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.
Love is crazy. I've finally come to that conclusion. And marriage, you take your life in your hands and just throw caution to the wind in hopes of survival with that step.
When love falls apart, things can get real messy, real fast. And I've always been stunned by people's behavior when love subsides.
More often than not, it's like they become different people. Sometimes people are beset by tragedy and grief and sometimes people smile wide and move on. It's a coin toss.
But my favorite post divorce personality has to be the sudden super villain. Oh honey watch out for them!
Redditor u/hyperyog wanted to hear all the tea from the divorcees out there by asking:
Divorced Redditors, what is the craziest thing you or your former spouse did after divorce?
I once had a friend who burned her ex's house down when he wasn't home. He had started seeing someone almost immediately, so she thought, lemme set their sparks. Yeah, she wasn't well. Whatever happened to just a quick goodbye?
Swipeddean winters crying GIF by MayhemGiphy
"She removed the retaining clips for my windshield wipers, but put the wipers back on the arms. First storm after I got my car back from her, driver side wiper flew off the car on Interstate 40. Good times."
"He wrote suicide notes and put them in my kids backpacks for them/me to find. Then he turned off his phone and went to a coworkers house to play crib and have drinks.. all the while knowing I would be freaking out searching for him thinking he was in danger or worse. Thankfully my kids didn't see the notes and didn't know what was going on. This was just one of the many, many crazy things he did. Two years out and he just recently stopped showing up at my work and driving by my house at night."
A Sad End
"Died of a drug overdose. To be fair, her drug addiction was the reason for the divorce, so maybe that isn't too crazy."
"That's so incredibly difficult to have gone through. I unfortunately know the depths of this kind of pain, and while I'm sure the circumstances surrounding it are different, the loss that still happened is a tragedy. My condolences."
"Stalked me for 5 years. Would make fake social media profiles to try to follow me (which I would block endlessly) and would try to find where I worked so she could talk to me. This lady cheated on me with 7 different men 2 months after we were married. I kicked her a** to the curb and made her sign the court papers."
"When we had our day in court she cried in the judges office while I just wanted to get this crap done. After, my dad was with me and he threw 50 dollars at her and told her to "change your freaking last name." Good guy Pops. I haven't seen or heard from her in about 5 years, thank goodness."
Take it All!skin care spinning GIF by Primal Life OrganicsGiphy
"I had an ex-boyfriend go through my apartment and take back every gift he had given me that he could find. Then he went in my bedside table and took the condoms. And the vibrator he had given me."
See now, when I'm out... I'm out! I don't want to see you, hear from you or know you. I wish you well in life, but please live it far from me. Anyone agree? Clearly not the people here. Let's continue...
For the Boybicycling father and son GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"All I wanted was custody of my son, I gave her everything else except one of our cars. She fought me through 5 hearings, I won. She never came to see him again."
"My ex cheated on me the week my mom died in the hospital. She spent a year and a half trying to get in touch with me. She would call my old work and make fake accounts trying to message me on FB. It was insane. She later sends a certified letter explaining she was sorry that she did what she did and that she aborted our child."
"Wanted me to meet her somewhere so she could apologize face to face. She already married some other guy that she had children with and was still trying to get in touch with me. I never understood her."
"After years of telling me she wanted a child, that she wanted to be a mom, that her life's dream was to be a stay at home mom, she got pregnant with the first guy she slept with while we were getting divorced and put the kid up for adoption even before it was born. This was a long-standing thing with her, she always wanted something (car, house, dog, cat, marriage, etc) and the second she got it she immediately hated it."
"Called me and pretended he had been hit by a car while we were talking. He even tried to voice the crowd that had gathered around his "body." God-awful acting, but pretty funny listening to him try to mimic a woman's voice. Points for trying to be inclusive, I guess."
"I think he was trying to get me to re-live my trauma of being on the phone with a friend who actually HAD been hit by a car while we were talking. Too bad he didn't realize that hearing the real thing is worlds different than hearing a dumba** try to act it out."
"I was sending 600 dollars a month to support my daughter because she's the only thing I give a sh!t about. My ex texts me and tells me I need to be sending 1200 a month because she's broke and can't pay her bills and I should feel guilty about it. She left me for another guy while I was on deployment I told her to go screw herself--call my lawyer."
Pop OffTom Hanks Drinking GIF by The Good FilmsGiphy
"Took the sodas from the fridge as he walked out the door. Dumfounded."
See, I blame Alanis Morissette and her "Jagged Little Pill" album. All I'm going to say is... the secret song. I think she gave people ideas. (I love that song) Y'all, seek therapy if you can't shake people. When it's done, let it be done.
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is highly regarded for his delicious plates, his ability to run a solid restaurant, and, let's face it, his stage presence.
He's also a foul-mouthed Brit who is all too willing to dismantle people's self-esteems and compare them to livestock animals.
Alas, as watching all reality television goes, we love to see the crashing and burning.
But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if you were the one being torn into by the sailor of all chefs, Mr. Gordon Ramsay.
Wondering what horrible dishes were lurking in unknown kitchens all over the place, Redditor FalloutSl*t413 asked:
"What's something you made that was 100% delicious but Gordon Ramsay would slap you for anyway?"
Some people talked about those purely functional meals that are just perfect for piling on enough protein and calories to get through the day.
"My mom used to make us 'Volcanoes.' Mashed potatoes topped with ground beef with some ketchup. I still tear it up to this day."
Quick and Easy
"I make weeknight 'enchiladas.' "
"You stick frozen taquitos in a casserole dish and cover them with canned or frozen chili and cheese. Bake them until everything's hot, serve with a dollop of sour cream. They sound disgusting but they taste amazing, and they take like, five minutes to prep."
"I know it looks like, smells like, and probably tastes like cat food but potted meat sandwiches. Look, when you're poor as hell and you can make 3 sandwiches with one little can that cost like 20 cents, it's pretty good."
"While I'm at it, Treet and bologna are pretty great. I have the taste palette of a raccoon and I like it that way."
"When I was younger I would make this thing where it was a patty melded of:"
- "a can of tuna"
- "two eggs
"And I would eat that almost daily, pan-fried, for lunch. Just slap me now and lets get it over with."
Others shared the recipes they make to feel fancy despite being totally trashy.
A Nuanced Process
"I call them 'chicken puffs.' Some par-cooked chicken (white or dark meat, either works) with sauteed serrano peppers and onions and garlic."
"All wrapped in crescent roll dough in little balls (a bit smaller than a baseball), put in a casserole tray filled juuuuust above the top of the little dough balls with cream of roasted chicken soup. Baked to completion/safety."
"Overly indulgent and delicious."
A Famous Side
"I consistently make a box of pastaroni angel hair and herbs as a side with meals I prepare for people. EVERYONE always asks for the recipe LOL please don't tell my secret"
Just a Couple Additions
" 'Fancy Ramen' Ramen made normal. Don't mix seasoning. Drain water. Add Mayo. Then mix in seasoning. And Volia. A lot of people question it. Until they try it."
Others outlined the things they eat that combine some ingredients it may seem disgusting to mix together.
Throw An Egg On There
"Fu** it lasagna, alternating layers of bread and shredded cheese (your choice which, I use cheddar) then crack an egg on top and put it in the microwave. Old depression meal, but it still holds up."
Hard to Wrap Your Head Around
"As a kid I would eat a banana with a cheese slice. Haven't tried it in years but it might hold up" -- Send_it_to_me
"Let's not" -- Sea-Entertainer-4974
"When I was younger I would make toast with peanut butter on it, then add pepperoni. Delicious then but I cringe thinking about trying it today"
The truly horrifying thing? There are so many more recipes out there that would leave Ramsay trembling.
People love to talk about food. There are blogs, books, television shows, conversations in bars and farmers markets. In all likelihood, there is a recipe swap happening right this second in some deep corner of a suburb somewhere.
But sometimes talk is a lot of hot air. And the topic of food sure isn't immune to that criticism.
You can't get through a day without some telling you what "you gotta try."
The problem is, talking about food is often far more exciting than the food itself.
Redditor anicaodha asked:
"What food is overhyped?"
Many people were angry about garnishes. They hated the way restaurants try to entice people to eat certain menu items by slapping some kitschy ingredient on there.
A Very Expensive Burger
"Anything with gold flakes, absolutely pointless." -- Spend_Total
"ugh, i just remembered throwing up gold flakes from goldschlager, yuck!" -- spaceygracie12
"Aka how to add a crunch to your dish like a douche." -- CakeBot_TheReckoning
Catches the Eye Though
"Any rainbow food, rainbow grilled cheese, rainbow smoothie..."
"Just a cheap money grab."
No Breath On My Meal Please
"Dragon's breath/ nitro puffs or any dessert that contains liquid nitrogen to make it look cool." -- throwjango
"This stuff exists? God, I'm out of the loop." -- -The-Magic-8-Ball
"Truffle oil, usually doesn't contain a single truffle." -- BlckontheMoon
"The 1 thing I love about Truffle oil is I've never seen someone use it on a cooking competition show and not lose." -- igotmadshirts
Some people talked about the big trends that they just never could quite figure out.
That Almighty Nectar
"Remember when people were treating Nutella like it was the second coming of Christ?" -- Grapezard
"I had an Italian friend once invite me to his birthday party in high school. His mom made a Nutella pie and it was one of the greatest desserts I've never had the pleasure of trying again. It was so simple, like a soft flaky dough covered with Nutella."
"I don't want to come out of the blue and ask this kid for his mom's recipe 15 years later so I'll just suffer I suppose." -- JupiterTarts
"Red velvet is literally a red chocolate cake that has nowhere near enough chocolate and to much red food coloring. It literally was invented when done dudes chocolate turned kinda red when he added vinegar to the chocolate cake mix."
"Friends loved the color, but it was finicky to get the red color without changing flavor of cake, so he decided to use red food coloring."
"Fu**ing Avocado Toast.
"Avocado is a buck. Toast is few cents. Avocado Toast is $10+"
And some discussed the things that people insist are fancy and delectable, but are really just run of the mill entirely.
Meat is Meat?
"steak is good, and I'd even say a high quality steak can be very very good. But people act like it's better than busting a nut and that's just not true. It's just meat"
"Lobster. It's good, but poor value given it's almost always the most expensive protein available."
"Plus most places just drown it in butter, which again, fine, but if all you taste is butter, why spend that much?"
Depends on the House
" 'Housemade' ketchup. Give me the damn Heinz and get your banana aoili mess away from me." -- peanutbutterallytime
"I live in Pittsburgh and I have seen multiple restaurants try and fail to make housemade ketchup work. Every single time they go back to Heinz." -- HooBoy401
So if you find yourself tired of hearing people go on and on about something you don't go wild over, know that there are others fuming too.
It's not easy to always do the right thing.
Which is why most people don't usually do the right thing. Doing the right thing involves a lot of thought, empathy for others, and a self-awareness of your place in the world. You're not making a choice just for yourself, you're more often than not doing it for someone else. This, in itself, presents a difficult hill for most people to climb so, usually, they feel it's easier to make the selfish choice.
Doesn't mean people always do. They can surprise you sometimes.
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
What's the hardest moral decision you've ever had to make?
Even when the choice amounts to something small, it can still matter to someone else.
How Dare You Make Me Morally Astute?!
"This is small potatoes compared to most of the people on this thread but many years ago I was travelling and had very little money. I went to a stall at a market, handed them a 10 dollar bill. Item cost 5 dollars but instead of handing me a five dollar note, the handed me a 50."
"I was walking away from the stall when noticed. My first thought was BONUS. But I had lately been hanging out with a bunch of people who were really into karma. So I stormed back to the stall, slammed the 50 down on the counter and told them off for making me make moral decisions. Lady behind the counter was like "ahhhhhh, thanks"
Didn't Believe The First Time, But Can't Deny Visual Evidence
"I told a co-worker his wife was cheating on him. It ruined our friendship for a good amount of time, until he caught her himself."
"To bad he couldn't just believe you."
Owning Up To The Mistake
"Fessing up to an error I made at work that cost the company 5k. I was a manager and misinterpreted a sales promotion. I almost lost my job, this is the one time that telling the truth actually saved me. It's true what they say that the cover up is usually worse than the crime. Lesson learned.."
Doing something morally correct when it comes to family can be tricky. On one hand, you don't want to ruffle the feathers of the people you're going to be related to for the rest of your life...which is how family works.
On the other hand, do the right thing.
Making The Best Call For Your Children
"Removing the mother of my two sons out of their lives completely as she was unfit and abusive while I was on deployment. They were 3-4 years old then and now they are 17 and 15 with their mother never attempting to come back into their lives which I would prefer at this point."
Because They're Going To Be Sad Later...
"My grandmother died, and I lied to my parents about it."
"My grandparents were 95 and my parents hadn't had a vacation in 30 years. So when she passed away with only 5 days remaining on their vacation, my family decided not to ruin it for them; instead, we'd plan the entire funeral and if my mother wanted to make adjustments when she returned, we'd arrange it for her; there was nothing they could do to get her back."
"Having to decide on the DNR (do not resuscitate) order for my father who had been victim to a massive stroke..."
"I know millions have done it before and millions will again but to me it was devastating....."
"As a health worker, you did the right thing by your father. I've come across families of patients who keep them alive for their own peace of mind while the patient themselves is tired and in alot of pain mentally and physically from the constant treatments and would rather rest from it all. Don't feel bad for your decision."
Never doubt your actions when it comes to protecting children.
"Calling CPS on a student's family after she begged me not to. CPS did an investigation and she was pissed at me for months until the vice principal had a talk with her and explained that I only did it because I care and didn't want her to get hurt."
"That VP is awesome. I sat in his office while he coached me through the call, since it was my first time calling CPS."
Standing Up For Your Friend, Even When No One Else Will
"I was in high school and my best friend was being bullied on the bus. She brought a knife to school and had previously mentioned a list of people. I cried a lot when I went to the principal to turn her in. I knew I was ruining her life but I wanted her to get help. I didn't want anyone to get hurt because we were all just kids. She was expelled and forced into therapy. We had been friends since we were 11."
"My mom listened on the phone line when I was trying to comfort my friend (while absolutely not admitting it was me) and my mom jumped on and told her I'm not allowed to be her friend anymore. I had told my mom I had turned her in and she had no empathy for this girl. Because I had been bullied and stood up for myself and never "did anything like that". My friend was getting cornered on the bus by 4 people whereas I was normally taunted in public and was lucky enough to always have an upperclassmen or school employee around to help me out. I felt guilty about turning her life upside down for many years but would do it again because she did get help."
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/