Throughout my entire life, I never really thought about gender roles and never really applied any theory to my life. I probably did but it wasn’t a big deal to me at the time. Taking the SWK280 course, I realized that almost everything relates to me and my culture. For example, I grew up in a patriarchal culture because the men seem to do everything in or out of the house. “Because patriarchy is male-centered, women and the work they do tend to be devalued, if not made invisible” (Johnson, 2010, p. 157). The Hmong men are being self centered, many Hmong women suffered and had many of their rights taken away. For example, as young Hmong women marry, their rights are taken away. They cannot do certain things like dancing in front of Hmong parents or stay out late because they have to cook for their in laws.
Although Hmong men never really meant to do any harm, it still happens. Because of this, I feel that women should have the rights to do what it is that they desire. In addition, I grew up with structural roles. Some of these roles are being a daughter, sister, and a Hmong woman. I have the role of doing chores around the house while my brothers don’t do anything. In addition, I have to respect everyone and am not able to speak my mind. Most of the time, I feel trapped within my own culture because I’m always kept inside and don’t get to go out and explore. I’m pretty sure most Hmong women would feel the same way as I feel.
Although some people might say this is unfair, it makes sense to me and my culture. For one reason, I was born into a family where I was taught my roles. I was kept inside because my family wanted to protect me from harm. In addition, over the past years the Hmong culture has (sort of) evolved and is more open. For example, many Hmong women are able to go out of state and study and are able to explore the world by themselves.
Johnson, A.G. (2010). Patriarchy. In P. S. Rothenberg (Ed.). Race, Class, and Gender in the United States: An Integrated Study (pp. 153 – 162). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
- ▼ March (4)