Michelle Obama, you make us uncomfortable!

I am surprised and somewhat disappointed by the response given to Michelle Obama in India on social media. A lot of jokes have been cracked at her expense. Most of them involve her physical appearance. She has a commanding presence which we are not used to. She is too tall and too dark for us. We, the Indian men with height complex and small you know what complex feel threatened right away. We feel more comfortable with “wheatish” north indian types. If a woman is strong in a true global sense we feel very uncomfortable. The men simply see women as an extension of their achievements. An American president was supposed to have a perfect trophy wife.

Our ideal woman is fair, “medium height”, educated but not more than her husband, modern enough to post those cute pictures on FB but definitely not independent. She has a worldview developed in alignment with male members of her family. The “ideal” woman  keeps karva chauth, can dance on Bollywood numbers in weddings, produce fair and plump adorable children and laugh at her husband’s jokes. No wonder Michelle Obama with her stature, degrees from Princeton and Harvard and sheer presence is understandably deserving of our mockery. We would have really appreciated if you were a little shorter, fairer, less educated and walked behind your husband.

6 thoughts on “Michelle Obama, you make us uncomfortable!

  1. I hope India’s men & women are evolving in their world view of the gender differences…it is encouraging to see & hear about strong independent Indian women speaking out, fighting for the rights to education, standing up against sexual assault & victimization, and even more encouraging to see some Indian men supporting these women in their efforts to come out from behind the shadows of male dominance. Baby steps are still steps in the right direction, and as Lao Tzu said, “A journey of 1,000 miles must begin with a single step.” It is ironic that in spite of how liberated the American women may appear to the world, there is still many more steps to be taken, for instance closing the large income gap that exists between men & women who are working with equal responsibilities & job performance. American Women still only earn 78 cents to the male dollar. This was so even back when I was in college studying Socio-economic Inequality, and it remains true today, 25 years later. So progress has stood still on that measure. While Michelle Obama is an inspiration to women all over the world, there are even many American men who feel threatened by her representation as not only a strong, independent woman but also a strong, independent Black woman. But progress is an ongoing process that is never finished. Fortunately, the river of change has not runneth dry, it continues to ebb & flow with patient reciprocity….yes, the tide is slowly turning…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa, Things are changing for sure. But in India’s case it will take a long time to get rid of old prejudices and gender bias.
      I hope both men and women will continue to work towards it.
      Sanjay

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on LiveLaughLove Blog and commented:
    Interesting post that is sure to generate discussions & differing viewpoints…so many factors involved (I.E. gender roles, race, stereotypes, societal norms, cultural views, wage inequality, Socio-economic status, power, intimidation…all the ingredients & fixings needed for making a winning prime-time soap opera…FOXTV’s “Empire” anyone? ) Sorry, had to throw in a plug for my favorite new show, but I digress… 😉

    Like

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