8 Things White Guys Say to South Asian Women

I’m going to repeat the disclaimer originally from two previous pieces. This is obviously altered to apply to South Asian women:

In efforts to befriend, date or sleep with us white men can have the tendency to bestow certain comments, questions and knowledge on to South Asian women which they are curious about or deem to be important or even pressing. The following eight comments/questions are nothing less than truth and here comes the disclaimer in order to save my arse from further comments, questions and hateration: this does not intend to represent every white man or imply that every white man has said these things. OK. Good.

1. You’re too cute to be Indian.
Let me tell you two things. First, it is not in any way a compliment when you are surprised that I look good despite my ethnicity. And second, where I come from the women are beautiful and sexy and generally amazing, and you couldn’t get any of us in your dreams, boy.

2. Your English is so good.
I have one word for you and it’s ‘colonialism’. Remember the time when white imperialists took over most of the world including the Indian subcontinent, helped partition us into feuding countries, and stole all our good shit? My English is so good because the power equations of colonialism persist, including the privileging of language. So complimenting my English is really not a compliment, but if you want to apologise for imperialism, I could be down with that.

3. I love curry.
That’s great news for you, and something the Indian take-away joints of First World countries can be thrilled about. You know who won’t be thrilled? Me. Because ‘curry’ doesn’t exist anywhere in South Asia; it’s just a made up concept by white people who sought to reduce a few million recipes in a land of more than 400 living languages to one, easily pronounceable word.


4. You’re probably not used to large dicks, are you?
If you were fortunate enough to be asking this in a situation where I was planning any contact with your penis, you may put it back in your pants and leave. Forever. Most white boys who ask this question have likely never seen a brown dick before, but more importantly, their investment in this stereotype is born from a desperate need to establish superiority in a world where colonialism is no longer the done thing. Also, that ain’t ‘large’ from any angle.

5. Delhi. Man. It’s really bad for women right?
Uh huh. Except for the 1 in 3 American women who face domestic violence and the 400,000 women in Britain who face sexual assault every year. Women are raped and beaten across the world, which has a lot more to do with patriarchy than your convenient idea of the “savage” South Asian man. And trying to show sympathy for how bad I’ve got it as an Indian woman by buying into that stereotype is totally not hot.

6. Have your parents already picked out a husband for you?
Nope, but unfortunately for you I was a child bride at age 11, so I’ve been taken for over a decade. Seriously though, if, when and why I get married is none of your businesses, and reducing my life to something you once saw on a tasteless ITV documentary with weeping women is not a good start to communicating with me. Also, just like I don’t ask if your parents sent your grandmother away to an old age home because they got tired of caring for her, maybe you should lay off questions around how ‘progressive’ my family is.

7. You have that sexy terrorist vibe going on.
You know that type of joke where no one laughs except the privileged straight white dude telling the joke? This is that type of joke.

8. Bollywood is so colorful, but I just don’t get it.
Wait, you don’t get an entire film industry that is housed in a country you’ve never visited and produced in a language you don’t speak? Shocker. Also, please note, referencing the colors of Bollywood, like referencing “Slumdog Millionaire,” is not evidence of you having any interest in my culture. Please don’t try to sing Jai Ho. Stop it now.

Richa is a freelance writer, editor and bass-music lover living between Bombay and Goa. She writes at richakaulpadte.com and tweets @hirishitalkies.

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