And so you met them. You light each other, the “click” was made, you both felt the butterflies and everything associated to it. You went on a couple of dates -to the movies, a couple of restaurants, you held hands, went for a few romantic strolls and, before realizing it, you ended up together. Who cares if you don’t know each other that much? This is something that you will discover step-by step, as it happens in the majority of cases. Most of them are smooth, but what happens if you stumble upon one of the so-called exceptions?

This is exactly what I’m talking about. What happens if your brand new significant other is a “traditions fanatic”? Oh, and I’m not referring to everyday trivia, such as demanding you to brush your teeth after dinner or to use the doormat before entering the house. These are softcore. But what would happen if they “kindly” demanded you to wear a ridiculous red sweater with reindeers and take a picture with their family? It doesn’t matter that this is the first month that you are dating. It has to be this way.

Truth to be told, women suffer from tradition and stereotypes more than men. In western societies the phenomenon is rarer, but it still happens. How would a lady react when, during their first sleepover after quite some time of dating, the otherwise beloved boyfriend would ask for her to do the dishes at his place, because it’s a woman’s job. Let’s be honest. After a sleepover, you can still run away. What happens though when your partner reveals these kind of intentions after moving in together? Disappearing is not an option when you have invested time and actual money in a relationship.

How would one react if, all of a sudden, they were obliged to obey to the following statement: “If I’m not going out, you are not going out as well”. Or to its most sexist version: “It doesn’t matter that I’m going out, you are a woman and you are going to stay at home to humbly wait for me”. Not so marvelous, is it?

To many people, traditions and stereotypes are literally a pain in the ass. An infinite catalogue of “have to’s”, rules, obligations and demands for respect in people and situations that clearly don’t deserve it. It‘s nothing but another means to torture yourself and the others around you. The bad thing about tradition fanatics is that not only do they follow the sacred orders some Middle Ages freaks imposed – people would be fine with it if they kept it to themselves–  but they demand, and finally obligate, people in their environment to adopt the exact same way of life.

If this is not tyranny, then what is it? Unfortunately, if the other side is so stubborn, there is not much to be done. Attempts for a civilized conversation may occur, but they will most likely end with a “because I said so”.

There’s nothing bad in giving a try before hitting the road, of course. If you can stomach it.

Author: Tina Barbatsalou

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