dad like everyone better than him. Ok, so I must confess that my whole early teen years I always thought that my parents like every other kid on the block, my cousins etc. better than me. I felt it was so hard to make them happy. But then I realised I am no different. I consider everyone else’s parents to be so cool just because they are nice to me when I see them but they wouldn’t be the same if I were their son.
It is natural to get something ‘out of our system’ if that something is bothering us. We all do it, in one way or another. Be it punching bags at the gym or eating the hefty favorite chocolate, or staying on the phone for hours pouring our heart out. Though, there needs to be a balance in this practice among the different forms. Just like eating too much of the ice-cream in depression is not good for our health, pouring our heart out constantly isn’t good for our soul.
I have come to realize that the men in my family are extra ordinarily mute. They are brought up to believe that if they crumble, everyone will follow. If they show the slightest sign of weakness, the family will slip through the cracks. Declaring their helplessness is surrendering & a tough solider never surrenders. Women on the other hand are eager to give up & take the option of the safety net. Willing to share every aspect of their problems even if they are self-induced.
This is not only the immediate family but my whole and my conclusions are based on my own self struggle to break out of this traditional cycle. Constantly reminding myself that I don’t need to follow in the foot steps of my elders.
If someone sits with my mother, she will tell you her life story in an hour. I have driven with my brother for hours in silence. I get a headache from all the talking if I drive the same amount with my cousin sisters.
I wish both sides would come to the center. Yeah maybe become normal.
Often my acquaintances and friends (mostly women) call/e-mail me upset about something, either work, home, family etc. It almost feels like second nature to me that they need to share. I am fine with that. I avoid if they are having martial difficulties as I consider this to be a tip of the ice berg. You are adult, work your way out of it. Now, why do they call me that I have no idea about it but I guess it could be because I accept people for who they are and I am in communication with them in one way or other. Similarly, when I call Mom, I get to know not only what problems my relatives facing these days but also what they are going through. While I get anxious about it (that’s when my caring nature kicks in), I understand where they are coming from. Sharing their problems with me would mean they are admitting defeat, looking for helpers or confessing they don’t know how to handle them. Among friends and cousins is not the same but generally speaking there is a difference among sexes.
I can probably go on but I am sure you got the idea.
In our daily lives we face challenges of all kinds. Some as daunting as working towards world peace, propagation of true religion or social justice, while others not so great ones like how to deal with our rowdy boss or manage our finances etc. I am going to go out an a limb here and say that often a woman’s reaction to a challenge is to find helpers while a man either ignores the problem or find ways to deal with it solo. Yes, yes I know we humans are too complex to be differentiated among sexes with a fine line.
Looking at toddlers its easy to notice that in any situation of distress like when they hit their head on a table or another kids steals their toys they immediately protest and look around for comforting gestures, usually from adults they trust. Between boys and girls, it’s almost an indistinguishable trait. Though, among adults a similar situation like how to deal with your grouchy boss is very different. A guy would love to punch him in the face and then go brag about it among his friends, while a women would scheme against the boss, find people of similar graveness and then harm him indirectly.
Which leads me to believe that women in general are great in communication, have skills that enable them to better live in a community and less prone to knee jerk reactions. Though the flip side is that they are not independent and are always looking for friendly shoulders and in some cases a shining armor to save their day. I will go further out on the limb and say that a large part of this difference is due to nurture and not nature.