Demanding Justice

It has been reported that Asian women are three times more likely to self-harm themselves than the white women.

I listened to the phone-in this morning. Women spoke of their helplessness. Older male relatives sexually molested some, when they tried to complain, they were made to feel that it was their fault. There were those who were in an abusive marriage and were not able to get any support from their family.

Most Asian families are an integral part of the British society. They are successful, hard working and family oriented. When a lack of family values and cohesion is being blamed for many ills in our society. We are proud of our traditions of respecting the elders and nurturing our young. But how do we nurture our young?

I get many emails from the readers of the Asian website I write for.  Most of them are young Asians. Some of them are highly educated, successful and articulate young women.

They all talk of a culture, where they are segregated from the culture they live in.

They are not allowed to make friends and integrate. Just in case they learn the “bad western ways. But what about our own practices?

One young woman, who is highly educated and articulate, writes to me regularly.

I have her permission to quote from her writing.

Yes, they do want to be segregated and superior. We are better than you because our religion is better, our god is better and our women cover themselves up. Most Muslim Bengalis I have meet through family dos etc. don’t believe they have anything in common with Westerners. They see them as everything that is alien to their culture and their lives. They want to be segregated. They don’t want to integrate.” 

Listening to the phone-in this morning, I was struck that how segregated the Asians are from the western progressive society, or any civilised society for that matter.
You hear women talking about turned out of their matrimonial home for giving birth to a baby girl, for being blamed if they have been sexually assaulted. Of Asian doctors telling the women self-harming themselves, they better go home and be a good girl.

Not asking them what the cause of their distress could be.

So which other culture treats its women as a third class citizen? These are the British born young women. Who may have equal rights in the country they were born in, but are not given the same, by the culture they belong to.

They are shielded from the western culture as my friend, who comes from a wealthy and well-educated background, but she goes on to say.

“However, for most of my life I was essentially segregated from my white peers. I wasn’t allowed to see my friends from school much because they were white, ate haram food and (as we got older) all they did was go to the pub. My mother would be disgusted at the idea of being in a pub. Both my parents would feel sick if they knew anyone around them was eating pigs. Same goes for any other Muslim (especially Asian) cultural taboos such as the idea of s*x before marriage and going out dancing. WE simply do not do things like that. Those are the things that define the West. Therefore we have nothing in common.”

So the parents are caring enough to shield their children from everything, except the injustices that go on in their own community. Women it seems are the easy targets, for a culture, which claims to be caring and cohesive. 

Let us stop moaning about the injustices and wars elsewhere. And start by mending our own ways. The first priority should be women.

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