Book Reviews: Otherness: Souls Of Brown Women by DE.B.Dubois
Alarmingly clear reflection of society!
Being a brown woman myself in a foreign country, I could easily relate to and understand the author’s narrative where every minute is a struggle to adapt, a struggle to adjust according to your surroundings to blend in. Blending in has been what has always pushed the brown women. Blend in with the mentality of the society, to the family norms...the list continues.
As a matter of fact, brown women face the bias with regard to their skin color even in their own homeland-- a constant reminder from family, society, matrimonial market etc.
But there is one mention in the book that I don't agree with. The Vedas in their true form have held women in high regard or we wouldn't have goddesses and deities still worshiped. The interpretations and other works which followed suit often had subtle changes brought in by the men who wrote it. The physical strength and the superiority they felt had to be manifested in the society. What better way than transcribing or interpreting something powerful as the Veda? Well, I am no pundit, but from the limited knowledge, I got from articles I read or speeches I heard by people who know their Vedas, mentioned how the outer world actually influenced what was once the most balanced society gender-wise.
Once there was a society where women chose their partners and the family name was transferred through the mother. Women were the heir of the family. Yes, I am talking about the matriarchal society which has become almost extinct now. Though some of the customs are still practiced in Kerala, they are near extinction. Once these brown women held the complete power of the family, which in turn was a strong foundation for the society.
One of the oldest civilizations dating back to 3000 BC would not have survived and achieved glory without some concrete balance between the genders.
Back to the book. I have seen, heard and known these issues faced by colored women and the very plight of brown women which is mentioned in the book. And as we read, we realize in no soft terms, the compromises brown women have to make every day to suit the demands or expectations of the society.
For every blow to a brown women's soul, we, brown women have a mark to prove it.
Otherness is a bold, truthful and strong narration-- a book meant for contemplation and true insight into brown women’s soul.Books available in Goodreads, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon India, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia.
Who is the brown woman? How does she live defined almost solely by her skin colour and all the history it carries? How do we carry racism deep within us even when we think we don't? These are questions that require deep thought and reflection, and that's what Otherness encourages us to do. In a world increasingly divided along the lines of colour, despite its apparent modernity, here's a hard look at the realities that lurk within us, both as individuals and as a society.