Book Review – OTHERNESS:SOULS OF BROWN WOMEN – By DE.B.DUBOIS

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Do you think discrimination still prevails in this 21st Century?? What makes some people to discriminate others based on skin color,religion, country of origin,spoken language, gender, etc?? Do you know the pain and struggles faced by them due to discrimination??

In this book, Author answers the above questions and also explains how life can be to a brown woman – specifically of Indian origin – living in or outside their country of origins…Author says that this book is heavily inspired by “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B.Du Bois..

Author narrates the discrimination faced by Indian women during their early life in  India and also in another Country where she lives..

Author feels that she was discriminated due to her gender in India even when she was very young..Her grandma didn’t give her enough toys to play as she was her daughter’s daughter and not son’s!! She grew up in an environment where more importance was given to a person’s color – Beauty products, soaps, fairness creams, powders, were used by many as they didn’t like their own skin color and wanted to be white!!

Regarding Child abuse, author feels that Indians must stop telling their girl children what she must and must not do, instead teach men not to commit the act of rape..A girl shouldn’t be held responsible for any mishap that might happen to her!!

She often hears that women should be married earlier or else she will become strong-willed and it’s difficult to tame them…There is no gender equality and women are perceived to be naturally weak..

She tries to escape and runs towards the west..But there she has to face more problems there – In addition to gender, she has to face discrimination due to race,country,language, etc..

A brown woman often faces following question when she lives abroad – “Where do you come from??” – She is judged according to her Country of origin!!! Being a foreigner is a strange experience and residing in a place where you are not accepted is very difficult…

Many brown people living abroad primarily have two struggles – One is to work hard to send money home and another is to face discrimination!!! Further, many people in West don’t know the history of India and have their own wrong perceptions – Brown folks have to face questions from them and it’s really difficult to answer them back!!

A Brown woman in West may be educated, independent and hardworking – But this doesn’t stop her from being bullied, discriminated by her angry colleagues..She has no rights to question them and if she does, she is labelled as a problem creator!!! She is perceived as a threat and spat at and yelled at by white strangers due to their own insecured feelings..

These western brown women digest everything with hope that one day they will belong – they will also be people again and not just brown women!!

Author had also mentioned a long list of newspaper articles collected over thirteen years in India which explains the oppression of Indian brown women..

Overall, I feel that this book is good to read..This is not a story and Author had explained the real life incidents which many of us would have faced in our life..

This book is not a light read and I loved it as it had bitter truth (about discrimination faced by women in India and abroad)

My rating for this book is 4/5.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of book in return for my honest review..I didn’t receive any monetary compensation for the same.

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