Dear South Asian Men,
The observance of strength at all times must be hard to maintain.
Know that you are seen, and your struggles are heard as well.
Know that an indestructible facade is not an institution in our community.
It can be broken down.
And it should be.
Know that it is okay to be vulnerable.
You are human, and it is unfair that your fundamental need to feel and convey emotion has been deemed unacceptable by society.
Know that violence is not an acceptable means of expression.
It is not love.
While your traumas may manifest themselves in this way, the act remains inexcusable.
You are frustrated, but it is time to unlearn these patterns of oppression.
Familiarize yourself, and your peers, with the definition of enthusiastic and verbal consent.
ANYTHING other than that - means NO.
Know that a short skirt and tight clothing is not an excuse to chastise and harass a woman.
Her sexuality is not an invitation – nor is her state of inebriation.
Deconstruct the systemic and generational views of HOW women are expected to present themselves.
There is no “right” way to be a woman.
We are ALL worthy of love and respect.
Know that while alcohol may provide a form of escapism,
Eventually we must all return to reality.
Answers are not found at the bottom of a bottle,
They are found in the conversations had with yourself, professionals, and those who want to hear your story.
Recognize that the act of reaching out is not grounded in any one gender.
It does not make you weak or feminine.
Galvanize your friends.
Support the men in your life just as you need that support.
Normalize it, because it is okay to ask for help.
It always has been.
Know that the characterization of what a man truly is, is defined by you and not our community’s expectations.
It’s okay to not be okay all the time, and despite what you’ve heard – it’s okay to openly express those feelings.
The weight of emotions being repressed for an entire lifetime must be difficult to bear.
Know that those who choose to silence this expression are used to a different definition of masculinity.
Break the cycle.
End this stigma with how you choose to carry yourself and lead the way into a new era of how your gender is able to express themselves in this world.
Know that feminism is not a war on men.
Being a feminist simply means you are an equal, and that it is not only okay – it is necessary.
Know that it’s okay to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
To speak up for yourself, those you love, or those you may not even know, who are misunderstood and underrepresented.
There is no shame in openly being an ally, only in what you’ve been told to believe.
Know that what the world thinks of what you choose to devote your life to protecting, says more about them then it does you.
Do not feed into this by staying silent.
Refuse to be ashamed of what you elect to stand for and watch how quickly your stance helps to eradicate the preconceived notions of that idea.
Know that, as South Asian women, it is our pleasure to help release you from the confines of expectations our society has boxed you into.
Know that we do not do this with malicious intent, or to make you feel like you are beneath us,
Only to help unite us.
Our relationships are not transactional.
There is power in your voice.
Use it to support those who need it.
Use it to bring people together.
Use it wisely.
Now is a crucial time for our community.
We must push forward together more than ever before.
To protect those who have been taken advantage of, and forced to stay silent,
But most importantly, to break free of harrowing ideals that remain ever present in our culture and keep us all from flourishing.
It’s time we start reevaluating what has so long been the norm.
Know that it is okay to be wrong, however it is unforgivable to perpetuate ignorance.
If we can do better, then we must.
Change is a necessary in order to progress,
But - you know this.