Czech women usually evoke a va-va-voom response in Western males, who glorify their ethereal beauty and perceived submissiveness. Traditional, unspoiled by feminism, and always striving to look her best, the stereotypical view of the Czech woman is problematic — though admittedly affects how women from the West relate to their Eastern counterparts.
Aren’t they too accepting of traditional roles? Not modern enough in their approach to career, motherhood, the domestic sphere? Overdressed?
Czech women counter that we’re the ones who are clueless. Employed full-time under legal obligation and responsible for a family, this was their grandmothers’ and mothers’ task under socialism while feminism was a lark for bored, middle-class American housewives.
Marianne A. Ferber, professor of women’s studies at the University of Illinois writes in her essay “Women in the Czech Republic: Feminism Czech Style” that today’s Czech woman has inherited a “striking mixture of strong family values with a firm attachment to the labor market, a sense of personal efficiency, and considerable independence.” She’s homemaker, breadwinner, and proud of it.
All “isms” aside, Czech women still have something I don’t and, frankly, it can be intimidating. Many would attribute the leggy Slavic goddess to good genes, lack of processed food, and the communist preoccupation with fitness. But there’s something else there, a kind of grace and posture that’s visible in everything they do. Czech women command attention— and not just because they can be more primped, painted, and plucked than we. Their best accessory is a quiet dignity that I’m envious of.
Text from Expats cz