I wanted to speak about something that’s been bothering me for quite some time, and I don’t mean to sound petty at all, it’s literally something that I’ve observed and I’d like to know if you can relate.
I feel like in the South Asian culture (especially in the South Asian culture), boys are taken more seriously than girls. I know that sounds extremely rude and sexist, but hear me out.
Let’s create a hypothetical situation:
You are a strong, hardworking individual who runs her own textile company. A total self-made woman! Your company is growing and you're collaborating with people and people want to collaborate with you and it’s like, “YAS, I’m living my dream life!” And now you’re getting married! You love the guy and he loves you, all is well and everyone is excited.
Your fiancee, to-be husband, Mr. Right, BAE; also runs his own company and is doing really well and he- like you- is doing fantastic and is doing all the things. You’re so proud of him, he’s so proud of you, and he proposed to you in the most perfect way and the best part is- you didn’t even have to leave clues to hint to him that you wanted a private sunset proposal near the lake, with dinner to follow, with all your close friends and family. He knew that you wanted your birthstone- which is a ruby- in a square cut, with a sterling silver band because everyone has diamonds and there is only one you.
Girl, pop that champagne because king found his queen and y’all are ready to build your empire together.
So after dinner you’re sitting around nibbling on your third piece of cheesecake because you know for a fact that you’re working out tomorrow and drinking all the kombucha and eating clean breaking up with chocolate, cheese, and pizza for the next year-ish (or so you think so in that moment) because the wedding. So many events, so exciting what will you do? You know for a fact that you’re hiring Matrika Henna for all your mehndi events, ‘cause you want the freshest, most 100% organic paste on used, and you want the best-est, most elegant henna on your hands. ( ;) yes I know I’m sly) What kind of lengha will you wear? Or will it be a sari? How will your drape it? What colors will your wear? What about your song list? What if it's a destination wedding? A Deepika- Ranveer style royal wedding in Italy? Wait, wait, wait… how much money will it cost? You could just put all that money towards a house. How long will it take to pay it off? *inhale* breathe, enjoy that present.
OHMiGOsh so EXCITED!!!!
So a couple of weeks later your with the fam (two families coming together as one!) waiting to hear back from the priest to see if your kundalis match and honestly you’re a little tense because what if they don’t match, I mean your gonna marry him regardless, but it would just put you at ease knowing that they match because it would also put your family at ease too. Your people come back with good news! It’s a good match! Everyone’s happy all over again and because now it’s offically official, (Save me a ladoo! Someone play the dhols and nagaras!) Your mother in law, comes to you and says, “I’m so happy to have you as a daughter in my family! The priest selected July 21st for the Hindu engagement ceremony!”
You look at your calendar and see that you have an extremely important meeting on that day, so you tell family, “we would have to pick another day,” because you have a meeting. They suggest that you reschedule your meeting because the priest has already selected the date. The little voice in your head says that you scheduled this meeting two months ago and took so long to secure, but then family first.
Fast forward a couple of months and you’re now deciding on wedding stuff. So the priest decides that December 22 is the best date for your marriage ceremony and your mother in law surprisingly says that it wouldn’t work because her son has to an extremely important client meeting and the date would have to be rescheduled. (Interesting.)
Okay, the part where the feeling of, “oh … wait ...hold on a sec, that really wasn’t fair” comes into play is the part that I wanted to speak about.
You and I both know how important your work is to you. I mean it’s your baby, you saw its potential when no one else did, you believed in it when no one else did. You’ve worked hard and achieved milestones. Even though you may not know what you want, and only you know the kind of effort you’ve put in. It took work, sacrifice energy, passion, perseverance and dedication. Even though you love him and he loves you and that you guys are meant for each other he hasn’t been in your life longer than you’ve lived yours. You’ve worked just as hard as him, so then why does he get the upper hand? Why are his meetings more important than yours? Why is his company and his purpose more important than yours?
The issue in this hypothetical situation seem so miniscule in the big picture, but miniscule things add up to even greater resentment. I get that all relationships come with a compromise clause in it and I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is inequality. And it doesn’t just happen in weddings, it happens in everyday life.
Maybe for some it’s when they achieved something super cool like straight A or signed a huge deal, but somehow they’re male relative/ sibling’s evening recital was more memorable? Maybe it’s when a girls’s brother’s education is more important than a girls education because a girl is supposed to learn to cook and have babies and “what could she possibly do in getting in education?” Why do we have to have momma’s boys and daddy’s little girls? (Who came up with that anyway?)
Sometimes it’s the nourishment that we fail to receive that hurts us more than the hardships and setbacks that we’ve already been dealt.
All this to say, I’m not asking for priority, I’m fighting for equality. I think we need to start speaking about this more openly and apologetically.