South Asian version of patriarchy in Norway


One of the several telephonic conversations between mother of a prospective bride and parents looking for brides for their sons among a South Asian community in Norway.

 

Free trial before wedding

I saw your daughter’s Twitter account.

Acha.

She seems too engaged and active.

Yes, she is interested in social justice issues.

My older son is married to a doctor. And we only let her work a few days a week so she is able to take care of us and run the household. I am a doctor and my two sons are doctors. Women in our family don’t need to worry about money.

I see?

Do you think your daughter will be able to run the household if she continues doing what she is doing now?

What kind of question is this?

I am just asking how you think your daughter will be, once she is married.

Do you want my daughter to give you a free trial in running household before getting married? Are you really a doctor? Let me speak to your wife instead!

No, I don’t let my wife talk to strangers. She can’t handle such important matters.

But you are completely fine with speaking to a stranger woman like myself and ask her stupid questions? Don’t ever call again! Good luck. [Hangs up the phone]

Conclusion

It is quite possible to be highly educated, a bastion of male chauvinism and an idiot at the same time. My mother and I are currently recovering from this exposure to blatant sexism over the phone – that mostly came from women.

The roots of patriarchy in South Asian psyche is very deep.

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