Yesterday I asked my husband the million dollar question. “If you had to do it all over again, would you marry black woman again?” My husband looked and me incredulously and said, I probably wouldn’t get married again period. LOL.
Early on, I explained to M that I bear no resemblance to a stereotypical Indian woman in anyway. I wasn’t going to be subservient, I wasn’t going to be a baby factory and I don’t hold my tongue about whatever is on my heart no matter who it is and I was always going to work until it would be physically impossible for me to do so. I was trying to prepare him for the occasional neck and eyeball roll and hands on the hip that comes sometimes when a sista has had her fill. I don’t think anything prepared him for life with a black woman.
M didn’t realize so much went into the upkeep of our hair. He didn’t realize that Western women juggle a great number of tasks that can sometimes disrupt the flow of daily life. I think that’s been the biggest adjustment for him because both of his sisters are stay at home wives and mothers. His mother had not been in the workforce for a number of years.
But something strange happened along the way of developing relationship. I found myself wanting to do things for him that some may attribute as giving away my power. However, I see my role as his wife as a supportive role and one that when synced with my husband properly, can only serve to strengthen our relationship. M had to learn to adjust his role too. I tease him often about how shocked his family would be if they saw him cooking and folding and ironing clothes. Marriage is a partnership and thankfully we both know we have to do our parts in order for it to succeed. Now that’s not to say that there are not days I have to remind him about how it’s to be a partnership. M likes to remind me that when he married, he married for life, so I’m stuck with him. … Tomorrow I’ll tackle the subject of religion and how M and I have dealt with having different religions. Until the next blog.
Hi there, I came across your link from Evias BFIM site. Interesting blog and just reading your writing about Kerala and Goa makes me want to visit! Just one sour note – I feel it might be unfair to use terms like “stereotypical Indian wife” to describe Indian women – that is IMO a sweeping generalisation that ignores the facts – I know and have worked with many Indian women ranging from demure and self-effacing to opinionated and go-getting. Common attributes most share are strong family values, being respectful to others and allowing their husbands to be the head of the home- this does not neccessarily make them doormats, heck some of my Indian friends will tell their husbands where to go if he messed up! LOL! Anyway, as a black woman I get so tired of seeing how we are stereotyped and given a hard time over behaviour or attributes that would not cause comment if other races of women exhibited them so I am wary of making generalisations about others. No race of people or gender is monolithic.
Thanks for the post. I stand by my words of “stereotypical Indian housewife” because that’s just the point about Stereotypes- THEY ARE STEREOTYPES… just as people have steretypes about blacks, women, children, etc. Any group of people are subject to this definition courtesy of dictionary.com.
“A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.
One that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.”
I don’t dumb my readers down because I think we all know that stereotypes are usually myths and that one group of people cannot embody all of the exact same traits, mannerisms and characteristics. People come in all packages and you are correct no race of people or gender is monolithic. I also spoke about the stereotypes against Westerners, and Blacks as a whole but I notice you didn’t mention those or come to the defense of those groups. The bottom line is this…. if you looked at the statistics of Indian women who work outside of the home versus those who don’t in India, I think you will find that a disproportionate amount are stay at home mothers. That is their right, just as it is my right to not be like a stereotypical Indian wife. I think it’s abundantly clear to anyone who breaths that not all Indian women are like. That’s exactly why I chose the phrase “stereotypical Indian wife” because it signals to the reader that my comment is based on that oversimplified view..otherwise I would have simply said Indian wife. Had I done that- it would be a sweeping generalization. One which would have warrented criticism.
Thanks for the dialogue.