[this is an extract from Brown Boy Privilege, written for and published on Poised.]
The sexism wielded by parents is taught from previous generations, passed down like an heirloom of gold, forsaking the rights given to women by religion, changing it all to suit their own narrative. Some parents don’t allow their daughters out the house after a certain time, yet their sons can come home at 4am drunk or high, and it’s overlooked.
Tradition and respect is a mask worn by men using religion as a shield, hiding behind the rules of not disobeying one’s parents or husband proclaimed in Holy Scriptures as a way to control and dictate. In desi cultures, women are regarded as property of men; if they’re not under the control of their father, it is the brother or the uncle or the husband—always men, always subjected to the aggressive projections of patriarchy in a society that should be changing. There are a number of ways in which brown boys and men take part and encourage the misogyny and backward minded behaviours, from rape culture and condoning abuse, to not realising their positions of privilege and the freedom they possess compared to brown girls, in all areas—conspicuously, within sex, relationships, marriage and divorce and the difference in treatment, rules and expectations.