Man vs. Woman (Double-Standards in Arabic Culture)

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The controversial issue of double standards, in regards to gender within culture, can clearly be spotted; however, neither man nor woman can seem to find the proper method to illustrate one another. To start off, in my family and Arab culture the man is expected to physically and morally attend to his wife. I believe this is done not only to show authority, but also dominance, although it is never said. The standards have changed and gotten much less strict since the olden days, not only in America but also back in the Middle East. My father would tell me stories which illustrate that the authority of the family is the male, even if he’s not the father; for example, my father had more power in the house over his older sisters but was also expected to respect his older brothers. The brother would have more authority and freedom over his sisters by being able to do things like date and go out late. This unbalance of freedom instills a sense of desperation to these young girls, that the man has ultimate superiority. In addition to the battle of authority arises the battle of who serves whom. Women in my culture are brought up being taught the ins and outs that are necessary to nurture your own child and become a great housewife. Just as Houston points out in her essay “Living in Two Cultures,” “It was also the time that I assumed the duties girls were supposed to do, like cooking, cleaning the house, washing and ironing clothes.” Here in America people may disagree, but the person being served is usually the money maker or the decision maker. These days in American society, it is the women that are served to first, whether it’s regarding who gets fed first or who massages whom. In both American and Arabic culture we are undergoing a subtle change in regards to who brings home the bacon. The change gives women the power to refuse service to men at will. This goes along with the fact that more and more women are becoming more independent and no longer need the man to...
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