People act like Western fashion is the pinnacle of the fashion world and I’m just like???? Have you seen the luxury in South Asian fashion??? The elegance of a silk sari, the power of a big red bindi and a turban, the sleek, trim lines of a sherwani is unparalleled in the fashion world. The West knows nothing of the luxury that the people of South Asia have been creating for thousands of years
This 23-year-old student of Mardan University in Pakistan was brutally beaten and murdered by his fellow college-mates who accused him of blasphemy. I’m still shaken by the video of him being dragged across the university while being constantly kicked and thrashed until his clothes became bloody and he lost consciousness.
And RIP, people who are delusional enough to believe they have the right to take another man’s life in the name of religion.
I am not against individuals who choose to have arranged marriages. If you had one & you are happy, great! Good for you.
However, we cannot ignore all the harm having a culture that promotes these over “love marriages” causes to our growth as people.
The concept of arranged marriages especially harms us women for several reasons:
It makes us focus more on what our future in-laws want than our own needs. Everything you do, you do it so it looks impressive to your “future family”.
It forces us to pick “impressive” careers over things we are genuinely passionate about. How many desi girls who are becoming doctors and engineers like what they are doing? How many are only doing it to improve the quality of their rishtas?
What if you want to do something “radical”, like become the next MIA? Forget it. Who’d rishta that?
What if you want to marry when you are actually old and mature enough to handle a relationship? Forget it. No one wants to marry a 27 year old when there are 19 year olds on the market. (God, how wrong does that sound? I cringed while typing it)
Superficial things like appearance, career and having a foreign passport will always have more weight than things that actually matter, like your compatibility with each other based on shared interests. As a result, you will focus on them more than actually focusing on things you like (ie writing). People don’t realize that a person’s culture has a hugeeeeee impact on them as individuals. Even though a Pakistani born and raised in Pakistan will have the same passport as a Pakistani born and raised in the GCC, their personalities will be completely different because of the cultures they were raised in.
It encourages racism, ageism, sexism & body shaming. It causes some people to have low self-esteem for all the wrong reasons. Do I even need to elaborate on this??
Let’s talk about the concept of rishtas.
As a thin and young light skinned Syed girl with light brown eyes, I get several pluses on an auntie’s checklist. As someone who wears the hijab, I can either get a plus or a minus depending on what the guy wants. As someone who grew up abroad, I get one more plus. However, once they find out I am still a Pakistani citizen, that gets cancelled out. As someone who is majoring in politics [because I seriously freaking love it] I get a minus because it’s not a “professional degree”, but that gets cancelled once they find out I am planning on going to law school.
For the sake of getting good rishtas, I have to act like a “proper” girl. Get a proper degree, wear proper clothes and have proper friends.
Ok, but where am I in this picture? Where is the fact that I love writing, singing & making weird jokes? Where is my incredible talent to burn any food I attempt to cook? Where is the sound of my bizarre laugh or the weird way I sneeze that makes everyone chuckle? The weird way I like running in my yard in the early hours of morning when no one’s watching, feeling the wet grass on my feet? Where are my likes, my dislikes & my struggles beyond my academic career? Where are my dreams to become a leader, to maybe start a business of my own someday?
Shoutout to all the desi moms and women that we roll our eyes at now but once had dreams and ambitions but weren’t born in our time and couldn’t follow any of them and so were brought up in this misogynistic society and culture where they think that love is how much shit you can tolerate from a man and that their needs are and will always be second to males and that they should smile and keep their mouths shut and their heads airy and filled with dinner plans and marriages and kids. Who, if given the chance, might have become amazing doctors and scientists and accountants and excelled at everything their husbands brag about and STILL make it home in time to be a mother. Who constantly put up with emotional abuse and probable mental illnesses not even knowing that those are actual things.
I love you, and I am so so sorry you have to live this way.
Can South Asians (and many other Asian communities) realise that whilst shadeism was historically at large due to classism/casteism, nowadays anti blackness also plays a massive part in it and has been for quite a long time now?
It’s literally nothing to do with “US-centrism” or anything. Shadeism is a massive problem in our community and we cannot turn away from the fact that anti blackness is a major reason for it.
(Only south Asian people and black people allowed to reblog)