Growing up, it’s not uncommon to hear uncles and aunties boast about how their marriages are for life and recite a random stat about the staggering American divorce rate. Maybe they’re onto something. Maybe brown people work out their differences more frequently than giving up? Or maybe they don’t work out their differences and accept a silent defeat and their good-as-dead marriage.
The aunties need to chill out because there is no good direction to take from a failed relationship. Giving up is hard. Staying put is hard. And either way, there will be repercussions for the people involved. I know this, you know this. We also know that desi guys are not objectively better at the whole relationship thing. That would be a silly thing to believe, right? If anything, we’re all so emotionally stunted as desis that we are probably a lot worse at the whole relationship thing than other people in our age group.
Then why are so many of us desi girls still under the impression that dating desi guys is “safer”? As though desi guys are more likely to stay faithful and committed. I would now like to link you to this: desi guys blogging about how they feed on–and feed–our ignorance. You want to believe that every desi guy you date is in it for keeps? That he wants you to have his babies? Well, he might tell you just that. And we are at least partly to blame when things end sourly because we go in with a bias based on race/culture and we don’t always see clearly. The idea that desi relationships are for keeps is often deeply rooted and even as we grow older, more mature, and supposedly more intelligent, a lot of us still don’t seem to recognize that desi guys are not any more likely to be faithful or committed than the next guy. It’s no one’s business but your own if you want to stick to dating desis for whatever preference or pressure, but be real with yourself and don’t look at your desi man through rose-colored glasses.
You’re NOT in a more secure relationship than your girlfriend because you’re dating a brown guy and she’s dating a black guy. So stop thinking it.
This is seemingly the most common form of bigotry that emerges in our generation of desis and I know desis who will perpetuate their bigoted standards for dating to their children. Can’t believe I actually heard someone say the following:
“I would never let my daughter marry a Mexican. He’ll get her knocked up and skip town”. Seriously?? Yes, because by virtue of race people can be more or less reliable. And of course the desi child wouldn’t be to blame when the interracial relationship goes awry. Poor victim of a Mexican. Or African American. Or whoever else it is desis don’t seem to have an affinity for these days.
I don’t know where most people draw the line between preference and prejudice but it’s interesting to consider where we each stand. We all like to think of ourselves as open-minded no matter how liberal or conservative we are…and this issue, I think, forces one to evaluate just how open-minded we really are. Are we really more compatible with people of our own race? If we aren’t then does that make us less desi or “whitewashed”? Do different religious backgrounds truly make it harder for people to relate, as is suggested by our friends at FickleFitna here? We are quick to try and find easy solutions and easy matches but it’s interesting to think about what exactly it is we need as individuals and whether those needs are actually related to race, culture, religion, etc. For some the answer is an emphatic “obviously” but for others it’s a “not so much”. Just food for thought.
Personally, I think it’s hard enough to find a good catch and I can only wonder how many–if at all–good catches I may have lost with my filter. I once considered myself to be “too brown” for the non-brown to relate to in entirety, but I don’t know if that’s true anymore. I’ve met people from all walks of life and despite our differences, we have all reached the same point and think essentially alike. I’m not saying we ought to shelf the diversity and differences–but perhaps we could afford to be more careful about how we weigh them.
Note: This is essentially a less lighthearted Part Two to Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Desi Style because it’s an issue that’s been bothering me lately. And this IS where I come to rant, after all.