In one of my conversational classes I thought it would be interesting to discover some of the cultural views of the roles of women and men in Kyrgyzstan, more specifically within a spousal relationship. From a recent presentation I heard, most men and women have entirely opposite ideas of what the opposite sex likes or should be like which leads to miscommunication and misunderstandings. I will be doing a two part blog on this, the first about what the guys thought the perfect girl should be like and the second is what the girls though the perfect guy should be like. My class is mostly girls (which might have tempered some of the answers a bit from the guys!) but I had everyone split up into girls and guys and make lists of the characteristics they thought were most important in a husband or wife. As the guys began to read off their list I chuckled at some of the required characteristics such as “must like football (soccer)”, or “must have long hair”.
Two of the first qualities written by the guys were cooking and cleaning (at the mention of these the girls made a little protestation, but it was mostly accepted by them as well). The guys even wanted their wives to be sweaty!! This was a mispronunciation I soon found out as they meant to say sweetie instead! Once I began probing the guys a bit more on what they thought a perfect wife should be like they ran into some opposition coming from the girls’ side. On top of being a good cook and cleaner, their wife needed to be a good dancer, singer, humorous, beautiful, thin, romantic, respectable, and tall. This list got the girls going while the guys were trying to explain their points. The overall idea given by the guys though was that a wife’s responsibility, regardless of whether she works or not, was keeping the house in order and that she should be a woman respected by others and beyond reproach.