The Double Standard’s in South Asian Culture.

We South Asians are experts in creating double standards when it comes to gender.  I have been conscious of how my culture defines different expectations based on gender. A man and woman’s treatment no doubt is world apart in my culture. Let’s focus on the matter of marriage for now. There was a female relative whose unfaithful husband had committed an affair after 12 years of marriage and two children. The husband had settled in with another woman and she bore him a child too. However, the husband not only proved to be a cheat but also a cowered too. He decided becoming a father again to a baby who he had with who he really only thought of as his “whore” was too much responsibility to handle and to give to someone who he only used for sexual gratification and also to satisfy his mid-life crisis issues. What a mess this is, who do I feel sorry for? The husband, the whore, the wife or the children involved?

All of them I guess, the husband because he allowed his weak self-control to  get the better of him and now his children despise him and only see him as the cheat and the not the father who once held their hand whilst their morning walks to school. The wife, for losing her husband, for not being able to sexually please her husband, for thinking she was not able to sexually please her husband and that’s why he did what he did, for him not having any respect for her, her losing her self-respect, her now becoming gossip for her relatives and friends and for her marriage falling apart so shamelessly. The whore, she thought he loved her; he only used her, for beginning to see dreams of a family and life with him, for being labelled as the “whore”, for having a love child that is shunned, for having to go through the pregnancy and will have to go through raising their child on her own. And finally, the children, all three. The children of the wife, the betrayal as well as confusion that must have gone through them, the embarrassment in school playgrounds when gossip spreads from the aunties to their children who are friends of the children, the uncertainty of not having a proper home no more and losing their dad. The love child, for having such a useless father, for being seen as a curse, shame and embarrassment instead of a beautiful blessing like all the children he will go to school with in the future.

See the issue here is when relating back to my culture is the only person who was taken into consideration from all of these unfortunates was the husband, the man. There was discussion, what we call “politics” taking place, where the heads of both families would have a meeting aiming to reach to some sort of conclusion.  However, disappointingly, they didn’t do much for all the victims involved in this mess. Only the man’s wellbeing was taken into consideration. The argued with the wife, urged her to take him back as his reputation is on the line here. How she should just forgive him, and if she doesn’t and she hasn’t till this date she is now perceived by them as stubborn, arrogant, stupid and selfish. Its ironic how she is perceived as all these things when the man wasn’t, no he only made a “mistake”. He wasn’t selfish or stupid when getting his lover pregnant. No, all he had done was made a mistake.

So why is it that the wife who got so much grief for refusing to accept that man as her husband again? She’s the victim here right? Now let’s imagine these roles were reversed.  The wife is the cheat and the husband is the victim. The wife is carrying her lover’s child. Her lover the man will not be branded as the “whore” but instead the pregnant wife is now the whore. Can you ever imagine family member’s encouraging the husband to accept that pregnant cheating whore as his wife again? No bloody way in a million years would that happen!  So why must the woman have to endure this no empathy attitude from my culture when it comes to her husband cheating on her?




10 thoughts on “The Double Standard’s in South Asian Culture.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and appreciating this post. Yes I agree, we do get comfortable with the philosophy out of something bad, good will come too. But like you rightfully mentioned it’s sometimes hard to see the good happening. Especially in this case. Or you can argue that the only good that is evolving only benefits the man.


      1. Absolutely! Women should not be punished for the choices of the men in their lives!

        and thank you for the encouraging words in your previous comment=)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I see hope in young writers like yourself who expose and raise voice against misogyny and patriarchal issues that are affecting South Asian women.
    The world should note and take example, because South Asian women are saving themselves and fighting for their rights and that within itself is commendable and calls for applause.
    The most ironic thing is that women perpetuate this form of violence against other women and the coercion to forgive and carry on is by far a strategy that we see women folk indulging in, so we cant really blame men for that in a broader perspective.
    With women in my family and friends etc I always find it very annoying to see most women doing such stuff.
    Go back, don’t think of divorce, what will happen to your children, people will speak and so on so forth are all very favorite phrases and ideologies that women have against other women.
    Several years ago I worked on a gender based justice project and interviewed many divorced and separated women and when asked if they were supported on walking out of the live of a cowardly piece of husband, they had amazing stories to tell. Most mothers, BBFs, aunties, female cousins, even sisters wanted those women to keep enduring crap all because “zamana kya kahega” or “if she divorces, then other single girls in family will have problems”
    WHAT NONSENSE IS THIS, I was so angry for weeks and weeks while doing these stories.
    I am so glad you wrote this as it is because we need a serious mind change in south asia and probably some one needs to like shake us so we realize we are in 21 century. We also need to dismantle the boys will be boys syndrome tactics which I have observed in other cultures too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know it can be so frustrating, that’s why admired the wife in my post got taking him back. She has more self respect for herself and will not be bullied by this patriarch one sided culture of ours. The issue you have with the female members in your family are the same as mine. These women who unlucky enough to have a rubbish husband are told just to endure it because their happiness is less important and society is much more valved. It’s all about the bloody PEOPLE! It’s like being South Asian our lives are a reality TV show for others to spectate.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful stuff! You’re so right to raise these issues, and to question what these values say about society and culture and the way we view women. Unfortunately, that scenario is common in so many cultures, in so many countries, across so many economic stratums. We need voices like yours to help change the status quo! Keep at it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank so much for your words of encouragement, this issue needs to be address a lot more but unfortunately many times it is just hushed down. For instance, if I dared to challenge those responsible of spreading this bullshit (excuse my French) ideology there is no doubt I would be shunned and would raise much tension. That’s the issue here as well, we women are just expected to endure. If we dare to speak about our unhappiness we’re then perceived to be ungrateful or just winging over spilt milk. And of course, you are right. This issue is widespread in within many different countries and cultures. Such a shame, and just sad how a woman’s feelings are hardly taken into consideration at all. Thank you for taking to time to read my post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s