Where Do We Stand?
Pleasing Your Significant Other
I cook, I clean, I do the dishes and laundry, I make the bed, I vacuum the floors... I am not a maid! I am a woman. Growing up, I was told that these were my duties. My father always said, " Rose someday you will be a mother, and you will have to take care of a family." he told me -every time I tried to rebel from my chores- that " as a woman, it was my responsibility to clean the house, and to take care of it."
I resented his logic. Yes, I am a woman, yes I should know how to keep up a house, but so should everyone; it doesn't matter what the gender. Its funny, everyone says, "you marry your father ," that is basically what I am going to do.
I am still young, and have too much debt to tie the knot right now, yet my boyfriend, whom I plan to one day marry, is a spitting image of my father. It sounds gross, but it is true. He stands more than a foot taller than my small frame, has broad shoulders and dark black hair, much like my father who is now looking more and more decrepit. Both have the same stocky build, and the same cocky attitude, it amazes me how similar they are. They also seem to share many of the same values.
I grew up in a very religious immigrant family, of course that means they have strong opinions on just about everything. My beau also comes from an immigrant family, the difference is we are from two different continents. One would think our families would hate each other, that our values would clash, yet they do not. He is Turkish, me Italian, my father old-school.
What this means is, the woman's place is in the kitchen. Both my father and my beau can agree on that. The only person who seems to challenge that notion is myself and occasionally my younger sister. I enjoy cooking, I can cope with cleaning, but not when I am told to so, or it is expected of me.
I relish in the satisfaction of making my man happy, but the satisfaction dissipates when he expects me to behave in a certain manner. Talk about a mood killer.
As much as I hate the patriarchal society I was immersed in as a child, I see the affects it has on me today: If there is a mess, I clean it up, no questions asked. If I am summoned on game day to grab another round of beers for the guys I do so without a word, but I despise the fact that I do it. Not because it is such a burden, simply because it is expected of me, when it shouldn't be.
I am, to a degree, well educated. Soon I will have obtained my degree, and soon I will be delving into the world of business. I am not a maid! I will not be ordered around by anyone, yet that is what I do, in the name of pleasing my man.
It should be noted, I love him. I would do anything for him, short from taking a bullet, so when he asks, rather, expects me to do menial tasks for him, I do them. The point is, in todays age the burden of keeping a house should be shared. The woman of the house does not always have to be "the woman of the house" sometimes the man, can step up, and help out.
Sharing The Responsibility
Most children in America, who are first generation, are either pushed into school or work. It depends on the specific situation. my father, never really valued my education, he was more focused on my domestication. "Rose why isn't dinner ready, I told you I would be home an hour ago?" " sorry papa, I was doing my Ap Euro Final Project. I-" "and that is more important than feeding your family? I work all day long, I expect food on the table when I get home." " yes papa, I am sorry. I will prepare the meal now." I ended up getting a 98 on that project, but I had to stay up, to the crack of dawn to do it.
I would ask can I go out with friends? He would say, did you do your chores? If my answer was yes, he would let me go, if not I was locked away until everything was done. He never once asked me however, did you complete your homework, because he did not care.
I was always in the accelerated program, not because my parents forced me, solely because I knew that if I ever wanted to get away from my fathers oppression I needed and education so I could find myself a nice niche and make something of myself in that field. That is what I am doing now.
As of now, I share an apartment with my beau, he is out of college already and working. I am a year younger as it is, so I still have a year to go, but after I finish here, I am moving onto graduate school. I work, not much, but enough to pay rent. My man, he does not think I should work, he can and would support me, but I refuse. I have always been very self sufficient, and I hate hand outs.
Someday, I will make something of myself. I work hard and I know I will one day be rewarded, but when that day comes, my beau better accept, that I will not be at his beck and call. when I am a career woman just like I have always wanted to be, in my eyes, we will be equal. both will be working from nine to five, both dealing with the heavy traffic on the commute home, and both helping out around the house.
I would understand if I was a housewife, that yes my job is to take care of the home, but I am not. As of now I am a student, soon I will no longer be a student I will be a full on provider for my family just like my beau, then are we finally equal? Will he, and my father realize that men and women can do the same thing? That a woman can provide for her family, the same way a man can? That is what I wish to know, will i finally know, where I stand?