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Muško Mara: A Story Related to Women's day

I wrote this article two years ago and published it on LinkedIn. Hope, you'll like this story! Let me know what you think in the comments!

I received a few messages on What's App, wishing me a happy Women's Day on the 8th. Well, I would not have noticed otherwise. In the evening, I politely thanked those other women and the next day I found some comments on social media, where female friends and colleagues of mine discussed the equality of the genders. Well! Today I only want to tell you a short story, one my dear mother has told me. It is about Muško Mara, who lived until about 1990. Ironically the Croatian word "muško" means "man", so whom we are reflecting upon is actually "Mara, the Guy".

No matter whether in church or on the streets: As soon as Mara was passing somewhere, the village women started whispering and commented on her behavior and look. Mara was "almost" a normal woman in our little village of Svib in Dalmatia. She gave birth to a bunch of children and was married, too. But Mara wasn't lucky enough, to have a working husband, neither outside nor at home. This is why Mara had to perform all household tasks: the traditionally female and the male ones. Male household tasks were cutting wood, painting walls, slaughtering farm animals, carrying very heavy stuff, all these things. But Mara's husband didn't do any of these tasks. He was an alcoholic.

Mara was up from early morning until late in the evening to be able to provide for the most basic family standards. Yet, the other women just considered her to be like a guy, instead of stating, that she was an amazingly strong woman of her time.

My grandma, who was a contemporary of Mara's, would never have admitted that she was sometimes doing "male work" at home, too. Not always of course, and not all of it, but in the countryside every hand was important when it came to being prepared for winter, especially when men were at war or on construction sites in the cities. So we should say 'Thank You' to all women, who were brave enough to provide for themselves and their families, no matter what others thought of these 'guys'. Thanks to my grandma's knowledge on "male tasks", my mother was able to do "men's work" as well, and for me it was already normal as a young woman to paint the walls of the apartments I lived in by myself and to fix broken stuff around me. It made me independent and less fearful!

Thank you, Guys!


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