The brown woman’s burden

[title maintitle=”A Satire” subtitle=””] Indians around the country are up in arms after a new study revealed that one in three Indian women in South Africa would marry a black man by the year 2018. The study, funded by the Race Still Matters Institute, found that a resounding 42 percent of the women interviewed said they’d prefer a black man to their current Indian husband. Crucially, nearly two-thirds of those interviewed conceded that they no longer found Indian men appealing as life partners.
More than a quarter said they could see themselves ‘with no one else but a black man in the future.’

According to the report, ‘Indian men are clingy, insecure and refuse to return the favor.’

The findings seem to have knocked the air out of the Indian community, who claim, as usual, that they are being specifically targeted. Community leaders are said to be outraged; South African Hindu and Muslim leaders released a joint statement in which they accuse the Race Still Matters Institute of being ‘purposefully tasked with a mission to sabotage the celebrations of a 150 years of Indians in South Africa.’

The study explains the phenomenon by noting that as Indian women have moved their rotis and sweetmeats out of the kitchen and into the South African boardroom, they have invariably found themselves working alongside powerful males from other race groups, and it seems they believe that Indian men are just incapable of handling a woman with power.

‘Contrary to popular opinion, black men are refined. They don’t stare you down like those morons at the Suncoast Casino,’ said twenty-seven-year-old Sapna Kalyan, who has dated a black man for the past three years. ‘You just have to make sure they’ve been educated in a private school, and then it’s just like going out with white guys. It’s not like I’m dating a darkie from the township, you know.’

Tasneem Baker, twenty-four, concurred that black men understand what women want. ‘Most of them have had so many partners, they just know how to please you,’ she said. Baker felt that overcoming her racial prejudices was the most difficult part of her change in attitude. ‘But the more time you spend with them [black men], the easier it becomes,’ she concluded.

Likewise, Kajal Modi, twenty-six, a beautician, said that it didn’t take brain surgery to understand why modern Indian women would prefer a real man. She believes that Indian men are mommy’s boys and, despite their promises, their wives invariably end up trimming their mother-in-laws’ toenails.

‘It’s like the umbilical cord is superglued and stapled to their navel,’ Modi teased.

Some sociologists have argued that this movement bears the markings of a gender revolution that started in the 1960s.

‘For generations Indian women have been putting up with their spouses and boyfriends fantasizing about white women,’ explains Professor Thomas Pattman from the School of Sociology at the Old White University in Randburg. ‘They know their husbands exchange pornography on their computers and ogle every white chick at the office, so they figure their time has come. They no longer want to end up with an impotent Indian boyfriend who’s forced to take a suitable Indian girl to mommy after messing around with all the hot and easy colored chicks. The modern Indian woman has dreams and ambitions. And she watches porn!’

The study also captured the imagination of the Native and Racial Studies Institute in Pofadder, where anthropologist Dr. Dingane Zwele commented that ‘it does feel as if the Indian woman is attempting to erase her indentured past’, and that to seek such ‘self-cleansing’ with a black man is not unheard of because ‘black men are really the new whites’.

Dr. Zwele believes an Indian girlfriend is every black man’s goal. ‘Black men know that it’s generally harder to get an Indian woman than it is to get a white woman because with Indian girls you get that straight hair and the spicy chicken curry,’ he explained knowingly.

Dr. Zwele believes the fact that Indian fathers are now far happier to give away their daughters to black men may prove to be the singlemost powerful step towards tangible race reconciliation in the country.

Despite the many benefits of being married to this season’s black must-have—an Indian girl—adjusting to the intercultural nuances can be quite taxing. For example, [an Indian] wife expects to be ‘taken care of financially’ when the natural thing to do would be to split the bills.

Tandai and Nasreen Mulasikwanda, both in their late twenties, explained that in their case religion and not race was the biggest obstacle to overcome. Mulasikwanda says that he was pleasantly surprised to find Indian Muslims so open-minded about skin color. ‘But they often ask if I am the muezzin from Zanzibar,’ complained Tandai (also known as Bilal).

Psychologist Dr. Frantz Burger believes that the research has shed new light on the behavioral patterns of Indian women after decades of focus on the brown man’s burden.

‘We all know the allure of white women and the inability of brown or Indian men to resist their charms. Indian men feel their status is elevated if they’re with a white girl. But this new study turns the issue on its head, so to speak,’ he explains with academic enthusiasm.

Dr. Burger says that the findings of this study not only put Indian manhood at the edge of a new precipice, they also shifted the value system of the color-coded pecking order.

‘If white males no longer represent the pinnacle of human ambition, could this truly be the end of white cultural supremacy?’ speculates Dr. Burger.

This work of satire was abridged and adapted exclusively for AltMuslimah from Azad Essa’s book The Moslems are Coming: Encounters with a Desktop Terrorist (HarperCollins India) —a collection of irreverent essays on religion, identity and global politics.

For more information: stay tuned for AltMuslimah’s interview with Essa coming soon.
Azad Essa is a South African journalist working at the Al Jazeera Network, based in Doha. He came to prominence in South Africa writing the Accidental Academic, a provocative and award winning Thought Leader blog. He has reported from Kenya, Somalia, the DR Congo and Senegal.

(Art design credit: Ramsey Nashef)

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