Yesterday we did a total make-over at home. We decided that Ida and Tim need separate rooms since they a have been fighting a lot lately. I had a vision that we would be done by lunch time. Sooo optimistic. It took the whole day and the whole evening. We moved the office/guest room to the old playing room, master bedroom to the old office/guest room, Ida’s room to the old master bedroom, and Tim’s room to the small room. This is the result:
Hallway outside Ida's and Tim's rooms
Sweden has one of the highest levels of gender equality in the world, which means that everyone, women and men, have the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all areas of life. It sounds really good, doesn’t it? And it is - until that day you start a family of your own. Then suddenly, we all start acting like we lived back in the 50’s, and you find yourself complaining about you have to do everything at home. That your husband/fiancée/ boyfriend doesn’t do exactly as much as you. And the fact that he doesn’t mean that you have failed. The discussion about gender equality seems to never end. Since I became a mum I’ve noticed that this is the big issue argued in most families.
But what if you have a Greek husband? Then you are expected to do everything at home – without arguing. No matter if you have a full time job, you still have to do everything because your man’s job is more important, and no matter how tired you are, he will always be more tired than you. Why? Because he is a man! And a man need a woman to take care of him - make him coffee, cook his dinner, raise his children, support him and so on. I had this discussion with a Greek friend of mine (late in the evening, after some wine), and I promised him to write about why I think this is wrong. The reason is that I don’t think it is fair to be born into obligations. If you choose to do things because you want to, that is one thing. But if you are forced into a position because of your sex, that is wrong.
On the other hand, here in Sweden we put so much time discussing and arguing about this topic that it seems to take all energy out of us. Should we just keep quiet, make that dinner, and save the rest of the energy to clean the house? Sometimes it feels like we would be better off not arguing so much and feel so sorry for ourselves. But I don’t know. I wouldn’t feel ok to just accept the situation when I think it is unfair. Then I would end up as a really bitter woman. I know one thing though, I wouldn’t want to be a Greek wife – but it would be really nice to have one…