Are there ideal women? If so, what should be the ideal Ukrainian? Fashion for the perfect female image comes and disappears, and the woman remains. Is it possible today to be yourself and not to surrender to stereotypes imposed by society? Let’s try to answer.
The ideal of a Ukrainian woman at different times was not identical. By 1917 the ideal woman considered corresponded mother, housewife, honest Christian. Ukrainian woman in those days gave birth from four – to six children, and got high respect and reputation of them. Respect and love for the mother was like something sacred, “bullet will pass, but the mother’s word will not pass,” – said the proverb. Children groomed mother to old age otherwise it was considered a disgrace and a sin.
In the Soviet period Ukrainian woman had to meet the ideal of “workers and mothers.” The woman was needed by society as the worker. Housewives were considered lazy and of “blue blood”. Those days Ukrainian women gave birth to fewer children as three children in the family were already too much. The Soviet Union took a course on gender equality, as in the works of Marx and Engels was a lot said about women’s rights and community brigades.
Protest against sexual inequality was not fulfilled to something worth in the Soviet Union. Women began to work harder and just after birth almost immediately went to work. There was no vacation after child birth or cash payment for maternity. Though, milkmaid could become a deputy, but formally only. By executive positions women were not allowed.
In the post-Soviet period the idea of “natural purpose of women” as a mother and wife was again dominated. In independent Ukraine the ideal woman had to be homemaker. The crisis of the 90s forced the Ukrainians to become a “migrant workers” in Western Europe and in the rest of the world. Highly skilled workers, specialists, scientists widely traveled abroad to feed their children. There “homemakers” were subjected to brutal labor, psychological, sexual exploitation, but were in no hurry to return home. Many women remained in foreign countries for permanent residence. The birth rate in Ukraine has fallen sharply, and the number of terminations of pregnancies has increased. The ideal Ukrainian woman then works hard to save her family from poverty and hunger.
Modern ideal Ukrainian woman must play all previous roles: to be tender lover, gentle mother, thoughtful professional or responsible leader, a courageous defender of her home, zealous Christian, etc. Recently, the media and popular literature, offered another image of the ideal Ukrainian woman, who is sexually liberated predator that hunts for a rich husband. There were plenty of glossy magazines that give “hints” as for surrendering men women tempt to pretend less intelligent than they actually are.
Unfortunately, Ukrainian women willingly accepted this way and now almost all Ukrainian women want to be “sexy.” Wives of football players undress because they want to be “sexy.” TV presenters, singers, writers or actress also want to be “sexy.” Little girls, teenagers, young mothers understand that they must be “sexy” to compete for the hearts of men. The whole world expects Ukrainian women should be “sexy.” The woman who gets compliments once in seven years, purely beliefs that when she becomes “sexy” everything would change for better dramatically.
I’ve had relationships with two Ukrainian girls, and both were very different. The latter, unfortunately, falls under common stereotype about what to expect from a woman from Eastern Europe. So I would like to tell you first about her. She was beautiful in appearance, but very soon I realized she is ugly inside. She believed that the whole world should revolve around her; she did very little in order to realize her dreams herself, but expect it from me instead. She wanted me to provide her all for the “good life.” She liked to wear nice things, go to beautiful places, but she had complete lack of the personal. She did not want to work on herself, she did not want to learn, and she did not want to look for a job either. I will never forget how once at the restaurant, she demanded I bought her flowers, or at the ballet she suddenly leaned toward me and asked for money on her shopping. She found the time! In a word, she was not the best woman for dating, and even more so to spend the rest of life with her. So I broke up with her.
Relations with other Ukrainian women were of different kind. It does not fit into any one stereotype of Slavic women, which once again proves that stereotype is nothing more than a label used by people to generalize because of the reluctance to understand the essence of things.
She was beautiful not only externally but also internally: a very intelligent, well-read, at that time she was about receiving a doctorate. She was keenly interested in culture, art, music, she has travelled a lot and could tell me so many interesting things about everything (her English was fluent, although she was constantly in doubt and was embarrassed with her “meager” vocabulary). Life for her was of paramount importance as well as friendship. I can tell she appreciated her friends more than gold. She was a fantastic girl who took care of me. I took care about her as well: I was pleased to give her flowers and gifts, and she never asked for them, unlike my other Ukrainian girlfriend.
I think if it were not for the distance (until she finished University, we had to live in different countries), we would be already married. We’re still good friends, so I do not think that all is lost forever.
If we talk about the difficulties in relationships with women from Eastern European countries, the language is the littlest of all evils. The difference in culture and education would make you sweat! A simple example: if you have birthday in USA friends would buy you birthday cake and in Ukraine the birthday cake has to buy birthday person himself. Where is the logic? Why the one who has a birthday must spend half a day in the shops and in the kitchen to feed and entertain friends? In the United States a party would be organized by your friends and you can relax.
Another obstacle, which is almost never mentioned, is the difference in the cities in which we grew up. My hometown is three times bigger than that in which my ex-girlfriend from Ukraine grew up. All in her Ukrainian town was close to her home: studying, shopping, cinema. Everything was within walking distance. In the US, the car is a necessity, everything is at a great distance from each other and public transport is not everywhere and often. When I visited the girl in her hometown in Ukraine, I felt uncomfortable. What she felt nice and cozy (the cinema, shops, parks are at hand!), I was annoyed. When she came to visit me in America, I was indignant that the car needed even to buy a cabbage, not to mentioning other stuff like going to the movies, visiting friends etc.
If to judge about “the outside” of the Ukrainian, Russian or Belarusian women, the answer can be only one: they are extremely beautiful! They care about their appearance and do not leave any items unattended, knowing that men look at them with wide eyes.
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American guys usually visit Ukraine, because they have already heard of adorable Ukrainian ladies. Guy starts online search for pretties and within some time he founds one and only as it seems at first. There are actually two most possible reasons, why American men one day finally decide to visit Ukraine. The first reason is you have already found a girl in Ukraine and she invited you to visit Ukraine and in hope to see her in real and some other romantic feelings you are going to Ukraine. The second reason is you have spend some time looking for pretty pictures of Ukrainian ladies, read some articles about Ukraine and Ukrainian women and one day you have made strong decision to check your gentleman skills in Ukraine. In addition to that you have read Ukraine is poor country and having US dollars in the pocket you are able to do wonders there, including women. Some inner part of you is interested is all you have read about Ukraine is true and, maybe, in such a way you try to destroy myths about Ukraine. Or you just want to prove yourself you have enough skills and knowledge to conquer pretty Eastern Slavic woman. Continue reading
Hard days are coming for average Ukrainian boy, who would like dating a girl permanently. Though Ukraine had passed thru 2 revolutions, peaceful and the one including victims, life in this country did not become better, on the contrary. It is getting worse day by day. Politicians only promise and at the same time make killing reforms. Corruption is blooming and nothing has changed for better at all. Many Ukrainians suffer from lack of money and that brings a lot of problems. Average Ukrainian guy does not have funds for dating with a girl and it does not mean he is lazy to work. I will explain today’s situation in Ukraine by calculations and examples so you understand it better. Continue reading