Life is great seen as a study in contrasts. For me, the issues of womanhood, gender roles, marriage, and sexuality are some of the most subjective topics to discuss. In my recent blog surfing I found two interesting posts on womanhood and marriage that can be interesting parallels of each other.
The first post is from Myraine’s Realities and Realizations blog, which is a personal blog of a wife and mother dedicated to happiness and inspiration. Here’s a portion of her post on The Ideal Wife:
It is never easy to be a wife. It is never an easy task as others may think it is. And I strongly believe that every wife just like me wants the husband to be happy not just every time they are together but for the entire marital relationship… for a lifetime.
Since I really love reading for several reasons most of the time, for personal and professional growth, I have read a write-up on what a man looks and expects his woman to be. Upon discernment, I have decided to share it to all the wives around the globe.
- She has to give him the freedom from possessiveness. Men say that the excessively possessive heart tends to be quite selfish, jealous and doubtful. Thus, it attributes deprivation from the joys, happiness and fulfillments of the lifetime commitment.
- She must never be a nagger. She may always share her thoughts and insights; yet, this must never be done in such a harsh, rough and tough manner. Remember that nagging irritates the husband.
- She feeds his husband’s ego. Learn to appreciate and love his actions and words. Sometimes, it is never harmful to make him feel superior and special.
- She possesses physical attractiveness, faithfulness and spiritual strength. They simply complete a woman’s image – strong yet vibrant, bubbly and sophisticated.
Yet, do not live to these points alone. Remember that you should still be the real you and you’ve got to be true to yourself, too. You should also consider doing things to make you happy and never do things for him alone or not just to satisfy him. You must always do things for both of you as well as your and your husband’s happiness.
See how the above provides an interesting contrast with this second post, by Intsik Siomai, a blogger who writes about the injustices of society to women, and especially Chinese women. In her post Separada, she writes about the other side to relationships and a perhaps alternate view of men. Part of that post:
I am now surrounded with married female friends who want out of their marriage. Most of them have frequent fights with their spouses. They also have controlling husbands who demand that they stay home, be a nice obedient wife and mom, stop having friends and activities that has nothing to do with being a wife and mom. They have lost their power. They are not individuals anymore, but just a wife and a mom. They cannot even assert their rights as an individual because they are financially dependent on their husband. But they can’t find good jobs if they are “required” to be full time wife and mom. This is a dead-end situation. Their jerk husbands are resentful and controlling because they are the breadwinner. But they don’t want to empower the wives either.
Many husbands I know are powertrippers. This is especially the case with Chinese men. In the chinese set-up, the wife doesn’t hold the money. The husband just provides the basic needs and maybe some luxury if he is pleased. In the Filipino set-up(at least the ones I know), the husband gives the salary to the wife, and the wife budgets it and saves the rest. A Pinay housewife has more power than an intsik wife. Intsik husbands know that their wife is powerless, valueless without them, and they push the situation even more, so the wife becomes a doormat, a follower, obedient server, slave, lifeless, no individuality, powerless.
On a glancing note, is this simply a question of seeing a glass half-empty or half-full–or do both Myraine and Intsik Siomai actually agree on a deeper level about the salient issues of being a woman, wife, and mother? For me the context that underscores both their posts are the issues of identity and individuality–which as I said can be very subjective. The emotional value may differ between them, but the needs they address are the same: that of finding one’s self and purpose in the roles you choose.
Of course, questions of marriage and family go beyond individuality since there are more than one party involved, however the basic root remains the same: the self. How one conducts the self in relation to their partner, children, and society will ultimately influence whether one ends up with Myraine’s bright rhetoric Intsik Siomai’s scathing sarcasm. At the end of the day maybe both of them are holding the same glass, only from different sides of the table.