So You’re 30 and Still Single? Don’t Blame Tamil Women


In Part 2 of our series “Help! I’m 30, Tamil… and Not Married” one of our writers, Sriram Pakeerathan, shares his perspective.

While I am not one to question freedom of speech, I think the world would have been better off without a soapbox for Sanjiv’s views. His long-winded rant embodies everything wrong with a growing number of boys who feel it’s necessary to blame women for their own shortcomings. I’ll deconstruct Sanjiv’s arguments and share my thoughts on why Tamils today are waiting to get married.

1. Women outperforming men

“… because most women prefer to marry men who are above them in status, educated Tamil women are finding that there is a shortage of men who meet this criteria. Most are unwilling to compromise their standards and “settle” for a less educated partner. And many will hold out until the right guy comes along, not realizing that a handsome, educated Tamil man with a professional job has plenty of options.”

As a man, this is the poorest excuse I have ever seen. Should women not wait for someone worth their time? According to Hennessy’s Index, the average Canadian woman earns 68 cents for every dollar a man makes. Even with this advantage, why are you complaining?

The bottom line is women are empowering themselves by getting educated and bettering themselves. Women today no longer need to rely financially on their parents or their spouse. This may be difficult for some men to accept, but it is true. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who’s got it made. So to all you hard-working, educated and ambitious Tamil women out there – keep at it.

2. Superficiality

“Another critical aspect is that there is a huge element of superficiality in the modern Western society we live in. A girl who is dark or fat will find it more difficult to attract a partner. In our parents’ time, such a girl would have found a husband (provided a sufficient dowry) because physicality wasn’t a deciding factor in arranged marriage back home.”

It is ironic that the term “critical” is used in such a flawed argument. Let’s deconstruct this critically.

Premise 1: Superficiality is greater in modern Western society than “back home”.

The idea that superficiality is any less common in traditional Tamil society than modern Western society is a red herring. Ask any Tamil girl about how much criticism they get for getting tanned or for not dressing like a nun. “Modern Western society” pales in comparison to the standard of “back in our parents’ time” with respect to looks.

Here are some things I’ve overheard old aunties comment on girls at the temple:

• “She’s too fat”
• “She’s too dark”
• “She’s smiling too much”
• “She’s too talkative”
• “She’s too opinionated”
• “She isn’t shy enough” (apparently girls need to blush and look away when a guy smiles at them)
• “She’s too revealing”

This is just from what I can recall.

Premise 2: Physicality wasn’t a deciding factor in arranged marriage “back home”.

Yes, it mattered. It mattered a lot. As you can tell from the argument in Premise 1, individuals raised in the motherland clearly have a much harsher criteria for what encapsulates “beauty”. So what makes you think that physical appearance did not matter in arranged marriages?

Premise 3: Choice

“In our parents’ time, such a girl would have found a husband (provided a sufficient dowry)…”

The author paints a disturbing scenario, one in which Tamil women need a dowry to make up for her perceived physical flaws. Let us rule out choice. A Tamil woman cannot be a chooser and a dowry will make up for everything. Very progressive, don’t you think?

3. The Friend Zone

“Many Tamil “nice guys” still harbour resentment from Tamil girls ignoring them and going for “gangsta” bad boys back in high school and university. Of course, when these girls mature and realize the gangsta guys are going nowhere in life, it’s too late. You ignored me before, but you’ll settle for me now after being pumped and dumped by bad boys and run out of options? No thanks.”

Any guy referring to himself as being in the “friend zone” is generally not as great as he thinks he is. Here is a typical scenario: Guy meets girl. Girl wants the guy to be her friend. Guy confuses kindness with romance. Guy develops a crush on girl. Girl has no intention to date guy. Girl, being nice and valuing the friendship, lets the guy know she thinks of him as a friend thereby hoping not to hurt his feelings.

Furthermore, most guys who get put in the “friend zone” lack the qualities girls are looking for. Maybe the guy is too ugly, lacks an interesting personality, does not share the same morals and values as the girl, or simply is not what the girl wants.

Imagine that… a Tamil girl exercising choice in who she dates! Blasphemous. It is a lot easier to blame the girl for not liking you than to look in the mirror and accept that maybe you are not as great as you think you are. Instead of blaming women, maybe work on your social skills. Or pursue an interesting hobby.

Even more ironic is that you likely put a girl in the friend zone while you were going for that girl. You know, the girl who you complained to about that girl who put you in the friend zone? Yeah. She probably had a crush on you, but you were too busy going for someone who might even have been bad for you.

4. Guys don’t want girls with a past

It’s amusing that this point is brought up. You want a girl who goes for someone below her standards, disregards looks and dates every nice guy that crosses her path… yet you worry about “history”? How do you expect your previous points to happen without a girl having some history?

If a girl goes for a “nice guy” who isn’t as ambitious as her or below her standards, chances are the relationship will not last. Yet you make the argument that girls should. So what do you really want? A Tamil girl who waits her whole life just for you? A Tamil girl who’s been hiding in a tower all her life while you go around chasing every other girl… but the moment you decide you want her, she’s there for you? It won’t happen like that.

Here’s the bottom line. Marriage rates are in decline in developed countries as a consequence of higher living standards. Individuals in developed societies stay single longer primarily to establish themselves in their career, and to be financially stable enough to support a family. These elements are the key markers of a well-established community in a developed society.

And these trends in our community are encouraging. This means that young Tamil women and men in the diaspora are entering professional career paths and working towards becoming more financially stable. The result is a more highly educated diaspora, a bigger network for Tamil professionals, and the next generation of Tamils will grow up in a more affluent home with more opportunities.

Honestly, it is time for us to accept that we are adults. We need to take ownership for things that don’t go our way. If you are still single in your 30s, it’s by your own choice. It isn’t that a girl rejected you because you are perfect and therefore she is wrong. It’s because you are not what she wanted. Come on, grow up.

Looking to create your love story? Join the other couples who have dated and married through!

* * * * *

In Part 1 of our series “Help! I’m 30, Tamil… and Not Married”, Sanjiv opines on the growing number of unmarried Tamils.
In Part 3, “Single, Tamil, Female… And I’m Divorced”, Niluja reveals her perspective as a divorced Tamil woman.
In Part 4, “Self-Arranged Marriage: The New Tamil Trend”, Jana discusses the growing “self-arranged marriage” phenomenon in the Tamil community.
In Part 5, “How to Find a Husband”, a guest writer shares advice for Tamil women.
In Part 6, “Why I’ve Decided to Get an Arranged Marriage”, Vidhurah expresses her views on modern marriage.
In Part 7, “So You Won’t Be Marrying a Tamil Girl?”, Penn E. shares his thoughts on the challenges and idiosyncrasies of interracial relationships.

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Sriram Pakeerathan

Born and raised in Norway, Sriram has since moved to Canada with his family. Currently enrolled at Wilfrid Laurier's Political Science honors program, Sriram's work revolve primarily around Global Governance, International Political Economy, as well as Comparative Political Theory.

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10 thoughts on “So You’re 30 and Still Single? Don’t Blame Tamil Women

  1. 1. I’m pretty sure that the prior author wasn’t saying, “Hey females, stop being so dumb and be beneath me.” But rather the superfluous expectation of a man to be better than or equal to a woman still up holds in terms of education. It’s inevitable that someone who is highly educated expects their partner to have some form of education as well, but do not expect a long list of men to pick and choose from if the criteria for your standards are so high. So yes, this is a reason people end up older and single. Expectations.
    2. I think his point in his second argument was worded incorrectly. Superficiality is still prevalent in all cultures. But back in the day, a dowry was used to compensate. So you could marry someone whether or not you were fat, ugly, had a terrible personality, or dark. But due to the Tamil culture progressing (very marginally mind you), dowries have become useless. And the co-dependence of superficial expectations and intelligence has been a major reason people have not been getting married as often. It isn’t that girls who are considered less attractive don’t have the right to be treated past superficial traits, but people need to realize that we are constantly comparing ourselves to the past. Which is completely illogical. Yes…females are getting married less, but it is because we don’t use dowries as often. Which is GOOD.
    3. I’m sorry but this is a fair point. Do not expect a guy to turn around after you force him into the friend zone whilst you go out with hustler gangster thug life kids. But this also applies to males….do not expect female friends to sit idly by while you date girls because they are willing to sleep with you, or are more attractive [with less personality]. I feel like this point is to be aimed at everyone. Pick quality over quantity.
    4. No one wants someone with a past. But Tamil culture as I have said has progressed so marginally that it seems to be a snail. This isn’t just an issue with Tamil males but the entire tamil culture in itself. Everyone has a past, get over it.
    I want to make a fifth point. I feel that as you grow up in a traditional tamil family you run into a very difficult dilemma  Parents. Those parents that tell you, “you cannot date until you graduate highschool.” and then tell you “you cannot date until university” and then tell you “you cannot date until after university” and then once you graduate…you find your parents asking “When are you going to get married?” It’s an amalgamation of issues that have caused a generation of 30 year old un-married people. BUT HEY. I find that it is a good thing. It is good that men and women are focusing in on their career paths and finding financial stability and independence before getting married. It isn’t a bad.

  2. You’re shooting the messenger. I don’t agree with all Sanjiv said, but he was relating his observations of Tamil boys’ attitudes – not trying to present his own beliefs.
    Perhaps not all of the “excuses” he presents are logically sound or widely held; perhaps he sounds too fond of some of these excuses; perhaps his writing is highly patronising to women; perhaps his flippant tone is inappropriate, given the real misery that is inflicted by the sexist attitudes he describes; perhaps his concluding advice – that women should pragmatically work within this sexist framework rather than challenging it – was condescending and pompous.
    But your article misses these points: it chiefly berates him for espousing views he never actually claims to espouse.
    Still, I’m sure you’ll get lots of positive comments from all those who were (justly) angered by Sanjiv’s piece.

  3. This was a great read! Thank you Sriram for speaking on behalf of men out there who blame women for their own shortcomings. 
    There are a lot of women who even with dowry won’t get an arranged marriage because the man can’t marry a woman above them. Or that they’re too tall and possibly ugly for them. I say this based on people I know by the way.
    In conclusion, there are things that both sides can work on. Ideally, people should do what’s in their heart (that intentionally won’t hurt others) and everyone else should respect their choices in life.

  4. QuantumMath I like your fifth point. I think that is the main issue; parents telling you to: “padi padi padi” but after you’re done studying you find out your social circle does not have many tamils in it (maybe it’s just me). So, how are you suppose to meet another tamil even if you are educated and financially stable?

  5. Vishcious QuantumMath  you have a gd question.Supposedly people would say you either search for that person whose either in your workplace,maybe meeting someone in social events,or your closest friends who do the matchmaking for you.

  6. It’s too bad that this article rates tamil women so highly. As a matter of fact, I find tamil women in Canada to be full of testosterone. And the ones back home laughably uglier. Dont get me started about that one couple you all know that had to get arranged.
    Why pigeon hole yourself to mating with your race? If you are in the GTA, it’s a buffet out there and tons of women love Tamil guys. We have a reputation of having big appendages. East asian women love us, we are exotic to them. Dating outside your culture is a lot more fun and sexier.
    I stopped dating tamil girls in my late teens and have enjoyed multiple inter racial relationships since. I hignly recommend it. Good for genetic diversity.

  7. Well a lot of us Good men out there that are still Single Can really Blame the women for that.

  8. With the kind of women nowadays that are out there which certainly speaks for itself now that many Career women making a very high salary which Most of them are certainly very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, greedy, narcissists, picky, so very very power money hungry since they will Only want the Best of all and will Never settle for Less. This is a very Excellent Reason why so many of us Good men are still Single today since it really does Take Two To Tangle when there is No Reason to Blame us men at all for this. Most women unfortunately have really Changed since the Good old days when the Good old fashioned women were around which is why our family members were very Blessed to find Love with one another since it came very Easy for them back then since many of our family members are still together today as i speak. Lets face it now since Most women today are very Independent which they really Don’t need a man to Survive anymore like the old days when Both men and women really had to Struggle to make ends meat which they had to live with their Parents at that time since they Hardly had any money at all. Quite a Change in the women of today compared to the Past since many of us Good men that are still Single Would’ve been married with a Good Wife And Family had we been Born back then since it Definitely was so much Easier finding Love at that time.

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