Women Who Migrated From A Conservative Country To A Progressive One Explain How Their Lives Have Changed
Many of us living in the U.S. don't think twice about certain freedoms that aren't granted in other parts of the world.
Generally speaking, of course, we can wear whatever we want and behave without constantly walking on eggshells and worrying about consequences or judgment.
However, there are countries that look down upon women wearing suggestive clothing that aren't viewed as provocative in America. And when these women somehow find themselves here, it's fair to say it's quite the culture shock.
These are their stories.
"Women who migrated from a socially conservative country to a progressive country how significantly has your life changed?"
Having access to certain garments became life-changing moments for these Redditors.
"I come from a very conservative Mennonite (basically Amish) family. Luckily for me, my parents left the faith when I was born. My mother tells stories of being jealous of the girls at school who could have white socks because her family was extra conservative so she could only wear black. Imagine being excited about white socks!"
Feeling The Air
"For the first time I wore something above my knees and felt the air! I know it sounds silly but that to me tasted like liberalization.Other than that I feel safe and can hope to make a better future for myself. My rights are protected and I have discovered my voice."
Happy For Sparkle Sneaks
"I had a friend who was so excited to see sparkle sneakers. She wanted them sooo bad but she could never buy them since 'back home' where she had to return after college they would get her in big trouble."
"She looked at them like they were a puppy but wouldn't even try them on."
Freedom of fashion was not an option for these women at one time.
Clothing And Mixed Messages
"My wife didn't leave Turkey until she was 18. She grew up having it hammered into her that anything that attracted attention was a sexual signal and that she was to blame for anything that happened as a result. She was 12 years old worrying about sending messages to grown-a** men with her clothing choices."
People Share The 'Dirty Secrets' That Their Bosses Don't Want Customers To Know
Having The Choice To Wear Anything
"I moved from PH to Singapore. Now I can wear anything I want in the streets."
"Filipino here. There are wealthy areas in Metro Manila where you can wear whatever and be fine. Like crop tops or sports bras when jogging. Not so much in less developed areas."
"It's not illegal or anything, but people will stare and some will catcall or grope. If you complain, people will say that you're inviting that behavior by wearing revealing clothes."
"My sister's mother-in-law is Persian. She says watching the Handmaid's Tale reminds her of how things were before she left Iran. It was very westernized while she was growing up but then things changed..."
Life Change At 17
"Moved to the US when I was 17, now 23. I was free to wear miniskirts, drink in public, and hang out with male friends without having my moral character trashed."
"There's an undercurrent of rape hysteria that's very real but seldom explicitly talked about. My dad would freak out if I spent any time in my male cousin's room, despite the fact that we grew up in the same house and were around the same age. Your movements are stifled because every man who's not your dad or brother is treated like a potential danger to your chastity."
Strengthening The Marriage
"According to my mum, it's the little things. After a couple of years in Canada, my mum started wearing skirts. Nothing too revealing, maybe knee-length or lower, and she loved it. She had her first sip of alcohol when she was 31, LOVED the feeling of being « tipsy » after 1 beer. On the more serious side, she got to fully express herself to my dad (after 20 years of marriage). Her Canadian girlfriends told her about couples counselling, the love languages, etc. And she communicated to my dad the things she wanted to change. I don't know the details, but they seem much happier now than they were when I was a teenager."
"Treated As An Equal"
"Being able to wear what I want without having to be scared for my security while in public. And being treated as an equal. Edit: Oh, and the word freedom has gained so much more in importance since I had lived in some of those countries where it doesn't exist in some aspects. I think many people, not only women, don't realize how lucky they are to be able to live the way they wish and say what they want without punishment from some authority. I really cherish my life as a woman in a truly free country."
These women were subjected to constantly worrying about perceptions.
Weight Off The Shoulders
"It's everything. I can finally go for a walk without the fear of strange men following me and passing lewd comments. I can finally do the things I like (eating meat, having a drink of alcohol) without the implications of 'what will the society say.' We have a saying in my country, 'A woman's body carries the pride of the family'- what an awful weight to carry for any young woman. I can finally just exist and breathe."
Everything's Wonderful In New Zealand
"I experienced most of that my whole life in Peru, i was so pissed that I couldn't wear dresses or shorts in summer because people judges you for your looks or catcall you ugh I have anxiety because of the harassment but finally i can enjoy my life and feel awesome 😎 because I moved to New Zealand, best decision ever."
"My mom is German, but her parents went to live in Bolivia in the late 50s/ start of 1960s. She wasn't married at 15, like most of her friends were and the whole town was putting pressure on her parents. Father's were literally trying to buy my mother's hand in marriage for their sons, so at 17 she had to run away and married her first husband out of despair."
"That guy tried to kill her because she wanted to leave him a few years later. In the 80s, she had to flee the country since her 2nd husband wanted to force an abortion on her and he could've easily done that."
"She always told me to not get married at such a young age and to never lose your independence to a man. I guess her life changed in so many ways, I can't write it all down."
"PDA between couples, holding hands, kissing. Seeing gay couples holding hands. Just made me feel happy to see people getting to be open and in love."
Wonders For Mental Health
"I grew up in a conservative family in South Asia and now live alone in Australia. The most significant way my life has changed is my sense of safety, both at home and in public places. At home, I live alone and being away from my conservative family has done wonders for my mental health. I don't have to face constant criticism for my choices. In public places, I still get sacred at night, but that has more to do with my triggers. I have the confidence to walk alone without anybody questioning/harrassing me. That's not to say it hasn't happened, but the frequency is much less. I have less fear and feel safe for the first time in my 22 years."
"I also wear clothes that I ordinarily never would in my home country. My clothes are still quite conservative (sleeves, no skirts etc), but I feel better knowing that I chose what I wore and nobody controlled this choice."
It's The Little Things
"I moved from India to Canada in 2017 at 17 years old. Freedom felt freaking amazing! I could stay out after 7 pm. I could call anyone I like. When I was in India i was only "allowed" to have calls from family. My parents would get mad if anyone else called me. I never had sleepover, I had my first sleepover here."
"It's the little things. Being independent and following your dreams is the best feeling in the world."
"Philippines: There seem to be plenty of things that people are only against because of societal pressures, not because they actually believe in the moral/ethical arguments against it. Clothing, gender roles, etc. Cohabitation before marriage was a big one for me - it's still often viewed as a scandal except among elites who can do whatever tf they want. My mom was among those fully against it and we had a few heated arguments, but several years after I left, I eventually moved in with my then-boyfriend, now-husband, she didn't even flinch - she was actually happy about the financial advantages even (she hadn't met him yet). I wondered if it was just because she didn't want to push me away, but 7 years later it's never come up as something that's bothered her. I guess she never really cared about it as much as she led me to believe."
Unless you come from the conservative countries mentioned above, it's hard to imagine life any other way than what you're used to.
Just imagine the reverse situation, where you find yourself suddenly losing clothing options and conforming to new customs in a country with uncompromising rules.
So don't knock sparkle sneakers. Because to some people, they represent a utopian society.
When I was a child, I wanted so badly for dragons to exist. To be fair, I had a bit of an obsession with stories of man-eating reptiles and serpents after watching The Lair of the White Worm at too young an age. (Thank you for rocking my world, Ken Russell.)
Sadly... they don't. And if they did, I gather they'd probably pose a major national security risk!
People told us all about the mythical creatures they wish actually existed after Redditor Nymeria asked the online community,
"What creature from folklore do you think exists or once existed?"
"Amphisbaena - two-headed snake, said to have been created from the blood of Medusa's severed head.
The animal is Amphisbaena vermicularis which is a legless type of lizard, and since it digs through earth most of its life, its head and tail look alike to the untrained eye, hence the misconception that it is a two-headed snake."
A likely story from the two-headed snake propaganda team!
"Nobody mentioned Rocs or Thunderbirds? I mean I'm generally skeptical of cryptid stuff but of all the ones on the list, big ol' bird seems pretty plausible to me. I figure the whole elephant lifting, thunder flapping thing is big fish story stuff but I could see something like Argentavis surviving to the time of stone age man and god knows Quetzalcoatlus gives a pretty good idea how ridiculously large a creature can get and still be capable of flight. Who knows what's sitting in the fossil record with a Neanderthal clutched in its beak."
"The pouakai, a monstrous bird from Maori folklore, is more than likely a memory of the Haast's eagle from southern New Zealand. It's main prey were the also-unbelievably giant moa birds, but I imagine it would have little difficulty carrying off a small human child. So indeed, perhaps there are other long-gone giant raptor birds that posed a threat to early humans and then grew even larger in their imaginations."
"The family that lived there..."
"The mysterious so-called "flabby egg monster" at Glamis Castle, in Scotland.
I think it existed, but the mysterious and inaccurate folklore around it basically masked what it really was. It's far more likely that this was a highly disabled or otherwise deformed member of the family that was kept hidden from public view, with accounts from the time suggest something that sounds an awful lot like what we now know as Noonan Syndrome. People with Noonan Syndrome can have totally normal lifespans which explains why it went on for so long.
The family that lived there had a long history of genetic abnormalities, including one of the Queen Mother's own relatives who was hidden from public view and died in 2014."
"Since we didn't really start..."
"Definitely something in the sea. Since we didn't really start truly exploring underwater or polluting it except for the past 100 years or so. I definitely could've seen some near-extinct rare sea serpent-type thing living well beyond the rest of its race. Hell, even today we find new creatures once thought extinct in the depths."
I remember how much it blew my mind to learn about the discovery of the coelacanth, which were thought to have become extinct in the Late Cretaceous, around 66 million years ago, but were rediscovered in 1938 off the coast of South Africa!
"The current information..."
"The current information we have on different species of humans before ours won out really makes me believe that stories of dwarves and woodland elves might come from a place of truth."
This is exactly why I enjoyed watching Trollhunter.
"I think a lot..."
"I think a lot of folklore creatures were probably based on stories of real animals from far-off places, just heavily distorted with time and retelling by generations of people who'd never actually seen it."
"I think there was a species..."
"Humans have a fear or natural revulsion to things that look human but not quite human (think uncanny valley). Natural fears help keep us alive, for example, most people don't like spiders because they present a real danger to us and they move in a decidedly unhuman way. I think there was a species that almost looked human but was a predator to humans until we got smart enough to hunt them into extinction. It's probably the source of skinwalker legends."
Have you read a few skinwalker legends? They're terrifying stuff. Do not recommend reading about them late at night!
"But I certainly doubt..."
"Nessie is probably based off a real aquatic prehistoric animal. But I certainly doubt she actually exists in Loch Ness. If you wanted to take a picture of Nessie you are millions of years too late."
Sadly, Nessie continues to evade us. It just wants to be left alone!
"I honestly think..."
"I honestly think there's a solid chance Bigfoot or something extremely similar exists out there."
Where are you, mythical creatures?
If you're hiding out somewhere, I can't say I blame any of you. Humans will just find a way to capitalize off you.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
It's always nice to be complimented, isn't it?
Maybe? It might have been a compliment?
What is the strangest compliment you have ever received?
It's nice to be given recognition for the work we do, for the effort we put in to the things we get done.
It can still feel weird when it happens.
In Today's Day And Age, That Matters
"I was washing my hands in a gas station, and this lady told me I'm very good at washing my hands. Then she leaned close and said, "No, really. I'm a health inspector, and I'm very impressed."
Don't Ignore Those Calf Raises
"Years ago, I was working out at my high school's gym. This young lady approaches me and says something along those lines "It's completely unjust! I'll never have ankles as good as yours, no matter how much I work out! You're f-cked!" Prior to storming out. I'm also a man."
Upside! Otters Are Cute.
"When you cry, you look like a sad otter. It's very cute."
"Said to me as a 27 year old man."
"In their defense, otters are adorable. And age is not inversely proportional to adorableness."
You can only gauge so much from a person just by looking at them. To really know them, you have to get to really know them.
In these circumstances, these people were clearly enigma's to others.
What An Odd Prediction
"I was minding my own business in a New York bar. I was sleepy and yawned a lot because it was late."
"This random person who I'd never met before approaches me and asks me a question "Are you a native of Boston? You yawn the way people in Boston movies yawn."
"I am from Boston, and he was from Norway."
"You have a very swan like voice". She did mean it as a compliment but she'd never heard a swan so she was just going off of how swans look."
"I imagine they sound like angry geese, which doesn't sound like it'd be a compliment, or it'd be a passive-aggressive insult"
Blessed Be You, Sir
"A homeless man once yelled out 'Heyyyy sexy Jesus!' at me."
"So that was nice."
People like what they like. If someone says they appreciate a part of your body, first, make sure you're comfortable with it and, if you're not, tell someone, and second, it takes all kinds.
Ready To Start Dropping Kids
"I was told by a random lady in the grocery store that i have birthing hips, i am a 26yo man. Not sure if it was a compliment, but it was definitely strange."
You Don't Know What You've Got...?
"I was told that I have nice legs by some random guy that didn't have legs at Wal-Mart once."
Just Because You're Dead Doesn't Mean You Skip Leg Day
"I was dressed as a zombie for a scare acting job at a haunted house - full-on gore, horrendous outfit, the works."
"I scared a group of lads and then as they were walking away I heard - "Dude, was it just me or did that zombie have a fantastic @ss?"
"Stupid sexy zombie..."
In To My Sweet Sense Of Fashion
"A random girl passed me at the mall one time. We made eye contact for maybe a second. Then she just said "Nice pants" and kept on walking. My roommate said she was talking about my butt, but I like to think I had some sweet pants on that day."
Take the compliment?
Wins are so rare in this day and age, you should take the 'W' whenever you can it seems.
Bad grammar... where to begin?
It's not "could of." It's "could've."It's not "should of." It's "should've."
Oh, here's another: "Losing" is not the same as "loosing."They are, in fact, entirely different things.
Don't make me hate you – why does everyone get these wrong?!
People vented their frustrations with bad grammar after Redditor GreatBigWhite asked the online community,
"What is something that most people don't use correctly?"
"Especially hearing people..."
"The word etcetera. Incorrectly pronounced excetra which drives me crazy. Especially hearing people on the news say it."
I concur! I hear this all the time, especially here in the Northeast.
"It's a pet peeve..."
"The they're/there/their and to/too/two. It's a pet peeve of mine when people say "This is to boring." In any situation when they use the wrong "to." My mates had taken University-level English classes in high school yet they still make the "there" or "to" mistakes, and it makes my blood boil."
Whenever I see this on Facebook or anywhere, my eyes twitch.
"Incredibly: should've. I've seen a ton of people write "should of" when they mean should've (as in should have) and in my opinion that's worse than confusing "then/than"."
"To be fair..."
"Less vs. fewer. Less is for uncountable nouns: you have less time, less pain, less work to do. Fewer is for countable nouns: you have fewer apples, fewer cans of soup, fewer distractions. People usually use less when they should use fewer; it rarely happens the other way around. People will say "there are less cars on the road," but they probably won't say "there is fewer traffic." There is a related problem with much vs. many. To be fair, what is countable and uncountable can get complicated, and it's easy to make mistakes (I do it too). You can't have fewer money, you can only have fewer dollars and cents (money, amusingly, is uncountable). You can't have fewer pizza, but you can have fewer pizzas (pluralization of something uncountable makes it countable)."
"If you participated..."
If you participated in something you were "a part" of it. If you are "apart" from something or someone you are deliberately not a part."
And that's a fact.
Now if only everyone else could just get the memo.
"The phrase "I couldn't care less"
Most Americans I've heard say, "I could care less". Like come on, you're using that all wrong!!"
"It's a form..."
"Begs the question"
It doesn't mean to raise the question.
It's a form of circular reasoning where the argument requires the conclusion to be true, rather than the argument supporting the conclusion."
You should have seen the way people's heads exploded when this was explained in a philosophy course I took.
"Neither is wrong!"
"Not the "error" itself, but when people try to correct you on "grey" and "gray" or something like that. Neither is wrong! One is preferred by Americans, the other is more common in Britain."
"When someone doesn't know..."
"When, someone doesn't know how to use commas, because, they can't understand a simple, grammar rule.
It really, pisses, me, off."
Please don't do this ever again. I hate it.
""Weary" vs "wary" seems to be the latest one popping up. People just say "wary" when they mean either "weary" or "wary." It's like we've elected to get rid of the word "weary" for some reason. It's not like it's hard to remember the difference.
Weary: tired. "I am weary of coughing all night and day."
Wary: apprehensive. "I am wary of my friend's latest business venture."
Yeah, yeah... so we're the Grammar police. And judging by the way everyone seems to regard grammar, we're doomed.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
I don't know if it's laziness or fear. They are the two strongest reasons for putting things off in life. I totally get it and I'm completely guilty of it.
I often reference the legendary mantra Scarlett O'Hara lived by... "I'll think about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day." People love and cling to that idea.
Most of us keeping pushing tomorrows. And eventually, that often leads to chaos. And sometimes death. I'm not exaggerating. There are just some things in life that are too important to ignore. No matter how difficult.
So let's get to it.
Redditor u/Bedwar_man wanted everyone to be more responsible and start being more on top of things, they asked:
What is something that, when left unchecked, can ruin a persons life?
Money and debt are my two biggest issues. Debt just keeps building if you don't get on it. I'm too afraid to call the student loan people. I'll do it tomorrow. Whoops...
MOST IMPORTANT!!!Think About It Reaction GIF by IdentityGiphy
"Mental health. It took me years to realize how much I've dissociated. It became how I deal with everything. There are so many unhealthy ways to live your life by ignoring mental health."
Check the skies...
"Birds crap at up to 26,000 feet, or 14000% higher than the CN tower. When was the last time someone got killed by falling avian feces? But no, seriously. I used to work on tall buildings and radio towers. I'm also afraid of heights, so while I was up there I'd work out out how fast various things would hit the ground to distract myself."
"Air resistance is a real witch, and rotational effects make it even slower. Pennies dropped off the tallest building west of the Mississippi, the one I was on top of, would barely break 22mph. Harking a loogie over was no worse to pedestrians than pigeons."
"It was only once I got into the tools I was using that there would be an injury. A 9/16 wrench dropped 900 feet might actually kill someone, if it hit them in the head just right. The 1-inch would kill someone most of the time. Needless to say all my tools were on loops, and undroppable."
"Disassociation. Your brain is an incredibly powerful force and it can start working against your best interests so quickly while telling you that everything is fine."
"Thank you for this. I looked up dissociation in Google from this thread. I realize I have been struggling with both derealization and depersonalization in teens, and even now to some extent. I too think physical activities and activities I am really passionate about are the ones I "participate." I can say I have been a spectator to many years of my life and not feel my own experience. It is really strange, how do we come out of it??"
I'm scared to be honest...
"Mental and emotional abuse. Damn, I'm 36 and still trying to undo the damage done my whole childhood. The pain of beatings doesn't compare to how mental and emotional abuse screws with me every day in so many ways. And even stupid stuff. I go into fight or flight mode if my boss wants to talk to me. I constantly think my friends and my husband are mad at me or sick of me. I'm scared to be honest about my feelings sometimes because I don't want to be ridiculed."
Need Zzzz...Stressed Episode 19 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"A severe lack of sleep. I have no longer been able to sleep at night for some odd reason, so my brain causes me to essentially pass out during the day."
Open your mouth...Richard Kiel Smile GIF by James Bond 007Giphy
"Take care of your TEETH. Unless you want to end up with a molar shattering one day and having to get a quadruple root canal."
"Just got gallbladder surgery! I had a pain under my right ribs off and on. Then at one point it wouldn't go away and kept getting worse. Had an ultrasound and emergency surgery like two days later. I had a huge gallstone blocking my bile duct, and it would have ruptured. Yeah pain can come and go, but if it gets to the point where it is there all the time, go to the doctor!"
Love your skin...
"Strange skin growths. One of my wife's uncles was at a family gathering that was also attended by my BIL, an ER doc. The uncle mentioned that he'd had this odd growth on his leg for some time but hadn't bothered to do anything about it. Showed it to my BIL who adamantly advised him to get seen immediately. Uncle still took his time—too many other things to do or whatever. A year on an the man is just riddled with cancer. I don't think there's much to be done other than making him as comfortable as possible at this point."
"Email. My kid almost lost the financial aid award because it's summer; I don't have to check my email. It was an intense hustle to get everything squared away and not lose that spot at college."
"At the beginning of all the grad school classes I TA'd for I always ended the first day by asking, "Who here has a smartphone? Who has an email app on their phone? Who has their student email account synced with the app?"
"It was always all hands raised, all hands, two or three hands. I would make them set it up before they left. Checking your email in the morning and evening takes maybe 5 minutes on average unless you are a very important person in some organization who should really be checking more often!"
the long list...list GIFGiphy
"Headaches, skin cancer, tooth pain, kids, UTI which can turn into kidney infection, wound infection, bowel disease, debt, bad relationship."
The list is endless. So just start chipping away. Stay on top of it. Teeth and mind first. Stay calm.