Yesterday, OneVietnam Network asked our fans about their opinions regarding Vietnamese women. We received a lot of positive answers as well as a few negative ones. However, some fans have pointed it out that such a question was rather silly. At this moment, I am still curious about the reasons behind that statement and would love to view things from the male perspective about Vietnamese women. Until I get a chance to know the real issues, I will continue to ask another “silly” question: What about Vietnamese men – what are your impressions?
This article will generalize my point of view about Vietnamese men, and you can have your own opinions as you like. Just leave a comment. There are no haters here!
It is very questionable that the Vietnamese literature only highly regards Vietnamese women, but not men. Whenever a piece of work mentions some noble Vietnamese man (e.g: a king, a hero, or a legendary character), the author only sugarcoats the characteristics and personalities of that particular individual. I have yet to see or read any writing that praises Vietnamese males in general. Are we really that bad? Well, let’s dissect this topic together.
Yes, on top of my list is laziness. Whenever I ask a Vietnamese female about what they think of Vietnamese men or their own men, the most likely answer I would get is “Lazy bums! They never do anything!” Wow! Indeed!
However, I believe this is only true for most men in Vietnam who live in the cities. The majority of them basically do nothing. Their wives take care of almost everything in the house, from cooking, to cleaning, to taking care of children — even after long hours at work. These men usually spend their lives drinking beer with their buddies and talking loudly about random topics all day long. Of course, there are exceptions; there are men who actually work hard and are goal-oriented.
There are two things to blame for the problem of men being lazy bums: (1) Traditional Vietnamese culture has imprinted in their brains the idea that “Husband is the King, Wife is the Slave”. This idea was formed when men used to be the main providers of the family, giving him all the powers in the house. However, as society modernized, it is much more difficult for men to be the only providers in the family. This has forced women into the workforce, but men are having problems adjusting their living style to share chores in the home. Basically, women have moved forward along with modern society while their men are lagging behind. (2) The second reason could be explained by the following characteristic.
Big, Big, Big Ego!
Having an ego and feelings of self-importance are actually a must for everybody. It keeps us striving for a better life and a higher status. However, it could also be viewed as an Achilles’ heel. A man with too big of an ego can never get over himself. Vietnamese men usually regard themselves very highly and always think that they are superior to others. They cannot easily accept the fact that their women are better than them. They would rather spend their days outside of the house drinking beer than washing a basket of underwear for their wife and kids. They want their friends to think that even though they are not the main providers of the household, they can still have the power; that power is being proven by the fact that they is out drinking with their buddies, and somebody else is doing the dirty work. Their friends are probably on the same boat. For that reason, they will all compete to see who can sit at the beer shop the longest to prove who is the most powerful man.
How many times do you go out with a Vietnamese man and he offers to pay for you? How many times do you go out with that same Vietnamese man and he offers to pay for you again? I don’t know how lucky you are, but I rarely had to pay for anything when I visited Vietnam. Yes, I’m a guy, not a beautiful girl as you would imagine. Most Vietnamese men won’t let you pay if you were to go out with them regardless of your gender, even if you have to throw a fist at them to pay for your own share. A lot of people think that this is a very nice trait of a gentleman, but to me they are overdoing it. Sometimes, they offer to cover your back when they don’t even have enough money for themselves! Maybe we could link this trait to the big ego that I mentioned above and get a clearer picture of why Vietnamese men act like that. Some people may say that Vietnamese men are more generous than other men. That really depends on you.
I think I have covered enough bad things about Vietnamese men in general. Let’s go to some good stuff. I have to admit that it is quite difficult to find a dumb Vietnamese man. They are either very street-smart, academically intelligent, or sometimes both (the scary ones). We have recently read about the infamous mathematician Ngo Bao Chau, who successfully proved the impossible Langlands’ Fundamental Lemma. The world history has written about King Tran Hung Dao, who repeatedly defeated the unbeatable Mongol army under Kublai Khan by using clever military strategies. The title of “the father of personal computer” belongs to Andre Truong Trong Thi, a Vietnamese engineer who invented the Micral microcomputer based on an Intel 8008 processor in 1973. As you can see, our people are gifted with intelligent and powerful minds. If Vietnamese men could get rid of their laziness, I believe that there will be even more famous people to name.
Whether it is a duty to protect his country from invasion or to take care of his aging parents, Vietnamese men will never shy away from their duties. For more than 2,000 years, Vietnam has always gained back its land from the invaders regardless how powerful its enemies are. Very different from European men, Vietnamese men will most likely live with their parents to take care of them as they age. These familial values are explained by the Confucian ideas that have heavily influenced living standards in Vietnam.
This trait can be well seen in almost many Vietnamese work of literature, from poetry to music to novels. Please keep in mind that most songwriters and composers in Vietnamese are males. It is very difficult to find any Vietnamese song or poems that have upbeat and happy music, like R&B music. The purpose of most songs or novels is to make the listeners cry as much as they can. I’ll let you decide whether this is a good trait of the Vietnamese men.
The article is getting rather long, but I still have so many things to write about. However, I would very love to hear what you have to say about Vietnamese men. Let’s start a discussion!