- What are your thoughts on Khalistan?
- Do you feel that our community is very male-dominated, even today? – Preeti
Religion and politics are two topics in which your Auntyji treads lightly. And when they are fused together like they are with Khalistan, well let’s just say I respectfully decline giving you my thoughts. Sufficed to say it saddens me that it can and has divided our community and in some cases, family and friends.
Regarding your second question, I feel that society overall, including western society, is still male dominated. Women have certainly come a long way, but male dominance persists. We see it in corporate board rooms – the glass ceiling has not been shattered. We see it in the trade and technology sector. Women are starting to make inroads, but seem to get stuck at middle management. Finally, we see it in our own households, where many women work outside the home and are not only responsible for the household chores, but also are the primary caregivers for both their children and their elders.
Our community is no exception. In fact, I believe that in our community, the issue is more prevalent because it is not simply an issue of historical patriarchy that has led to continued male dominance. It is an issue of value and worth. Our community values males over females. This is demonstrated by those in our community who only give out mithai (Indian sweets) when a male child is born or only host a Lohri celebration in honour of a male child. In its most extreme, this worth is demonstrated by couples aborting female fetuses.
The next generation has an important role in changing how society values and treats women. I am hopeful that our community will practice and embrace gender equality and that we will teach our boys (and girls) the importance of respecting women and the worth they hold.