Monday, December 28, 2009

Single Sons of Muslim Families

*These are just some preliminary thoughts. I wanted to post them immediately and then I'll develop them later in more detail.*

I am single son of a Muslim family. I have sisters along with my mother and father. I use the term 'single son' not to say that I am the only child but rather I am the only son.

For most Muslim families, be in the west or in their own native countries, their is an expectation that the sons and younger males of the family will carry them as the father figure ages and comes near retirement.

For single sons, the pressure is much more accentuated since its as if the family only has '1 shot to get it right.' Meaning, its all upon him to make it successful to represent the honor of the family.

Now I know that many readers might be thinking that this is a chauvinistic perspective since it doesn't include the women/sisters as a source of support for the family or a means to be honored. I think that even with taking those into account, the pressure will still remain upon the single son.

The reason being that the Muslim family will consider her daughter - regardless of how successful she is to be a part of her new family. Its not what the sister/daughter can do but rather what expectations exist for the family. Expectations can change from family to family but I'm think they still remain a general norm in the larger family.