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What is "Gia Trưởng"? Why does it become viral?

Social media has been abuzz lately with the term “gia trưởng” (new paternalism). It may sound strange, but it's a new way of thinking about men's roles in the family, especially in relationships. So, what is this "new paternalism " and why does it become viral?

1. What does “Gia Trưởng” mean?

The original meaning of “gia trưởng” does not have a negative connotation, it simply refers to the head of the household who is entrusted with major responsibilities in the family.

However, under a different definition, “gia trưởng” (paternalism) is the act of limiting the freedom or autonomy of an individual or group with the intent of benefiting that individual, wanting others to be dependent on oneself.

The term “gia trưởng” emerged during the Confucian era and has generally carried a negative connotation. “Gia trưởng” is heavily associated with the notion of valuing men over women. In the family, the man will have the authority to make all decisions, while the woman must obey.

“Gia trưởng” also implies control, limitation of freedom and autonomy of others. Furthermore, it is a term that expresses resistance and the desire for everyone to listen to one's own opinion. In general, the term 'Gia Truong' carries a negative meaning about the character of the man.

2. What is the character of a patriarchal person like?

The patriarchal personality can exist in both men and women. However, this term is more commonly used to describe the character of men.

So what specifically is a man with a patriarchal personality like? This is a group of people with an extremely conservative, authoritarian character who only want others to obey their will. They will become angry and irritated if someone tries to resist them. The dryness in their character makes patriarchal people fail to gain empathy from those around them.

In the family, a person with a patriarchal personality will suffocate the marital life. Conflicts often arise in the couple's life, causing the woman to fall into a negative state. The patriarchal person may succeed easily at work but will fail to build good relationships with their employees.

3. The origin of the trend "I, the patriarchal man, will take care of you"?

This trend originated from the TikTok account @enhobbies with the title "Gu ải, gu ai” (My type, your type). In the video, the channel owner intentionally "parodies" a patriarchal man with a series of controlling dialogues. Among them, two lines that sparked the most buzz directly created the trend: "I am very patriarchal. A patriarchal man will take care of you."

The meaning behind this video is clearly to mock, but the serious posture, earnest facial expressions, and exaggerated content of the channel owner made the viewers burst out laughing and enthusiastically embrace the idea of being a patriarchal person. The video then spread passionately, and has now garnered nearly 1 million views and approximately 50,000 likes.

4. Why did the new paternalism become popular?

The heat of the "patriarchal man" trend continued to be maintained and amplified after some famous people joined the trend. Typical examples are "Ninh Anh Bùi" and "Âmiuoi" - a couple beloved by many for their beautiful love story and humorous personalities. When livestreaming and interacting with fans, Ninh Anh Bui often performed small skits where he played the role of a patriarchal man with his partner.

Although he delivered the line "I am very patriarchal" extremely smoothly, in reality Ninh Anh Bui complained all day about his partner controlling the money, "scolding him lovingly", and wanting to revolt against “Âmiuoi” but ultimately not doing so.

Therefore, being patriarchal nowadays no longer carries a negative meaning, but the internet community has redefined it as patriarchal men who possess these four qualities: “kind, sophisticated, economically capable, and realistic."

It can be seen that it is not the patriarchal character trait that suddenly becomes popular, nor is it that women have changed their preferences in the opposite direction. The widely popular ideal male model is still essentially the type that cares for and loves the person by their side. Even if there is a patriarchal element, it is just for show, a patriarchal man, but one that is insignificant.


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