Culture in Czech and US Compared Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Gender in Post-Communist Society

Consider the differences between gendered behavior in the Czech Republic and the U.S.A.… which socio-historical factors affect the Czechs' present-day gender identity and gender issues?

Men are respected as the stronger sex and this determines the way they relate women. A Czech has a striking mixture of firm attachment to the labor market and strong family values, considerable independence and personal efficiency. The women are homemakers and breadwinners. They are also able to command attention. Another interesting part of the Czech gender roles is that love outweighs work. For example, more women devote their time to care for their children at home unlike before and make considerable efforts in finding husbands (Delphy & Leonard, 175).

I noticed that Czech women are nicely dressed in order for them to find husbands while the men act chivalrously in order for them to find wives. Many women abandon their jobs in order care for their children before attaining the grade-school age. They do this without nannies. This is contrary to America where most families hire nannies to look after their children. I realized that most Czechs are devoted to their families and are full of love.

The men in Czech are more chivalrous towards women; they open doors and assist them in other 'sweet' ways. However, in Czechoslovakian women are more restricted to what they do socially and professionally because of their gender. In Czech, women and men have different roles within a marriage setting. In the United States, they observe almost similar gender roles. Czechs have a stronger sense of etiquette compared to Americans.

Yawning or coughing without covering your mouth, littering, spitting in public or chewing gum while talking to another person are considered impolite and not socially acceptable. In America, such behaviors are not considered. A Czech person is also welcoming and will initiate a conversation with a visitor. They are full of humor as well as jokes and can talk about any topic apart from politics. Czechs do not maintain continuous eye contact but maintain regular eye contact to be judged as trustworthy. In America, most people normally maintain direct eye contact throughout the conversation. In Czech, it is customary to shake hands with both women and men when greeting them and do not hug or kiss in public. In America, this is not the case as many of them greet one another with hugs and sometimes kisses. In Czech, the citizens rarely use gestures because they find them ill mannered and annoying. In America, use of gestures is very common and do not find this annoying.

2. What are some negative consequences of the enduring stereotype that the female reproductive system is more passive than that of the male? & #8230; and romantic relationships.

Family life has undergone a considerable change over time. Fertility rates have fallen over the years since the abolition of communism. There have been changes towards fewer family-centered attitudes and fewer traditional values by women. Over the years, there has been the development of the stereotypical view that males are aggressive and instrumentally oriented and competitive while women are characterized as choosy, passive, expressive, and cooperative.

The sex stereotypes that males should be more aggressive than women should while women should be more interpersonally sensitive than their male counterparts should. For this reason, men end up having gender stereotypes than the female counterparts, especially if the men are the sole breadwinners in the family. According to research, men are more concerned than women in maintain the behaviors of children deemed appropriate to their gender. They are important in their children's gender stereotyping than the women.

For this reason, men are required to work twice as hard to provide for their family because they are considered as the sole breadwinners in many families. This is advantageous to women because they do not stress themselves when their male counterparts are able to provide for their needs. However, in the current society women are equally working hard and taking up the gender roles of sole breadwinners from the men.

The disadvantages of enduring these stereotypes are many. For instance, more men are educated and literate than the women are. For years, the female education was considered less important to those of the males. Females were denied access to female education, and this made them vulnerable to many challenges. Many were subjected to poverty and abuse by men. Their role was mainly to stay at home and tend to the families. However, in the recent part women are gaining access to formal education due to massive campaigns of gender equality.

There are also come jobs that are considered for the men. For a long time, jobs pertaining to medicine and engineering were largely seen as masculine. Construction of roads, bridges, and houses was meant for the male gender only. However, in the recent times, women have also penetrated into the male-dominated jobs. They are competing favorably with them. In relationships, men are the dominant ones. Females are required to be submissive in the relationship and agree with most of the decisions that are made by the men. In criminal law, men were considered to commit more crimes than women did. Women are never suspected to commit crimes such as robbery with violence and are rarely ransacked if a search is conducted.

3. How had socialism contributed to gender equality and how has democracy underestimated this policy issue in some post-socialist countries?

In socialism, women were oppressed equally as their male counterparts. Women were not subordinates to the males but to the paternalistic power. Therefore, men and women had solidarity against the communist. The autonomy and social role of every individual were almost restricted and oppressed. With the introduction of democracy, everything regarding socialism was slowly discarded. With time, the perception of private property ownership vanished. It was replaced with national and personal property. Everyone became a state employee and economically dependent on the state. The social subjectivity was minimized in all aspects of life. Normative restrictions accompanied the institutional restrictions (Havelkova, 75).

In socialism, women were targeted by the state for special care and attention. However, as individuals, they were required to suppress their identity in the same manner as men. In addition, the alleged achievements by women such as deputies in parliament had no great impact and could not act as political agents. They were seen as puppets. After being nominated in parliament women's roles were manipulated by the communist party, and their roles were prescribed. Their roles were described as maternal, political, and economic function. In contrast, men were denied their traditional superiority and maintained great access to money both in private and public spheres.

In Czech, women's political participation in the country was promoted by encouraging women via quotas. This was mainly to achieve equality about women. This increased the number of women in the national assembly. There was a general rule that a woman had to hold the chair of the vice-president of the National Assembly. Democracy resulted in the loss of women's identity and replaced it with individual identity (Funk & Mueller, 320). In the 1960s, disciplines like sociology and demography were re-established again having been condemned and banned in 1948. These disciplines began paying attention to women's status and also to the conflict in women's roles. However, the changes have not resulted in true equality in terms of education given to men and women, in decision-making roles in the economy, or distribution of wages (Havelkova, 74). However, Individuals such as Alena Wagnerova observed considerable changes in women's position and gender relationship.

4. How might traditional expectations of masculine behavior put men at a disadvantage or limit their options in life?

Czech's culture is often characterized by a high sense of masculinity, and their conversations entail topics such as beer, politics, and sports. Men are mostly considered as the stronger gender. They are required to carry themselves in a manner that is quite different from the females. Men have to derive strategies for dealing with the processes of political, economic, and cultural challenges. Many men have in Czech have been struggling with the social transformation in the country since the fall of communism. That is the loss of securities in employment, rising insecurities between the poor and the rich and the majority experience of insecurity and impoverishment. After the fall of communism, media stories highlighted various crises in relation to men's mortality and health, crime and violence, alcohol abuse and abandonment of family.

In their careers, men are expected to project hard work since they are mainly the breadwinners of their families. Every man in Czech must work hard to provide for his family: a man who is incapable of doing this is often considered weak. However, this emphasis on men to be the breadwinners could marginalize men in the country both figuratively and literally. Some men work extremely hard that and hardly see their families in some cases.

Men are mainly considered as the source of pride if…

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