My latest 2-part tweet says the following:
I can think of 10s of American Muslim girls who have married ‘fobs’, but can’t think of even a single American Muslim man who has. 1/2
This frustrates me for reasons that are too long and complicated to get into on twitter. 2/2 (Also, I in no way say ‘fob’ derogatorily)
When my aunt tells me to at least consider a guy from India because of reasons x, y, and z, and that I can’t say no without even meeting him because it’s “not wise”, my mind immediately goes to her kids, all three of whom are married. Two sons and one daughter, and the only one who ‘considered’ a guy straight from India was the daughter.
Why is there this pervasive mentality in the desi community that American girls, born and raised here, can and will consider fobs? I don’t think it’s a mentality actually; I think it’s more than that. It’s so ingrained within them that it’s not a thought process, it’s just something that is. I honestly can’t think of a single man, born and raised here, who has married someone straight from India. It’s not considered when the rishta process is taking place because it just isn’t. The men will not, can not, marry someone straight from India.
The girls, on the other hand, can and should if a “suitable” (who the hell decides that??) person comes along.
The demographics are all out of whack in American for Muslims. There are a significant number of eligible, good, decent female Muslims of marriageable age, but there is a dearth of eligible, good, decent male Muslims of marriageable age. That certainly contributes, I’m sure, but if that was it then I would be okay with it.
It’s also this belief, that is, again, so ingrained with the desi community that it’s almost not something you can blame them for; they don’t even realize that it’s a rational thought process, subtle thought it may be, that leads them to it. This belief that girls are…not at the same standard as the guys.
Bear with me while I try and explain what I mean. Why is it that guys are never asked to consider a fob when it comes time for them to marry? (I don’t want to make this too long, but I do want to emphasize again that I say fob strictly to explain and it’s not meant to be derogatory in the slightest). The reason, in my eyes, is because of the prejudice that so haunts the desi community. There are levels, and to be American is one of the highest levels. This is why someone from India who manages to marry a desi girl considers himself lucky – he’s managed to marry ‘up’. The guys, however, are too high up on this ladder to ever be able to marry someone straight from India or Pakistan. Oh no. This precious, American, boy cannot marry someone that far below him.
It doesn’t matter for the girls, mind you, because the girls are always below the guys on the ladder. Always, always, always. Yes, the girl is American, but it’s not that big a gap for her between her rung and the rung of someone straight from India.
I know this all sounds a bit radical and crazy. Obviously, this is what I believe at the moment, but keep in mind that it’s coming from a frustration at this trend I’ve seen over and over and it may not be accurate at all.