Yet again, we heard in the news that another South Asian woman has been attacked by her husband. Numerous times in the past, the media has highlighted South Asian culture as inherently violent and that domestic violence was prone and expected in our culture. Baldev Singh Kalsi is now faces charges of attempted murder and he attacked his wife because our community, our people, and our society have told him that it was okay to do so. Boys are always put on a unattainable pedestal and are fed with knowledge that his actions are justifiable because he is a man. We as girls are constantly trained to be subordinate to men in our community whether it is our grandfather, dad, brother or the old creepy guy at the grocery store. Of course times are changing and my South Asian sisters are fearlessly breaking the glass ceiling and conquering the public sphere, however, violence against South Asian women is not a rarity and we still don’t talk about it as openly as we should. It’s still driven to stay inside our homes where our children can see their father hurting their mother and then internalize the violence to possibly replicate it in their future relationships.
We know in the South Asian community that violence is not inherent. We are not okay with our wives, mothers, sisters and daughters being abused and hurt by their husbands, brothers, uncles and fathers. However, we are the ones that need to speak up to say it is not okay in our community, stand up, and show support towards our sister from another community when a man in her life has attacked her. I am tired of hearing about men in my community being stereotyped as violent, backwards, and wife-beaters and I am tired of seeing women continuously rallying for violence against women to stop. It’s time for my fellow South Asian brothers to come down from your pedestal and I am asking men in our community to stand up and support your fellow South Asian sister, mother, daughter or friend. You can start off with small acts like telling other men that their actions are not okay. You can also listen and believe women when she tells you her story about her attacker. You must take more household responsibilities and take part in raising your child, teach your son and daughter to respect one another by showing how you respect your partner and women in your lives. Boys are not born violent; they are raised to be violent. We can stop male violence against women by telling our boys it’s not okay to hurt women and if they decided to do so then the community will not tolerate his actions. These are small acts that collectively make a bigger stand and will change our reaction to violence against women. I’m tired of seeing women on the news like Manjit Panghali and Maple Batalia who were murdered by their intimate partners because in the end, their faces are easily replaceable by hundreds of other South Asian sisters in our community.