There are two upbringings that defy gender stereotypes for both parents and children.
One is being a child in a family of only one gender and second is being a child in a family as the solely different gender.
In a family of only boys, for example, most chores that are “stereotypically” female in an African society will be done by guys from a young age… Washing, cooking, sweeping because the mother of the house “didn’t kill her own mother and you will not kill her”. Same goes for an only girl house. They learn how to deal with generators and change electrical faces as well as any man. In cases where one is the sole different gender in the midst of ones siblings, especially if one is the last born.. The other siblings have gone about doing all chores before this “different” one arrived.
In most families.
My family is very different. I have two older brothers and a twin, all male, and somehow my brothers got away with being the men of the house urged and prodded on by my father whilst my mother looked on and i was to be “taught” the female things that will make this hypothetical husband happy and not drop me back in my parent’s house. While my brothers are to congratulated over the bare minimum of their contributions.
So i have ended up with the unfortunate segment of knowing and doing both female and male things whilst having siblings that do the male bit.
Females in the African society are only seen to have one purpose. Marry, cook, clean and bear children. From the time you leave school, aunties start nudging you and asking if any unfortunate fellow they see you with is “our husband”… You would think having a husband is some sort of gateway to heaven and happiness. Oh you have a job? Good for you, but don’t let it get into your head so men will not be too intimidated… Moving to your own place? Lord no!! The man will feel he has no use in your life and that you can do without him. Do learn how to cook cook cook though.. Before a woman will cook better food for your husband and pilfer this grown ass man away through his belly.
Meanwhile, said man is at his own end of the world drinking and partying with his friends and making headway in his job. He is not been made to be less of himself to make any woman happy. He is just himself.
A lot of this has come up of late as my father and i have regular arguments about my house duties. He wants dinner ready at this time, clothes spread and brought in at this time, clothes ironed at this time, car washed at this time, buy gas at this time, empty trash at this time, pay NEPA bills at this time, make breakfast at this time, buy fuel at this time. And if one isn’t done he makes a huge deal about it.
I suppose some people get challenged to do more by this type of situations. I’m not one of those people. The only thing i allow to challenge me is work. Every other thing, take it as is. I’m not a maid.. I try my best and if it’s not good enough *shrugs*
He keeps trying to bring up marriage things… Like all these things is to train me for marriage. Whilst his sons do whatever they want, i should learn how to “run a home”.
I’m not really the marriage type to be honest. Maybe if i meet someone that doesn’t see me as a gender role but as a partner… Maybe…
But I’ll rather end up alone with my dog and my studio apartment than manage to do all this in my parents place then move into marriage as someone’s official housemaid to spend the next 50 decades doing that.