Lemme Point This Out…
I wondered how I could fit in…… Well first, as you already know, I am emerged in the culture. Oh dear.
It was weird and foreign for Norwegians to see me act traditional to the point of wanting to correct my behavior. For instance, I make food spicier for my husband because he likes it. People whom I will not name suggested I stop doing that and make food how I preferred to make it. I was in Norway now and I needed to become more like Norwegian women. I didn’t even know how to respond.
What Norway is Like vs the US
After talking to my Norwegian family and much reading, Norway can be described as a near-equal society in terms of rights for women and men.
- Women can stay home and raise children if they choose but can also work and raise children
- pregnancy care is free
- birth control and abortions are covered under healthcare
- Women can stay home for a year and still be paid as if they were working
- Daycare is a reasonable price
- education and healthcare for children is free
- men also get maternity leave of a minimum of 10 weeks
- men can take 10 days off with pay when child is born
- there is still unequal pay for women vs men
They fought long and hard to change these things in their society and aren’t going to let it go. Forget the idea women are servants to men or the lesser sex. You’ll likely get a hand gesture from a Norwegian woman. Women are play the nontraditional role in society- they are independent, strong willed and value equality for BOTH sexes. Feminist radicalism is a minority.
The US is behind Norway when it comes to equality and female rights. In American society, most of these bullet points do no exist. Most notable is men staying home with the baby during the maternity leave. Women can work while having a baby, but it is very difficult to do and almost a must due to income needs. Birth control is not covered. The US also has unequal pay. The United States is very mixed where Norway is more unanimous in their opinions. Many women in the United States believe in the traditional female role due to religious beliefs. They still hold the belief that women are servants, beneath men and are under the law of their husband. Some women are opposite. Nonetheless, there is a difference is equality between Norway and the United States.
How Do I Fit
I feel tested in Norway to who I am daily and I feel the need to examine myself and my own beliefs. First I was a feminist. Then I wasn’t. Then I was greatly confused so I decided to take a online test to see if I was one. I was greatly surprised at my results.
I look at this and say to myself “Yes, I am a feminist.” I am not so much a feminist to believe I am above men or yell “FIGHT THE PATRIARCHY!” (Do you know what that means because I berely do… 😛 ) This test was an eye-opener to who I thought I was but it was indeed just a test. I seem to fit quite well in Norway even though I have some traditional views left.
What are your views? Have you had similar feelings of needing to recheck your beliefs while in another culture? Any books I could read or youtubers? Talk to me and leave a message!