Desi households usually refer to South Asian countries mainly India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Desi parents, also called brown parents, are attributed to a specific mode of upbringing children. It is true that Western and Eastern upbringing have their own set of plus and negative points. But the differences are stark if we compare European and South Asian households. More specifically, let’s discuss what people of these households face and what traumas they have to deal with.
Asian households are mainly patriarchal which the root cause of every problem is. Why does patriarchy seem a problem? Many people equate the opposition to patriarchy as hatred for men or misandry. Well, that’s partly true because men are the patriarchs in South Asian households. The problem is the role of men and the effect it has on other family members.
A young man is imbued with all the toxic masculinity standards. He is taught not to be emotional, not to hear “no”, and project a dominant attitude toward women. These women are not only mothers, but sisters, wives, and then daughters. The little boys grow out to be ill-tempered and insufferable beings. They look down upon women and even fellow men that appear to be less masculine according to their standards. And then cherry on top, this detestable attitude is regarded as their nature!
The argument presented is that men are protectors and they should be the decision-makers as they earn. To authenticate their hegemony they also take religious relief. They will bring out verses and scriptures which misleadingly prove their hegemon.
Another argument is that women are weaker beings. They are troublesome as Eve also manipulated Adam up in the heavens. The despicable behavior of boys is thrown upon the mother as it’s all because of her. Because a mother nourishes a child and every misdeed is because of her. Some women also pose to be patriarchal which a cyclic reaction of male hegemony is. How? Let’s analyze the miserable life of Asian women.
A daughter is born to a house and she is not celebrated as much when a son is born. She is a duty and a test by God. She must be “protected” from all sorts of evil in the world. As she grows, she is not allowed to go into balconies, or attend unknown phone calls, or answer the doorbell. What if there is a stranger and “he” lures her into a “misdeed”? This is the whole paranoia in which a young girl is brought up. Always in fear of the unknown. Her whole life is “What if a man…” and then she shuns all her dreams and desires.
Time goes on and she becomes a teenage girl and she has no understanding of what is happening. 15 years inside a house and the only outer world she has seen is her school and from there, straight home. No talk with friends on the phone as “unknown” people can call. No hello with any stranger as they might do something “bad”. There is complete obscurity on the part of who is “they”. She also sees her mother circling in the routine of getting up before everyone and sleeping late after everyone has slept. She also observes that her father is home at times and he has holidays from work but her mother’s work doubles. Especially when her father is home. He is fixated in front of the tv and her mother is serving him, picking after him like a slave. Most of the time they fight, and the loudest shrieks are of her father. He is complaining about expenses, children shouting, the tasteless food, or sometimes just venting about the stressful day or rift with the boss, all on her mother.
As she grows more, and her late teens are approaching she observes another disparity. Her brother is allowed to go anywhere, everywhere with his friends. But she is confined in a tower like Rapunzel; she can just stare at stars and wish for them. The evil mother is the evil patriarch. She is the second mother of his brother. While her mother picks after her father, she is asked by her mother and rather expected to pick after her brother. All because they earn and they go outside.
But this Stockholm syndrome must end. If these “patriarchs” and “protectors” are given this Kingsly protocol. She sees her mother and vows never to be this disrespected ever. While her mother is handling everything, she is also being traumatized mentally and physically. She can do everything herself, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of herself even when she is sick or on her period. Then why not exercise the right to be a free bird and gain that dignity back. This will only come when she’ll have the power and finance to shut it all up. The same money the patriarchs felt pride in earning! She was not taught how to ride a bike or how to haggle, she’ll be taught herself. All of this was to contain her, to be the slavish satisfaction of a patriarchal master.
This little description is about the life of many women. Two women come out of this mentality and she becomes the path she chooses. One becomes just as tyrant as a male patriarch as she manipulates her son for her salvation. She does not liberate herself but tends to enslave others as this is what she has endured all her life.
The other is completely rebellious who everyone hates. Because she talks back, she doesn’t let anyone question her choices. She lives her life without dictation. She is living for herself and not a borrowed dream of someone. She stands up for herself. She demands equal treatment. She can sit in the front and she can speak upfront. She can give a deadly stare and shut everyone up. She gets flashes of that entire repetitive trauma when someone says that “Because you are a woman” or “You are a woman, don’t do that”. But she roars no, “Yes, I am a woman”.
Be that rebellious one! Be that scary one! Be the master! Edited By: Ritaja Kar
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