No matter which culture you come from family feuds are no strangers to the typical household. Whether you are the average Pervaiz and Shagufta from The Curry Mile or Jay Z and Solange Knowles, you are not exempt. So why should the Khan’s be spared from such drama. In the past 24 hours I have come across so many experts in the ‘in-laws’ and the ‘perfect daughter-in-law’ field, I’m wondering why Universities don’t offer a degree in the subject!
In all seriousness, however as some of you will be aware Faryal Makhdoom has made public allegations of bullying against her in laws via snapchat. The allegations included abuse and bullying in the form of threatened physical violence, mental abuse during her pregnancy and online bullying.
I’ve read some pretty nasty stuff said about this entire scenario. A lot of people have mocked Faryal’s claims and attacked her for reasons completely unrelated, such as her choice of clothing and her ‘excessive’ make up. It baffles me how amidst her cry for help, people have the audacity to call her out on the choices she makes regarding her appearance. The sad part of it all, is that, most of the people attacking her appearance are ‘females.’ The very females who advocate their feminist views and post statuses about giving a voice to the abused, are the same females now calling out Faryal for having done exactly that. Also stating that she did not need to display her private matters on social media.
Let’s put aside for a second, that these events are taking place against someone in the public eye, the wife of a world famous boxer. Consider a situation where this was your friend, your sister, your colleague at work confiding in you about how she was being abused by her husband’s family, would your initial reaction be laughter? Would you tell her how she should first and foremost change the way she dresses, and then work on tackling the abuse she is receiving?
Just think about it.
Also speaking out isn’t always easy, and people speak out in the only way they know how to. Should she have instead suffered in silence? No one should be judged or condemned for speaking out. Besides much of the abuse she speaks of was carried out online, and so she responded. Online bullying is a serious issue, and anyone can fall victim to it. Even famous people.
This social media fued between the Khan’s and Faryal Makhdoom simply brings to light the in-law’s and daughter-in-law issues which occur on a regular basis, however are never talked about. In the Asian community, traditionally a daughter-in-law moves in with her husband and his family (although it is becoming less common over time). This atmosphere can in some circumstances be somewhat straining on both the family and the daughter-in-law, as both parties are somewhat ‘forced’ to get along, if of course it does not come naturally. Many women argue that daughter-in-laws should be treated as daughters, (as did Faryal in her snaps) and as ideal as that scenario would be, it is extremely rare, and somewhat impossible for some mother-in-laws to do. Not to mention impossible for some daughter-in-laws to act like daughters too.
Whether you think it’s possible to treat or be treated as a daughter, the fact of the matter is that the daughter-in-law should be regarded first and foremost as an individual. Not as an attachment of your son, which can be removed as you please i.e. someone you can force your son to get a divorce from (as alleged by Faryal). Nor as someone you can control as property simply because you now think she is ‘owned’ by your son by way of marriage. The Star Plus dramas should be avoided at all costs. They are not a mother-in-law’s guide to welcoming a daughter-in-law into the family home! Equally a daughter-in-law has a responsibility to reciprocate a mutual level of respect if not love for her husband’s family.
As mentioned at the outset, this is a family feud and only the family members know of the full circumstances of the situation, so to pass judgement on a few snaps would involve playing a dangerous game. However allegations of abuse should be taken seriously and when someone screams for help, the matter should be approached with sensitivity. Those of you bashing Faryal for speaking out and attacking her for reasons such as her appearance need to understand that you are part of the problem. Until these issues are taken seriously, the cycle will only continue.