As children, we inherit genetic traits from our parents. We also learn from those around us, either our parents or guardians, extended family, friends and the community we are a part of. This can lead to us having a predisposition to or learning certain things, whether that is addiction, gender norms, religious beliefs or how to function in a relationship.
These things can be both good and bad. Recently, the topic of generational curses has been trending on social media. A generational curse is a habit or behavior that has been passed from one generation to the next. Author and women’s empowerment advocate Corie Adjmi provides some nuance into the discussion about passing things down generationally.
“I like the idea of passing things down, both good and bad, generationally. In ‘The Marriage Box’ (and historically in the Syrian Jewish community), the expectation is that women get married young. Having many children and staying married are highly valued. For many this is fine, but for the ones who don’t want to comply, it can be difficult. Patriarchy is also a part of the culture and changing that is not easy,” Adjmi explains. “Awareness is key. So is education. Ideas around therapy have shifted as well and today more and more community members are getting the support they need to live their own authentic lives.”
Corie Adjmi is the award-winning author of the short story collection “Life and Other Shortcomings,” which won an International Book Award, an IBPA Benjamin Franklin award, and an American Fiction Award. Her forthcoming novel, “The Marriage Box,” explores the impact of culture and society on women through the lens of Casey Cohen, a teenage girl coming of age in an Orthodox Syrian Jewish community.