I'm doing an internship with a disaster relief organisation. Today I was reading all about these guidelines and rules that exist for organisations that go in to ruined communities and try and help. One of the rules that I saw coming up a lot was "don't treat the men and the women the same, because they're not!"
Men and women have different needs and different roles in these communities. The men make the financial decisions, and the women are in charge of using the money allocated to supply the household with supplies they need. The men rebuild the village and grow new food and the women teach, take care of the children and the living quarters.
In the books it says don't even bother trying to change the way the society runs because even though their village has been decimated by a natural disaster the way their community runs makes them very happy. Lots of organisations try and go in and help "these poor oppressed women" when they are perfectly happy with their responsibilities and roles.
It really annoys me that these patronising people are barging into their communities and trying to change things often enough for there to be a rule that states specifically NOT to do that! This is one of the reasons why I feel hesitant to talk about my relationship to my friends! Why do people think that because a relationship isn't the same as theirs that they have to fix it?!