Pregnant Women Prep Meals And Wash Underwear For Their Husbands So The Men Aren’t Inconvenienced During Labour, Say Seoul City’s Sexist Guidelines
I come from a liberal family; my mom has raised her daughters with nothing but equality-based values. And that means I was never told that I should know how to cook, clean, and do domestic chores because I am a woman. Well, I was told these things are important because they are life skills every human must possess. But as I go a generation older, I have seen my grandmother having one foot in liberalism and another in the deeply-rooted patriarchal culture, without even being aware of it. She wants to not indulge in gender conformity but some things are second nature to her. For instance, expecting women to be more involved in domestic life, even though we are working and do not have the bandwidth she desires. The men, however, face minimum expectations to be more home-oriented. It’s annoying but that’s a hard one to change. At least she tries but the Seoul Government seems too stubborn to see the light, especially when it comes to pregnant women.
They have received a lot of flak recently and rightly so! Turns out, they decided to publish hideously sexist guidelines on its website for pregnant women. They suggested that a woman, even when pregnant and in labour must take care of domestic chores. Wow, such productive use of resources the government is making!
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Seoul Government’s sexist guidelines for pregnant women
The website advised women to cook, clean, wash underwear, and all of that, so the husband and her family aren’t inconvenienced. Like can they hear themselves or does that require special skills? In fact, they went on to tell women to doll up during pregnancy. Because the weight gain, hormones and all might also be an inconvenience to her husband, we guess.
Apparently, even when she is close to her due date, she must slog in the kitchen because husbands can’t cook. I mean, it’s not like she will be pushing an entire human out and she must be resting. “Get rid of old food in the refrigerator and prepare three or four side dishes that family members like. If you have some instant food prepared, your husband who is not good at cooking can easily prepare it,” it said. Maybe start breast-feeding your husband and make him wear a diaper because it seems like he is going to give the baby some major competition.
Then because a man and other children in the family cannot wash their own underwear and clothes, a pregnant woman must do that too. She must have fresh clothes ready for about a week so the husband doesn’t run around naked while she is giving birth. Clearly, people with penises cannot perform complicated tasks like these and they have to be done by a person with a vagina. Come on, pregnancy and delivery are no excuses to not multitask and let your husband do his own human functions.
“As you’ll be at the hospital for about three to seven days, you should prepare clean underwear, socks, shirts, handkerchiefs, and outerwear in the drawer so that your husband and children can change,” the website read.
I really am surprised how pregnant women haven’t flipped them yet. Or have they? If my husband ever expected me to do these things, I would get a restraining order against him.
The Seoul City Government has taken down the content that blatantly promoted biblical patriarchy. What’s really mindboggling is that this content was apparently “supervised” by the Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Firstly, none of these amazing tips have anything scientific about them Nobody gives two hoots about a pregnant woman’s health but let’s just make sure her pregnancy and delivery don’t make her poor husband go through unimaginable circumstances like washing his own underwear and making his own food. Secondly, they can fuck off.
According to Firstcry.com, “activities like carrying laundry should also be avoided as well as they can cause preterm labour symptoms and high blood pressure.”
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They weight-shamed pregnant women
If that wasn’t enough, they decided that a pregnant woman must be weight-shamed and pressurized to get thinner. The guideless read that she must not stop doing “household chores such as cleaning or washing dishes” because that will enable her to “manage her weight during pregnancy without an extra workout.” So nice, na? Such a win-win for the husband, who has to not move a finger around the house while she tries hard to look pretty for him.
They went on to say that she must hang clothes of her pre-pregnancy size right in front of her so she is motivated to lose weight after delivery.
The wonderful and oh-so-scientific guidelines that required the expert supervision of the Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology were published on the Pregnancy and Childbirth Information Center website. Refusing to take ownership, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said that it had taken the information from the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s pregnancy guidelines. So they copied blindly? 10-year-olds copy with more mindfulness in their semester exams. What is this dumbfuckery? Sexism and dumbness is such a lethal combination. The ministry on the other hand said that they realised that the content was sexist and had deleted it in 2019.
How can an official government body put down such disgustingly sexist guidelines for pregnant women? These treat women like robotic slaves and not humans. We’ll carry a child, go through the tough phases of pregnancy, stress our bodies when delivering, and do domestic chores? What will the husband do? Dream 11 pe team he is making?
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There’s a need to rethink gender roles
According to a study, pregnant women stated that the couples’ collaboration in doing housework and husband’s sensitivity to the needs of their wives bring a more pleasant experience for them.” However, several women said that while their husbands didn’t pressure them to do household work during pregnancy, they were of barely any help. “In studies regarding traditional division of housework, it is noted that women are not pleased to do the house chores. Even women who claim to be satisfied with housekeeping, the nature of their housework does not have much reverence, and their usual complaint is loneliness,” the report pointed out.
In fact, the same issues continue and worsen post-childbirth. “Also, imbalance in division of tasks after the birth of the newborn affects the couples’ performance. It has been mentioned that although the parents are more likely to adopt more traditional roles while transition to parenting, this is more true in women, so hours spent by women at home are distinctly higher than men. This leads to a gender gap in division of chores,” the study pointed out.
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The study concluded, “It is also important to train the families and society to raise their level of knowledge, insight and performance to see the house chores as shared responsibility of husband and wife, particularly during pregnancy.” This blunder by the Seoul government proves that there’s a pressing need for shattering these age-old gender norms that aren’t doing anyone any good.