When abroad in France, being a female was different than being a female in the United States. We were warned from day one that even making eye contact with a man could be interpreted as us females being interested in them. I was honked at by men in cars far more often than I’ve experienced before, catcalled, and approached in public frequently. The difference was prominent in France, and I could tell that the men who did these things thought this behavior was normal.

In the home of my host family, I noticed the difference as well. I lived with a father, mother, and daughter. The family was extremely liberal, but during the month that I lived with them I noticed that there was a “traditional” family setting. My host mother did the cooking and cleaning each day while my host father provided little assistance. When I asked him about the washing machine for my laundry, he tried to help but looked flustered and told me that it was his wife’s job. This is different from what I see in the United States, as the fight for feminism and equality is strong on social media and on campus at this time.