‘An Armenian Woman’s Underarm Shouldn’t be Seen’: Gender Equality is Laughable?
Feminist movements’ actions in prompting equality between men and women is laughable, since by nature men and women are not equal — each has its function and it’s wrong to speak of equality, said Gagik Ginosyan, director of the traditional song-dance troupe Karine, who, along with Sociometr independent sociological center (also known as the Center for Independent Social Studies) Director Aharon Adibekyan, spoke of the role of women in preserving national values at a press conference in Yerevan today.
“For nations such as ours it’s wrong; if it was like that, well then let men also give birth. I think that Armenian women haven’t been ignored: even in patriarchal families, the [tradition of the] bride not speaking with her mother-in-law had its meaning, and it is also the loss of this modesty that today we see widespread immorality — in the streets, one can see flippant and frivolous girls who have no limits. In the past, an Armenian woman’s underarms couldn’t be seen even in dance, and this modesty was serious advice. But now we’re witnesses to the loss of this shame,” he said.
Adibekyan noted that women decide the physical standards of a nation because they are parents, the ones who reproduce.
“Birth rates in Armenia have decreased by two times; we are among those diminishing nations. Our bridegrooms are not here; it’s possible he’s in Vladivostok [Russia] selling cucumbers. Were are you going to get a bridegroom from?” he said.
Adibekyan described one of the studies conducted by Sociometr which revealed that Armenian men do housework and help women in cleaning the house, doing laundry and making dinner, but they are embarrassed to talk about it because traditionally a man shouldn’t be doing any of these things.
“When talking about sexual relations, the wife can cheat on her husband and do things with her lover that she would be embarrassed to do with her husband. The same with the husband: he says, I would love for my wife to receive from me that which my classmate or business friends receive,” he said, meaning he’d love to feel as comfortable and free with his wife as he does with his colleagues and classmates.
He noted one of the first problems that must be solved is more engagement of women in public life.
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