Current Affairs

Are Vietnamese Parents Sexist?

The gender spheres of Vietnamese culture greatly differ from those here in the United States but resonance occurs with parenting. In Vietnam most families are quite patriarchal outside the home but within the home I would say that the matriarch has a good amount of power. Regardless, daughters are treated differently than sons.

In the United States, there is no clear definition on who is “in power” within the home but daughters and sons are also treated differently from one another. Parents, both in the United States and in Vietnam only want their children to succeed in life no matter what their gender is but when it comes to daughters, they will be much more strict than with sons. Vietnamese parents are overly-cautious with their daughters and often rely on the daughters to take care of the domestic space. There are expectations for them to exceed in life, get married but still be diligent to their family even after starting one of their own. Sons on the other hand, are given more independence from the family though not completely left alone. The parenting styles imposed on males are not as tightly-wound as those implemented on girls.

All Vietnamese families share a belief in strong families but when raising sons, there is more leeway for them to do as they please, such as staying out later. Daughters are not allowed to venture out in the world too much because of the label of “promiscuity” that would no doubt be attached to them. Daughters are brought up to be docile and have a sense of propriety. Sons are brought up to be masculine and become pillars for the family. So how do these gender roles affect our daily lives? How do they define our character and mannerisms?

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