I have a problem, a major problem. I need someone to de-program my brain because over the course of the last twenty years my parents have done an excellent job brainwashing me; “You MUST find a nice, smart, Tamil boy”!!!
Sometimes I feel like I have a chip in my brain that only allows me to feel attraction to Tamil guys! Although years of living in Toronto has taught me to appreciate handsome men from the societal cultural mosaic –they are doomed to reside in the black hole of my ‘friend zone’. If I could only bring myself to go for coffee with a humorous Ryan Gosling, or go see a Raptors game with a Denzel Washington clone. You would think that a little Indian flavor would be an adequate alternative, but alas, to no avail.
I know I am an attractive woman (I say this with confidence, not cockiness). I am always fortunate to be approached by a diverse range of men whenever I go out; Intelligent men, Funny men-Gorgeous men! Although I may smile and shower them with my amazing personality and wit, unless you have ancestral ties to the Chola Kingdom, you’re fresh out of luck.
I have a love-hate relationship with Tamil men. I can’t seem to live with them, but I definitely can’t live without them. Now I am fully aware that this article is going to perpetuate stereotypes. Although I am bracing myself for a barrage of backlash from our male TC readers, if you are a woman who loves Tamil men, I am sure that you will identify with every word. So Ladies, pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, relax and let’s embark on a mini therapy session.
Let’s start with their physical appearance; The chin strap, caramel to dark chocolate skin, spiky hair and mischievous smiles. Why is this sooo damn irresistible??? I blame Rajinikanth. After years of watching Tamil films, he seems to be your leader. I don’t know why, but he must have something to do with all of this.
Now my number one problem with Tamil men is the gang mentality. Why do they all travel in packs??? How am I supposed to get to know the real you if your bodyguards are always in the way? Every woman knows that a man is one way with them, and completely different when he is around is friends. So tell your friends to get lost so I can get to know that other side to you!
How many girls can identify with this situation? You think you’re going over to his place for a quiet date night alone when one of his boys shows up unannounced and then another, and yet another. Inevitably ruining any chance I have to spend some quality time with you.
On top of that, Tamil men all seem to operate on a twisted version of the guy code – “Do not talk, wait, do not even LOOK at any girl I’m interested in”. Have you every been the only girl in a room full of your crush’s friends? All of whom won’t look you directly in the eye and aren’t interested in engaging any type of conversation with you– despite your charming personality and stunning good looks. My name is NOT Medusa and one look will NOT turn you into stone. Is this twisted version of the guy code something that only Tamil men are taught? Because the rest of the human race does not seem to have received the memo.
Which leads to me to a well-known self-perpetuating stereotype. South-Asian men have a reputation of being controlling, possessive and jealous. I will pause while you recover from the shock of that last statement. Why don’t you try pursuing a woman of substance who can show you that she is worthy of your trust and loyalty? Every relationship comes with the risk of getting hurt. Jealousy will not help your odds.
I understand that you Tamil men believe you are hunters, but learn the right way to hunt your ‘prey’. Showing your interest for a woman in Kollywood movies consistently involves stalking the object of your affection until she breaks down and falls in love with you. In the real world, this type of behavior will result in a restraining order and possible jail time. Treat me like a lady, be romantic, entice me with your intelligence and win me over with your chivalry – NOT by trying to control my every move.
Then there is your completely unreasonable “good girl, bad girl” dichotomy expectations. You want a girl who can take care of you, and make mutton curry that is AT LEAST as good as your Amma. At the same time, she needs to know how to dress hot enough to impress all your buddies, but respectable enough, so that your friends and family will view her as both desirable and virtuous. She needs to be a successful, career-driven partner- just not successful enough to pose a threat to your ‘manhood’. And the moment it’s time to have kids, there is no question whose career will need to take the back seat. You want her to be a submissive, traditional girl, yet subversive enough to provide an intellectual challenge for you. Tamil men, are you for real?
And even if you find this perfect combination of Jodhika and Shriya all rolled into one, why does it take a small miracle to get you to commit to her and only her. “I’m just not relationship material right now”. Translation: “I want to pursue every brown girl that moves. And when I’m finally ready to settle down and bring someone home to meet the family, I will be on you like white on rice!” How ironic, since I’m not attracted to white guys. I wish I were. But I’m not. We covered this already – let’s move on.
Our rich Tamil culture is known for producing academic excellence and driven young individuals. No matter what country in the world you live in, the scholarly achievements of Tamil men and women seemed to be engrained in our DNA. So if you are a successful man in his late twenties/thirties/forties, why do so many of you still live with Appa and Amma??? No, I don’t want to sneak into your basement to watch movies after your parents are asleep. I am not a teenager. I have my own place, so why don’t you? I have met so many Tamil men who are fantastic debaters and intelligent beyond belief. So use that beautiful brain and well-endowed paycheck to move out on your own.
No matter how much fun it is commiserate over our dating horror stories, and common list of tragic flaws, the fact remains- I still LOVE my Tamil men. Stereotypes are easy to fall into. I admit that when we have to deal with complexity, it is sometimes easier to revert to simplicity and hold Tamil men to humourous clichés. To be clear, this is a satirical article- I have met many good, quality Tamil men over the years, who have proven to be exceptions to everything I have written here. Consequently, most of them are currently taken. Furthermore, I can not deny that at the end of the day, the first person to show us Tamil women the real meaning of love, was a strong Tamil man- our darling Appas. With a little luck and a lot of patience, we may be fortunate enough to find a guy just like him- with the integrity and class that exudes from a real man. In the meantime, if you know anyone who can deprogram this chip in my brain- please tell him to give me a call.
The views expressed in this article are those of the individual contributor and do not necessarily reflect TamilCulture’s editorial policy.
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