What do Czechs really think about American women?

Discussion in 'Culture' started by cechofil, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. Sílený Jízda

    Sílený Jízda Active Member

    First I can't believe I actually read through all the pages of this topic. To rip it back on topic though as the obvious derailment of macking above indicates I do have a few thoughts on this subject.

    For starters generalizing American women, or even Americans for that matter, as stated in the quote above is narrowminded at best. I'd would dare say it's about as narrow minded as some Americans thought about what Czech is like. There are some here that think and believe Czech is slightly above a third world country in the grand scheme of things. They believe technologicaly it is a challanged country. Medically in the dark ages. Socially inept. And most erronously have no real contribution to the world.

    There are some here that even have general misconceptions about Czech women as well. Some think they are large, stocky, well built mules good for nothing but hard labor. Some think they are looser than a $2 whore on Ladies Night in the local bar. Other still assume for lack of a better compairison feel they look like wrestlers with long hair.

    Obviously, as many can attest here that is not the case in either misconceptions. I found Czech to be a very lovely place to not only visit but to live as well. I also found the women to be very soothing and pleasing to the eye. My own wife, a Czech national, I consider quite lovely making me the luckiest man alive. I often joke that she's as tough as a mule and twice as strong. That is a fact. For the most part she can carry ten times the load of an American girl. That doens't mean however, that all Czech women can outwork all American women. That also in no way implies that Czech women are all better looking than American women. I can also tell you my wife's sister, also a Czech national, often times fits the above quote to a t. Ironically, she isn't American so it sort of blows that generalization all to hell.

    Personally, My wifes father wasn't all that excited when he found out his oldest daughter wanted to marry an American. You see he also had a few misconceptions about American me. Thank God he was at least open minded enough to give me a chance and get to know me. After he talked (translated) with me and spent some time finding out my interests he quickly found out most of them were untrue and unfounded. He found out I was from Texas initally. This brought forth a flurry of skeewed ideas and foggy thoughts fueled by the worst form of entertainment America had to offer. Television shows like "Dallas" and "Walker, Texas Ranger" as well as a few of our national leaders gave him what he thought was accurate information to form an opinion of me. After he got to know me though he found out I didn't neccesarily agree with everything our national leaders do or say. He found that I don't have an oil well in the back yard, a 4 foot tall truck out front, and a hound dog on a chain. And also saw that I didn't have an attitude as big as Texas. Instead, he found an open minded, Mustang driving, Czech beer loving, cat owning, normal all around guy.

    Generalizations like the quote above are the reason why many people have the problems they do with others. It's part of the reason why national leaders have the peoblems they do with other nations. Perhaps if they put as much time into actually getting to know people and not ASSuming things about folks that they put into holding their misguided conceptions about people the world would be amuch better place.
  2. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Hi Sílený Jízda!

    I like your post and your nickname. :) I agree with what you write. I myself have run into people in California who asked me with a straight face if the Czech Republic was next to China and if we are a third-world country, and who couldn't believe that someone would actually want to live in the Czech Republic voluntarily. Just the same, I know Czechs who imagine that all Texans live on Southfork ranches and wear cowboy boots, that in the U.S. you can get a prostitute at every corner, and that if someone is American, they automatically have money coming out of their ears.

    However, at the beginning of this discussion, cechofil wanted to know what are some (I believe general) negative pre-conceived notions that Czechs and other Europeans have about American women. She wasn't asking for people's personal opinions on Americans. The way I look at ts's original response is that he answered the poster's question and that his answer is meant to be read from a general point of view. Most of us here agree that generalizing is narrowminded and doesn't really work if one wants to interact with people of different nationalities.

  3. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    A good book is the CZ version of the Culture Shock books. This is written by an American called Tim Nollen, who has a home in Prague. It is a good read, there is a wide variety of subjects covered, including women.

    The ISBN number is

  4. iluvuma1

    iluvuma1 Well-Known Member

    I think this forum is going to find- even thought the original post asked for negative perceptions- any American is going to feel a bit stung from the generalization- true or untrue. We being the bigmouths we are are going to surely try to defend ourselves. I know as an American woman I feel the need to represent us to the best of my ability here.
  5. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    I think any generalisation can be damaging. To blanket and tar a nation with one brush doesn't enrich one's knowledge of their cultures. British abroad haven't done themselves any favours in recent times, and a lot of countries think of us as a lot of drunken louts, when in fact it is a minority that ruins it for the rest of us. People visiting the UK usually find we are rather reserved on the whole.

    I try not to generalise people on their nationality alone, I find it annoying when I see the UK being portrayed in other countries as a nation of binge drinking louts and easy women, so I try and think beyond anything I read or hear about other nations regarding their people. I have met Americans who are loud, yes, but also plenty that aren't.
  6. Sílený Jízda

    Sílený Jízda Active Member

    I saw this book mentioned in a seperate thread. I'm interested in getting it for a read but our local library hasn't recieved it yet. It'd be interesting to know what I maybe haven't been told yet by my wife. She does her best to explain some things when they come up but I'd like to know it ahead of time. I would have loved to know all the typical Czech traditions before I actually had our traditional Czech wedding. I'll give her some credit though. She did tell me to make sure I had enough money when I came to pick her up for the ceremony.

  7. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    Brigitte, I absolutely agree with you. We gather our ideas about the world from books and movies but reality is often different. Let me tell you my first experience with the British.

    Years ago, while we were still living in Europe, my husband and I went to visit a Czech friend in London. Having never been in England before, we imagined it to be full of stiff-upper-lip individuals - the sort that one encounters in Agatha Christie's novels. I was not prepared for what was to follow.

    We started the car early that day in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and reached London late in the night. Tired, hungry and still traumatized by the experience of driving on the wrong side of the road, we spread out a city map and found the street our friend was supposed to live in. We looked for number 31 but that street ended with number 27. So there we were, exhausted and homeless in a dark street of an unknown city. Definitely a situation where you wish to wake up and find yourself in your own bed.

    There was no pay phone and so we chose a house where lights were still on. A middle-aged couple answered the door. In our broken English we explained the situation and asked whether we could use the phone. They cheerfully invited us in and the mystery of the missing house was quickly elucidated when we learned that we were in the East part of town while a street of the same name was about an hour away in the North. Since we were utterly exhausted, our friend offered to come over in his car and lead us to his house.

    Naturally, we intended to wait for him in our car but our hosts would have none of it. Before long, there were steaming cups of tea and a pile of sandwiches on the table. We learned that they were anxious parents waiting for their wayward daughter to show up from a date. Next we had the family album on our knees and soon we were acquainted with the said daughter in her diapers, on her rocking horse and in her school uniform.

    When our friend finally arrived, we were in love with all things British. Subsequently, I met a few wooden Englishmen, but that first warm encounter cured me thoroughly of judging people without first meeting them. Since then there is a corner in my heart reserved for England.
  8. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    What an interesting story! It goes to show there are a lot of helpful people about. When I was a child, back in the 60s everyone used to leave their doors open, and neighbours used to pop in and out with just a 'yoo hoo!', no need to knock. Nowadays so many people here live behind a fortress of locks and bolts, and a lot have lived in an area for years, yet not spoken to a neighbour. A lot of people have spyholes, cctv, alarms and an array of other security equipment that wouldn't have been necessary 30 years ago.

    There are a lot of welcoming people here, a lot will put themselves out to be helpful. Where I live, there is a mixture of roads and there are always people getting lost, especially foreigners, and if I see someone standing looking lost, I will always stop and ask if they need help. About a few weeks ago, there was a young Italian girl with a baby trying to work a map out, and she was staying nearby and wanted directions into town, and as I was walking that way, showed her a shortcut and walked with her. The shortcut is used by absolutely loads of locals, but it can, like lots of areas in town, be a bit dodgy after dark, and pointed this out to her, not recommending she uses that route at night! I felt it probably wouldn't be safe knowing experiences I've had coming home that way at night.

    It is interesting you mention street names. English streets are an absolute nightmare - I have just had one heck of a week with our post! We have a normal postman, but he is on his Christmas hols and we have a relief one on, well several different ones. My flat is in a block and we had no post for the entire block on two days which is odd. The house is set back from the road amongst a cluster of trees, and from the main road it looks like there isn't a house there and it is easily missed! It is the only house in a little side road. We are number 1 obviously! But the amount of confusion between ours and the adjoining streets is amazing. The postman last week delivered another street's mail to ours, and I took it round myself! On Friday, I'd had enough and went to the sorting office to rant! Came home, and funny enough 2 days worth of post turned up! I was getting narky because I am waiting for a credit card statement, that if it isn't paid, I get charged 18 pounds for late payment. I ended up putting a cheque in yes, the post! so I have spent most of this week waiting for a postie! Our normal one is back tomorrow so normal service will be resumed - well as normal as it can get round here anyway! :wink:

    British roads are normally odd numbers one side, even the other, but you also get side entrances, annexes, separate houses behind properties, blocks of flats with several entrances (like mine) and a various assortment of house names without numbers. For example one house could be Number 34. But it could have a 34a side enrtrance, a 34, the annexe round the back. It is very difficult, Street signs can be confusing too, when a road carries on across another and the same stree carries on across the other side. Or when a new development messes about the street layout. I know of streets here in my town, that are infuriating, and I have found myself looking for say, a number 123, when I am standing outside Number 121, only to find it is at the opposite end of a very long street. This happens normally when I am due for an important appointment, and am getting late.

    Too true, British streets are confusing. Great to see that people are helpful still!
  9. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    Sorry to carry on, but I have just thought of something regarding generalisation. I have mentioned several times on this board I am a Milan Baros fan. Now, used to be a member of a football messageboard, and there were at a time several comments about him that I felt were unfair I felt that as I feel I know a reasonable bit about CR culture I thought I'd stand up for him and put, that at the end of the day, he isn't English, and he may have differing beliefs about certain things. I can't remember what exactly, it was back in the summer.

    The response was that I was only putting what I did because I wanted to sleep with him! I was purely trying to point out some difficulties he may have come across in the UK, as a newcomer(ish) Trying to have a cultural discussion turned into an argument - typical of me people may think. I felt he was being unfairly judged and pointed it out! The generalisation I am on about, is that in the UK we have a lot of international sportspeople, and a lot of fans seem to judge these guys by English standards. A lot of players struggle with English as a language, and trying to make themselves understood in everyday situations may not be something that is evident to most sports fans. Dealing with driving, shops, finances - it is some of these things people don't think about. This is when I thought people should have thought, before they posted their comments!
  10. babicka

    babicka Well-Known Member

    Sometimes people read what is on noticeboards from start to finish in relation to any one topic, and give a serious answer, whilst others just pick up on odd words and try to twist it into a different meaning for a bit of fun, where in turn sometimes others often try to follow that same funny slant. What the British call a "wind up"; sometimes it is subtle, and other times it is very obvious.
  11. Frank_pivo_4

    Frank_pivo_4 Well-Known Member

  12. babicka

    babicka Well-Known Member

    Yes, you get good and bad in any culture as with regards to people, and yes they come in all shapes and sizes, and can have pleasant or unpleasant personalities. They have customs that they follow, customs that they think they should follow, and customs that they do not follow.

    The only certain thing in life is change, so cultures and corresponding beliefs continue to change over the years. Culture, therefore, can mean different things to different people depending in the year they were born together with the surrounding influences on their lifes at that time, which naturally includes immediate family and other close relatives.

    The monetary and material wealth of a country also has a great impact on cultural beliefs, as more wealth results in more choices of lifestyle.
    This also tends to create a significant gap between the rich and the poor, which is called a poverty gap, which in turn results in an increase in crime.
    People are also having to work longer hours to maintain their expected life style, where both partners are usually having to work. This now does not just include parents, but also many grandparents; many out of necessity. They used to talk in terms of an extended family in the distant past (where all family members and relatives helped each other, then they talked about the nuclear family (which includes only parents and their children), and today they now say that the nuclear family is no longer even the standard norm. If people are too busy dashing around trying to make financial ends meet cultural beliefs are often only something to read about and/or watch in films etc, as opposed to putting them into practice.

    Even some cultural events such as Christmas are exploited by others for monetary gain.
  13. Frank_pivo_4

    Frank_pivo_4 Well-Known Member

  14. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    Interesting post Babi. I think we in the UK are heading towards a time when the retirement age will possibly be scrapped and we will end up working until we are on our death beds. People are going to be having to save for their pensions from birth. Those who don't may find poverty in their old age.

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