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  • Elise I. Antoine

Gender Roles In The Haitian Community

I never understood why as a little girl that I had to stay inside and learn how to cook and clean while my two brothers got the play outside all the time.


This truly vexed me to the core even when it came down to doing our hair it was two different experiences. I had a painful experience with my natural hair and I was very tender-headed. While my brothers, they just finished less than 5 mins. Uhhhhh!


There was a time that I felt like it would be easier to be a boy than girl (I'm a total tomboy at heart). I felt like I was being punished, like the only thing that mattered was knowing how to serve a man and not having sex (I didn't know what sex was). I didn't get it 🤷🏽‍♀


The lack of communication is the biggest disconnection. Some Haitian parents feel you should do what they say without helping you to understand the reason. The girls get more of the brutal talk when their menstrual cycle begins. It goes something like "Now that you have your period you can get pregnant be careful".


What is wrong with teaching boys how to cook, clean, express themselves, pray and write in a journal? Do the boys get the same sex talk?


Our parents can make girls feel like sex objects, like you don't want me to play with boys? You only want me to play with girls? You're having anxiety that I may have end up pregnant but didn't have a proper sex and pregnancy talk?


We need to do better raising our future men and women.


Encourage them.

Treat them the same.

Don't make our daughters feel like a sex objects.

Teach them, both sexes, self control, how to respect their bodies, as well as good and bad touching examples.


It is important that both sexes recognize the importance of vital life skills like cooking and cleaning. It is even more imperative that both men and women, at young ages understand the full dynamic of sex. It is not the sole responsibility of one sex over the other to know these things. Boys and girls grow up to be men and women, husbands and wives, and fathers and mothers.