Cultural Gender Segregation

This keeps happening to me and I am not sure if it is just my luck or if this is something common.  We go out someplace with a group of people as families and the men sit in one end of the place and the women and children sit in another.  I am not talking about Islamic style gender separation, because that I totally understand, even if I might not practice or like it.  It is done for religious beliefs and the people who do it are clear about.

If I go out with my family then I don’t want my family divided like that.  I also don’t like it when the men enjoy themselves for the entire duration of the outing and the women end up feeding the kids, running after them, making a million bathroom dashes and getting ketchup all over their nice shirts while helping the kid clean his hands.  It is not fair that even the family outing becomes another chore for the woman while the man is as free as a bird.  In fact I am so sick of it that I almost completely stopped going out in groups.  Instead of a nice fun relaxing evening it becomes a nightmare.

This is completely new to me ever since I came to Kuwait. My family in Egypt and family friends and the people I worked with never did that. We have always been a huge mishmash of people, loud voices and heated discussions.

Oh and that is just half of the story.  One of my lovely twitter friends Louya_ said this: “Because the ladies won’t / can’t be interested in serious man talk, get with the backward times.”

I had never really thought of it that way.  Two hours later I was still thinking about it.  How on earth can a man feel comfortable with his wife raising his child if he does not think she is smart/intellectual/worldly enough or whatever it is?  Because if she is not interested in serious talk, she is not going to raise a child who is either?  And then sometimes they will overtly make fun of women’s discussions because they are silly.  It is not fair, many women don’t talk about silly stuff, granted many women do talk about shopping, diapers and make up, but we can also talk about other stuff, just like they talk about football and cars.

Did you hear my blood pressure hitting the roof?


Because it seriously just did.



  • At 2012.05.06 19:23, Nesbi Maret H said:

    I agree, child rearing is for both parents not just the Mom’s

    • At 2012.05.10 23:54, Nevine said:

      I spent two years going through the whole guys-talking-in-one-place-women-and-children-couped-up-in-another-place thing. At first I thought the women were feeling left out and it was all the guys’ fault for excluding us, but later I realized that they were perfectly content with this arrangement. Except whenever one would ask her husband to help with the kid he’d get irritated and say it’s her “job” not his. She would then snap at him but dutifully do what he says. I rarely go out with this group now.