Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about how within both muslim and south Asian communities there is a very problematic tendency to police one another and prevent people from being who they are.
I recently had a conversation with a cousin who mentioned that she stopped talking to an old friend because she ‘does weird things’ like blogging and hiking (!?!?!)(for obvious reasons, she doesn’t know about my blog). This reminded me of the time a few years back when I asked her about somebody I knew who went to her school and she laughed and proceeded to mock the girl for riding a bike to school while donning the hijab. But this particular one really made me think because not only did I expect her to have grown out of this petty, ‘policing’ others’ behaviour stage, but the girl she called ‘weird’ was soembody she had been good friends with since the beginning of her school life. It just astounds me that people can be so cruel and dismissive of others (often people they don’t even know) for being themselves and living their life how they want to. It’s people like this that hold minority communuties back and stop them from progressing, by outting people down for trying new things and having unconventional interests, you are active agents in stripping your own community of diversity and enforcing stereotypes- you are actively contributing to the idea of a one dimensional community. It’s funny because I often find that the people policing others’ behaviours the most are foten the ones who readily change their whole style, manners and style of speech as an attempt to ‘fit in’ with the white majority yet when somebody does something they genuinely like (not because they wish to fit in) and you thik it may help them appear ‘more acceptable’ you’re quick to mock them and categories them as ‘weird’?
I’m at a point with people like this now where I a) don’t care what they think and mock them right back if they say something or b) keep them at arms length so that they don’t know enough about my interests etc to interfere and put me off doing what I want. Honestly, I find that with most people the reason they are so bitter when people don’t fit into the one dimesional moulds society has created for both muslim and south asian girls is because not only do they blindly internalise this image as the acceptable way to act, but because they themselves feel trapped within this mould and if they can’t get out, they don’t want to see other people do so. Dissapproval or mockery is often only a mask of jealousy and you should never let it put you off doing what you love, if they think you’re weird then cut them out. You don’t need baggage like that holding you back in life.
Update: I haven’t posted anything in almost a year! I have a bunch of unfinished blogs and poems that I’ve been writing whenever I thought of something but I just never got round to actually completing and publishing them. Hopefully I can be more active from now on. 😊