Culture

Men Don’t Cry

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Why do we teach boys not to cry? Emotion is an astonishing ability that nature has given to us, that made us superior to other animals and organisms. They allow us to understand other and other to understand us. So, why should we teach boys not to cry? We allow ourselves and our people to lose this wonderful connection, to enclose ourselves in our own little worlds where we forget, or chose not to feel those emotions, not appreciating all […]

Culture

#LikeAGirl

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“You throw like a girl. You hit like a girl. You run like a girl.” — You’re weak. This voice is echoed every day, every minute and every second throughout the universe. Out of many commercials that were aired during the Super Bowl in 2015, the 60-second-ad, “LikeAGirl”, was outstanding. The advertisement upstaged the crowded stadium as it has made its first appearance to advocate for women and express the perception of being “LikeAGirl” during the Super Bowl, which football […]

Culture

What Does a REAL Man Mean to You?

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When we think of a man, we often think of masculinity. But are all men masculine? Or do they need to be masculine? That’s the way many men think about how they should be. This is not necessarily what girls and women think. I asked a question to several females I know, ranging from Asians to Westerns, and from 15-year-old teenagers to a 30-year-old woman. The question is “What does a real man mean to you?” Very little of the […]

Culture

Household Chores in Gender Roles

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When girls become teenagers their parents believe that they capable of doing household chores, especially work inside of the house, such as cleaning and cooking. Cambodian wives of all ages tend to do more household chores than their male partners, no matter how much they work outside of the house or how much money they earn. These chores become a significant part of their daily lives. When I live with my brother, I am crystal clear about how it feels […]

Culture

Boys, Cry!

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“One of the first lessons I was taught as a boy growing up is don’t cry, boys don’t cry, boys don’t share their emotions,” said Keith Simpson, a Learning Facilitator at the Liger Leadership Academy, “which was kind of difficult for me, because I was a very expressive, very sensitive person so . . . there was a conflict in what I was being taught vs. what I felt.” Some people are more expressive than others with their feelings, but […]

Culture

White Cloth Vs. Gold

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A common phrase spoken by Cambodians is “មនុស្សស្រីប្រៀបដូចជាកំណាត់សមួយ នៅពេលដែលប៉ះរបស់មិនស្អាត វានឹងនៅជាប់លើរហូត រីឯបុរសវិញ ប្រៀបដូចទៅនឹងមាសទឹកដប់ ទោះបីជាប្រលាក់អ្វីក៏ដោយ ក៏នៅតែលាងជ្រះ នៅតែស្អាតនិងមានតម្លៃដដែល។” which translates to “A woman is like a white cloth, when stained it is ruined forever, but on other hand, a man is like a piece of gold, no matter how dirty, it is still precious and valuable. In Cambodia nowadays, men and women are seen differently, as this famous phrase clearly shows. This mindset is still alive in our contemporary culture and affects the […]

Culture

Transnational Marriage

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Matthew Lee is a British chef who is married to a Khmer woman in Cambodia. He has been living with his wife for over 6 years now. They have two kids, and live a good life. Their marriage is cross-cultural marriage and something that is becoming increasingly common in the world. However, it is a controversial topic in history as well as the present.   Cross cultural marriage is an unpopular discussion amongst the older generation throughout Cambodia. It refers […]

Culture

Affection from Heart

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Imagine, if you have a son, what toys will you buy for him? And if you have a daughter, what toys will you buy for her? I bet that you might be thinking of legos or trucks for your son, and barbies for your daughter. You might be thinking of pink for your daughter and blue for your son. This is a mindset that is very difficult change. Why? This is often the mindset of parents: colors, toys, and clothes […]