Growing up in a post 9/11 world and encountering the nuances of white privilege and classism, I always knew I didn’t want to date a white guy.This wasn’t necessarily a conscious effort; I was always attracted to men of color, but after meeting some hella ignorant people, who all happened to be of the lighter shade, I knew I just couldn’t date them. Everything I do or say must be because of my background, and anything different is exotic or foreign to them.My experience there was a study in extremes (fitting for me, as I’ve always been an extreme person).Many aspects of life were culture-rich and exhilarating, but others were difficult and isolating.My struggles are alien; they don’t know what it’s like to get questioned by TSA, every time, or to realize your professor is an asshole to you cuz his kid’s serving in Afghanistan.Today, reading Tanzila Ahmed’s “Why I Don’t Date White Men”, that idea that I can’t date white men was reinforced, and I wholly related to and agreed with the post.A family friend who is a government-relations consultant had recently launched a small strategic consulting firm in Kabul.I desperately wanted to travel there, develop my language skills, and work in an area related to my degrees—so I convinced him to let me come and assist him.
Most people my age are ditching the traditional arranged-marriage and are trying to navigate the dating scene themselves (wear a helmet bachem). Cuz if the white guy didn’t get your struggle, the Afghan man won’t want to.
My girl cousin who got pregnant by a man she had been dating for almost a decade? I’m a Pashtun in the end, I get the whole honor thing, even if that means living a double-identity at times.
But the very least we can do is treat our sons and daughters equally. But our men are just as oppressive as the systems that placed white men in positions of privilege.
An Afghan girl with an active dating life is bad news; who wants used goods?
But the typical Afghan man has multiple exes, across religions and ethnicities (And God forbid the Afghan girls’ ex, if she dare reveal she had one, be a non-Muslim). Because my people feel the same; my sisters and brothers.