Brilliant, thought-provoking piece, I can relate to so much of this. I guess this was the breaking point for us, I am all for strength, empowerment, and doing what is right an moral, but for my western background this is quite normal. ‘Indian men who are considered good tend to remain unassertive in their personal lives and cannot say ‘no’ to domineering parents’ – Nail hit on the head there.
‘Goodness is not meekness. Strength is not meanness. It is much harder to remain honest and true to oneself than it is to “go with the flow” and lose our identities. It is much harder to remain fair even to our enemies than it is to paint them in an unflattering light.’
Guest post by wordssetmefreee
Is goodness seen as weakness in our culture?
What are some ways in which ‘goodness’ is displayed in our culture?
A woman is ‘good’ when she
- seldom disagrees
- fits in with society’s norms
- respects the wishes of those who feel they know better than her, what is good for her (parents, in-laws, husband)
- keeps the peace, maintains the status quo rather than tell others they are wrong
In all of the above, ‘goodness’ is seen as meekness and compliance. There is nothing surprising about this interpretation of goodness in women, as our culture (like many other cultures around the world) tends to be sexist.
But, when we look at goodness in men (since they are more free of sexist expectations), it becomes more interesting.
How is goodness perceived in men? Who qualifies as a “good man” and is goodness a quality that is admired in men?
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