One thing that I love to do here is share pictures with people in the community. It gives them insight to what my life is like in the states and the differences between here and there.
We sat around the table viewing pictures...and some how we began talking about the fact that I have 21 cousins. Then, one of Rosita's sons, who is about 19, asked me if I wanted children. I said yes, but after I am happily married and financially stable. He asked, "How many?" I said, "I would like four children." He said, "No. Ten." You should have seen my face! Umm...I told him that he must be the one giving birth. This opened the flood gates for a lot of notions he had about women. He thought that the woman's place was on the home, she should wake up and make food for him in the morning, cook, clean, and basically tend him and his children.
When I thought about his comments, these ideas are his reality. This is what he sees in his community and in his home.
My iniaitial reaction was, "Heggs to the naw!" with all the neck rolls for emphasis, but I realized that that would not get me anywhere with him. I wanted him to understand a different way of thinking about women. So, I explained to him how I grew up. My mother and father both worked outside the home all of my life and shared responsibilities. Tasks and roles just depended on who was available to do them. My father cooked and combed hair if necessary, and my mother sometimes paid bills and did the lawn work as well. I saw two individuals in partnership. Just like his home life shapes his thinking, my home life shapes my own. He asked questions like...well...who stayed home with me...and how did I eat? I explained...I could tell he was beginning to consider another way of thinking.
He's a teenage boy, so, to drive my point home, I explained to him what women like. I explained that sharing chores in the home could be a positive thing for the relationship. "For example," I explained, "Say your wife came home and you had dinner cooked for her, and you just told her to relax and that you just wanted to do something nice for her today. She would find that the most kind, humble, and cute act. And when women feel appreciated, thought about, and cared about, it enhances the sex life." He got my drift after that! I had to make gender equality relevant to him. He said, "Well, I'll cook every night then!" LMBO
That wasn't my point in giving him that example. My point was that couples should love and respect one another as a team. I told him that his future wife wont need another father to tell her what to do, what she will need is someone to love, care, and respect her. But hey, if now he is going to cook every night for his future wife looking for good sex afterwards...that's fine by me...I just kept one more male chauvinist off the streets.