A male friend of mine
who would kill me if I used his real name on here who shall remain nameless likes to call me a man hater. Teases me about my “higher education” and bossiness. What can I say. I’ve been very lucky to get some good education (even from the Catholics – thank god for the Jesuits.); and yeah, I’m kinda bossy (only because sh*t needs to get done). BUT, I’m not a man hater. Never have been, never will be.
I’m not June cleaver, but I could be. Find me a man who can make enough money to support me and my lifestyle and I’ll be happy to cook you a few meals and have a drink ready for you when you get home.
When I lived in Samoa, “dated” in Samoa and eventually got married in Samoa, it was a lot different than it would have been in the US. While it is complicated no matter where you were, I actually found it refreshing at times to fall into a more “traditional” gender role (gasp!). Maybe because things seemed more equitable there than in the US. Boys are taught to cook from a young age (at least in terms of the umu and the saka), they do the heavier housework (at least my ex did) and I enjoyed cooking in the evenings (what else was I gonna do when I got home from work)?!
So this discussion today with my man-friend got me wondering about things in Tanzania in terms of gender. I remember being young and dumb and a feminist and heading off to Samoa thinking I knew a lot (now I’m just old and dumb and a feminist) about how things should be. Notsomuch.
So, I’m hopeful with this trip, that I’ll be a lot more open-minded…. or at least I’ll try. I was doing some research today and came across this site, and the UNFPA’s site in Tanzania in order to get a better idea of the issues. Things like FGM, “development,” HIV/AIDS are all pretty darn complicated… I’ve got opinions on all of them, but maybe I’ll save those for some later posts. What I do know, is that Tanzania has signed CEDAW, and the US still hasn’t gotten around to that…
Thoughts? Gender roles for you at home? Abroad? Better/worse than the US? Talk to me people!!