Caught Between Family Traditions and Girlfriend's Values

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Published on
Sunday, 02 June 2024

The story

I have a big family that’s incredibly close. We have big family dinners every few months where we all meet at my great grandfather's estate and eat together. Typically, how this works is that the women go cook for the time they’re there and the men don’t, which I am fully aware is sexist as hell. That being said, I am one of the youngest people in the family and my protests mean literally nothing.

Some of those women choose not to cook; however, this is usually met with a level of ostracizing. The women who don’t cook are wives and long-term girlfriends, so they kinda already have a good family relationship established. When I have seen new partners not cook, it’s gone bad. Like completely ostracized, not speaking, cattiness, rudeness, etc.

This dinner will be in two weeks and my girlfriend was asked if she would attend. Initially, she said yes, which is great. I want for her to meet everyone and for everyone to get used to her being around, but when I explained to her the tradition, she was understandably bothered.

I told her that I understood where she was coming from; however, it was best for everyone if she just played along. I told her this isn’t a permanent thing and that I am only asking her to do this so that she can avoid bad treatment from the rest of the family. This is her first impression and I don’t think it’s best if we cause waves.

She told me that it’s unacceptable and that if she has to do that, she will not be going. I’ve tried to find a compromise with her on this, but she won’t budge and she’s pissed at me. She told me that if I think it’s acceptable to make her do this, I’m just as bad as everyone else, while my point is that she needs to make a good first impression.

Imagine if this was a reality show. How do you think my family and my girlfriend's reactions would play out on TV? Would the audience side with me, understanding the family dynamics, or would they see me as a villain for pushing her into such a sexist tradition?

Should the girlfriend attend the family dinner and cook, despite the sexist tradition?
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Points of view

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1mo ago

i think she should stand her ground. This tradition is outdated and sexist. 💪

1mo ago

Totally agree! It's 2024, not 1950.

1mo ago

But it's also about respecting family traditions, right?

1mo ago

I agree with you, girl power all the way! 🙌 This tradition is seriously old school and totally not cool. Your girlfriend should totally stick to her guns and not back down. It's 2021, time to break free from these ancient gender roles, you know? Stand tall and show 'em what's what! 💁‍♀️✨

1mo ago

Man, you gotta back your girl on this one. Family traditions can change...

1mo ago

This is a tough one. On one hand, you want to respect family customs. On the other, it's clearly unfair. 😕

1mo ago

Wow, I can't believe people still have these kinds of traditions. She shouldn't have to cook just because she's a woman.

1mo ago

Exactly! Time for some change.

1mo ago

I would say she should go but not cook. That way she can still meet everyone without compromising her values.

1mo ago

It's just one dinner, maybe she can do it this time and then you both can address the issue later?

1mo ago

But then she's just enabling the sexism, right?

1mo ago

I’ve been in a similar situation and trust me, it’s better to set boundaries early on.

1mo ago

and how did it work out for you?

1mo ago

You're in a tough spot, but I think you should support your girlfriend's stance.

1mo ago


1mo ago

Honestly, if it were me, I'd just skip the dinner. Not worth the hassle.

1mo ago

Your girlfriend is right. It's not fair to ask her to conform to such a tradition.

Author 1mo ago

I understand what you mean, but you have to consider that family dynamics can be complex...

1mo ago

I respectfully disagree with the notion that one should comply with an outdated tradition at the cost of personal values and principles. In a modern society, it is important to uphold equality and respect for all individuals, regardless of gender. Encouraging one's partner to participate in a practice that perpetuates gender stereotypes can hinder progress towards a more inclusive and fair environment. It is crucial to prioritize authenticity and integrity in all interactions, even in familial settings. It is my belief that standing up for one's beliefs and values is commendable, and it is essential to foster relationships based on mutual understanding and respect rather than compliance with antiquated norms.

1mo ago

Family dynamics, especially ones tied to long-standing traditions, can definitely be a minefield to navigate. It's understandable that you want her to make a positive first impression and avoid potential conflict. However, it's important to acknowledge her discomfort with the sexist nature of the tradition. Striking a balance between respecting family norms and standing up for one's values can be tricky. This situation calls for open communication and a mutual understanding of each other's perspectives. Both sides have valid points, and finding common ground through respectful dialogue could lead to a more harmonious solution.