If you are a professional in an emerging industry, like gaming, data science, cloud computing, digital marketing etc., that has promising career opportunities, this is your chance to be featured in #CareerKiPaathshaala. Fill up this form today!
Sexist jokes stereotyping women have always been around, but the coronavirus lockdown has given people fresh reasons to display their bias.
I have always found jokes which portray negative stereotypes of women a little bit irksome but lately, the onslaught of such forwards and a general social acceptance of this kind of humour infuriates me. I feel compelled to vent by writing about it.
Let me give you some examples in case you have missed reading these sexist jokes. First, we have a picture of a man whose hair is standing up and his ears are enlarged and the caption reads, “Five days at home listening to the wife.” Then, we have a picture of Modiji with his hands in a namaste pose and the caption reads, “It is our request to women to stay quiet so that men can stay home.”
Forget sexist jokes, the Malaysian government went one step further when its Ministry for Women, Family and Community development issued a series of posters for Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #WomenPreventCovid19.
The message advises women to stop “nagging” their husbands. In addition, they are also requested to refrain from being “sarcastic” when they ask their husbands to help them with household chores. This is not the end of it. The ministry also suggests that women should dress up and wear makeup while working from home.
I was shocked at these sexist and condescending messages. This is not acceptable. In the middle ages, a woman was made to wear a scold’s bridle (a mask like device made of iron to keep one’s mouth shut) as a punishment for nagging. This is the twenty first century, for crying out loud, we cannot perpetuate such prejudices towards women. This is no laughing matter. The myth of the nagging woman and the poor hapless, henpecked husband needs to be busted.
In reality, nagging is a two-way street. Men nag too. I am reminded of the scene in the movie Queen where Kangana Ranaut’s fiancé is drilling in her ear about instructions on how to behave and all the things she is doing wrong. I don’t remember exactly what the fiancé’ said but I do remember that it sounded a lot like nagging. Yet, we never hear of jokes where husbands nag. A wife’s request is always interpreted as nagging and it is a deliberate power play on the part of men. We women dread being called nags and men use the word “nag’ to undermine our requests and trivialise what we are trying to say.
I know a lot of women who are quiet and have the attitude of live and let live while their husbands are always in their business asking them not to nap too much or asking them to exercise. There are men who complain about the house being dirty or the kids being unruly. Nagging is more of a personality trait rather than a gender based phenomenon.
It specially bothers me when women forward these jokes or find them funny. We cannot be a part of forwarding jokes which instigate biases towards our own gender. We need to call them out at the risk of being told that we lack a sense of humour. It is not okay to throw wives under the bus. Wives would never do that to their husbands.
The ever wise Amitabh Bachchan has rightly said, “We post/say funny jokes about wife and laugh and always post respectable quotes for mother…The only difference I can see is one brings you into the world… and other makes YOU her world, but men always take their wives for granted & often ignore them in important talks, matters, decisions, plannings, etc. because they think that they are in-efficient to handle them.” I agree with his thoughts completely.
Meanwhile, I am so relieved to hear that the Malaysian government has issued an apology for its sexist advice after it received a severe backlash online for its unfair and unthoughtful depiction of women.
I am hopeful for a world where we have gender equality and respect for both men and women. We have to acknowledge that sexist jokes aim at ridiculing women. We are normalising sexism by sharing such jokes and laughing at them. In these times of being locked down at home, my advice would be to appreciate your spouse and bond together and create wonderful memories.
Image via Canva
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
I grew up in India but I have lived in Southeast USA since 1996. Part-time reference librarian, full-time mom to three teenagers, voracious reader, addict of true crime shows. Volunteering sparks joy and read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: