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Women.....the inferior sex??

Travel Forums Asia Women.....the inferior sex??

1. Posted by louloul (Full Member 75 posts) 11y

I am off in Jan for a year of travelling with my boyfriend and cant wait. The thing i am wondering is about the reactions to women in places like thailand, cambodia, vietnam, china etc. I know women are deemed by men in non-western countries to be inferior, but is it really that bad?

Perhaps any female travellers could tell me how they got along and the responses they got to being assertive, confident and independent women. Im not the sort of person to let somebody do the talking for me, but with a man by my side, will i be listened to or ignored??

Maybe im making a big deal out of this?? But i'd like to know other peoples experiences.

2. Posted by alading520 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

i m sorry but i don't what do you mean? what is your question could you tell me i m very interesting in you talking by the way i come from china maybe we will be friend wait for your answer

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 5790 posts) 11y

Quoting louloul

I know women are deemed by men in non-western countries to be inferior

This is not necessarily true - there are quite a few non-western matriarchal cultures around the world where women are quite powerful in their community. Nonetheless, on the whole, it unfortunately is a somewhat patriarchal world we live in. I think it's important not to offend local cultures as a traveller- if you sense a hostility towards you due to talking over your boyfriend, I'd suggest to keep a low profile. I know it's not ideal, but people in some countries will think you don't have any respect.

This also goes for young people in general and how you might choose to speak to your elders in another country. In western culture - it is largely accepted to speak to your elders as equals, where this would be seriously frowned on in other cultures. And definitely stand up for them on public transport !! :)

I'm curious to know what others think of these issues.

4. Posted by harimau (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

I am young and a women who has travelled SE Asia. Both can be a hassle but can be adventageous as well. People are much more willing to help (not in that sleezy I'm gonna get a piece of you kind of way) and many are interested in your lifestyle. Obviosuly, the further out of the city you get the more stares you will endure. Just remember to dress conservatively and keep ALL assets to yourself! :D People are people are people and they are just interested in your life as you are in theirs. And when in Roma, do as the Romans. Go with the flow and watch the other women. Then do what they do. *cheers*

5. Posted by michellemm (Full Member 109 posts) 11y

Hey Lou,

I went to Thailand and to Laos (which I believe it's similar to Cambodia) and I didn't have any problems at all....

Of course, the farther you get from the beaten track, the more the cultural differences tend to show it dependes on your route...


6. Posted by Zhou (Full Member 126 posts) 11y

I don`t think there`s so great a cultural gap between western countries& non-western countries nowadays, especially among young people in urban areas. Frankly, I`m afraid many westerners know very little about the eastern world, regarding it as...I don`t know...another world? It`s very understandable though; I know very little of the middle-eastern countries. We are in a big big world. ;) However,I was even surprised to find that many women in western countries are more "inferior" than women in China. Most Chinese women are playing several roles: an independant female, a considerate mother/wife and a capable business woman. Sometimes it`s just so exhausting~! Dress&food&kisses in the street...not a problem at all! But do show respect to the elders. I once stood up four times to give my seat to four different senior citizens in 25 minutes on a bus. The buswoman will call out and ask people to do this in Beijing. Speaking of this, when I told my Finland friend that I regard it my responsibility to take care of both my own parents and my future parents-in-law when they get old, he showed great surprise. (but parents are getting more independant than the old days, perhaps they don`t need us to take care of them. :)) Peter mentioned it`s accepted that people in western countries speak to elders as equals. I can`t understand this even though I`m well aware of it. Will anybody like to explain this cultural phenomenon to me?

7. Posted by Yan (Full Member 27 posts) 11y

not to sound prejudiced or anything but if you look foreign (i.e are not Asian or do not look to be of Asian descent), the locals generally will not treat you like they would treat a local woman, or expect you to behave or dress like one. some may even treat you much better (i.e. to them, you are a foreigner, not a woman. or something to that effect.). i think sometimes travellers to asia do not realise this.

that's not to say that i agree that women in asia are deemed by men to be inferior. that assessment is rather dated. women in asia have taken on more roles and responsibilities in the last decade or two (education and cultural imperialism possibly being the chief culprits for the change). there is no shortage of assertive (or even aggressive), confident and independent women in the cities. women who will not hesitate to lean on the horn if you cut into their lane ;)

of course, in some rural areas women are still expected to conform to traditional roles.

behaviour and speech-wise, it helps to be polite. in terms of dressing, if you intend to visit places of worship or royal residences, etc, you are required to dress conservatively.

8. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Your boyfriend will look after you, won't he?