South Asian Women Analysis

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Pressures, expectations, comparisons, negotiations of self-worth, and ah- more expectations… these are common problems many South Asian diasporic women face growing up. Is it not true, girls? We have our whole lives set out for us through families, elders, or our community – always ready to put others’ needs before anything else, and never allowed the time or given the support to understand our own emotional and mental concerns. Some of us even suppress them our whole lives. As young women we are expected to keep silent, to contain our righteous feelings of anger or resentment, to follow along with what others (often men) want for us, typically to promote a “good” family image and along a false idea that elders will always know what’s best …show more content…
What does it really mean, when that entire conversation is erased and subjected – whether within South Asian circles or elsewhere – to fit in with a neoliberal “assimilationist” agenda and the current U.S. market system that values profit over our well-being? How is being emotionally healthy possible when we are constantly met with institutional barriers to accessibility at every …show more content…
How many times have we been given those few opportunities in hosting cultural productions (as it relates to our race/ethnicity) only when it appeals to the white/Western gaze? Why is it that mental health and abuse services promote universalized and de-politicized ideas about the roots of our problems, as if they are not entrenched in institutions and power relations? How come the labor force values only those who are capable of working at a specific productivity rate, failing to take into account physical and mental circumstances that bar some of us from doing so? And it’s not just a coincidence that the people it subjugates – along race, class, ability, gender, etc. – are the same people that are also typically organizing the most for our rights and freedoms. It’s not a coincidence that we extend the most of our labor (our time, energy spent, capabilities) to dismantle systems of oppression, while bearing the brunt precisely due to those same systems.

But the emotional and physical labor it takes to do this work is rarely taken into consideration. Although young South Asian women come from diverse backgrounds, something that is common to many of us is the silence that remains profound in conversations on mental health and well-being. We are socialized to think that

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