Something interesting happened to me today at the grocery store — I was picking up my weekly smoothie supplies (almond milk, frozen berries, you know the drill) when I noticed the woman in front of me, who was also a Latina. Her cart was filled to the brim with lots of heavy items like cases of water, big bags of dry goods, packs of tortillas, and meat. She unloaded all of the groceries onto the belt. She then had to pay, bag them, and put them back in the cart. It was a lot of work.
The thing was — she wasn’t alone. Her son was with her, playing video games on his phone. And next to him was (I assumed) her husband. Now maybe both of these men had a reason they couldn’t help. After all, not as disabilities are visible. But as I watched her huff and puff, and noticed them not lifting a finger to help, it made me flashback to my own childhood. Of watching women making men a plate before their own. Me having to help clean the house, while the boys watched TV. So when I saw the article If You Are Done With the Expectation For Latinas to Serve the Men in the House, I Hear You, it really hit home. As per below:
“Growing up, my maternal grandmother would make it a point to serve my father first before me or my mother. He was not her son, but as a man, she always catered to him. My grandma did the same when it came to my mom’s brothers. It was not that she preferred them or loved them more, but many Hispanic women like my grandma were taught to serve men before women. As breadwinners, they came first, or that was the idea.
Although these gender-role expectations might seem antiquated, they still linger among my generation. In my dating experience, some men have been intimidated by my desire for independence. I have only had two serious relationships. In my last one, as our conversations about the future progressed, I realized he expected me to want to serve him the way other women in his life had. He once described a friend’s girlfriend as the perfect woman because she cooked, cleaned, and was there to serve him when he returned home from work. I told him, ‘That will never be me,’ and he simply said, ‘I know.”
Definitely check out the full article linked above, it’s a really interesting read. Do you still see these gender roles in your community? Also, Moms with sons, do you expect them to help out? Sound off in the comments below!
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