I won’t beat around the bush with this blog. What I am writing about now should have stopped beating around the bush a long time ago. Many people have spoken and written about this before me, but they all have been made fun of by calling them feminists. Sadly, being a feminist is not something to be laughed about unless that person has got it totally wrong. Some of you reading this blog will laugh at me. It is okay though it shouldn’t be. What I am writing here is for everybody but very few will understand it. Of those few who will understand, there will be those who ignore it.
Today, there were many posts shared of Facebook related to something Lemon Tree did. For those who don’t know, Lemon Tree is a hotel in Bengaluru. The posts they shared were about a joke pasted on the wall of this hotel. Here it is. This picture is taken from a related post.
Lemon Tree Joke
Image source: The Ladies Finger
The posts were about how the joke is sexist and promotes rape culture, and the cool brigade asked the media to take a chill-pill. If you read the joke and laughed at it, then please don’t read further because you will be one of those who will not understand what I write here. If you insist on reading, then you will be offended.
If you laughed at this joke in the picture, then you failed to understand the dark and insensitive place from where it arises. What the man does at the end of the joke symbolises domestic violence and marital rape. That is exactly what the other posts have been talking about in case you still haven’t understood. Hoping that you are reading my blog right now to genuinely understand what this is all about, I shall try to break it down for you. Let’s start with how we are dealing with domestic violence and marital rape in India. We had Ghanti Bajao campaign to stop domestic violence. Ring the doorbell and stop domestic violence. That was the essence of it. Yay! Why not ring the doorbell to the brains of abusive men? And about marital rape? There are people asking what it is. Why do people ask such questions? Because once married, women are properties of men and they can be used as men want, mainly for housekeeping and sexual gratification. I agree there is a creed of men who have evolved beyond this for the betterment of our society, but there are also men who can’t register in their testosterone doped brains that women are not “properties.” Asking what marital rape is like congratulating a rape survivor on losing her virginity if she had not lost it already.
You might argue this content generating media company is of low grade and so are its followers. But aren’t these followers living amongst us. You might argue that I don’t have a sense of humour, but I ask you what do you laugh at? When you laugh at something it is because you take it lightly. This joke at which you laughed is what you have taken lightly and gradually becomes acceptable because nobody frowns at it and it should not cause any problem. Of course you don’t care where it comes from. You think no husband will literally throw his wife to a gorilla, but there are chances that he might beat her up instead because she excused herself from sex citing headache. In Hindi, this is called Khade Laude Pe Dhoka. If you need translation, it means cheating over a hard-on. Of course, when men objectify women for sexual satisfaction, her illness becomes an excuse she is using to avoid having sex with the man. If you think she is avoiding having sex with you, then think why? It isn’t like women don’t have libido. Women just want sex to be good. So, she might be avoiding sex with you because she doesn’t want to hurt the ego of a male chauvinist pig by saying you are not good at it. She might even have an affair to satisfy herself and she doesn’t want to rot the endorphins liberated by rolling over the bed with you. Then why don’t you just divorce her and get a sex doll from China (oh no, I am not talking about the Chinese girls who look like dolls) and satisfy yourself if sex is all you need from a marriage? That doll won’t say no. See, that’s where it comes from. This joke came from a man, a husband, who couldn’t take a no from his wife, a woman. When a man cannot take a no from a woman, he feels his manhood is at stake or is questioned because a woman, who is supposed to be his subordinate, rejected his advances and he tries to bring her down by violating her or insulting her. It is another discussion, as written in my previous blog, that there is no “authentic” reason to rape a female.
If this is too much about husbands, then let me tell you about a boyfriend I had. It was back in the year 2010 when I was in Chennai on training. I was waiting to return to Bengaluru. I was returning to my PG (not parental guidance, but paying guest) accommodation. It wasn’t very late at night and was around 8:30pm, a presumably acceptable time for girls to return to their nests and be good girls. It was through a residential area that I had to walk. This area is in the vicinity of Thiruvanmiyur, one of the posh areas in Chennai, located on the East Coast Road (ECR) that takes you to Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry. In that residential area, under a street light, in front of a house stood a man wearing helmet next to his motorbike. I was at a point where if I took a left I would run into him and if I took a right I would walk half a kilometre more to my place. I took a right turn. This man said “Excuse me” and I turned around. He pulled out his penis and asked “Do you want this?” I was shocked and didn’t know what to do. If I had screamed, this man would have escaped on his motorbike before any Samaritan turned up. If I had tried to get hold of him, I don’t know what he would have done when I neared him. I said “No, thank you” and walked away. That wasn’t the worse thing. The worse thing was in the morning when I told my then boyfriend, and now thankfully an ex, about what happened. He laughed at it and made fun of me by asking me to enact how that helmet man waved his penis at me. Yes, he made it a laughing stock. But there was also our common friend who understood the seriousness of the situation and told he would drop me to my place in the evening just to avoid such encounters again. Yes, there are good men too and I haven’t been generalising all this while in case you haven’t read properly since the beginning. So, yes, men don’t know what to laugh at when it comes to women.
People who commented on the posts regarding Lemon Tree today, including women, are a part of a herd that wants to laugh at everything and make it sound cool, make themselves sound cool. Or is it kewl? Laughing at something only brings down the seriousness of it. But there are also people who understood what is wrong with that “joke.” There are jokes and there are matters that are passed as jokes. Know the difference. Know what can be a laughing stock. I know there will be comments on my blog too saying how morose a creature I am, but then such comments will only prove my point.
Image source: The Conversation