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Stop! Your Offensive Remarks Are NOT Jokes, And Are Unacceptable

Random people often pass insensitive remarks as 'jokes', but it is especially hurtful when it is someone you know well or a family member who does this.

Random people often pass insensitive remarks as ‘jokes’, but it is especially hurtful when it is someone you know well or a family member who does this.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise Hay

The idea of a perfect body, fair complexion, and submissive nature of women has been perpetuated in our minds right from the time we are born. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise when people around me do not hesitate to give their unsolicited suggestions or pass offensive remarks about my body, height, spots or any other feature that ‘scars’ my ‘beauty’!

But it does come as a shock when my own family members and friends decide to walk down the same road of humiliating someone, and expecting the listener to take it in a light-hearted spirit.

No, you don’t have a ‘right’ to say what you want

One of my friends who’s pregnant was recently teased by her brother-in-law about being overweight. How rudely was she asked about buying more than one ticket for a bus, just because her weight was beyond bounds now! Already going through the agony of unprecedented back pain, inability to move as per her choice, and the restricted movement of her upper body, she could not help but cut the call. The gasket had been blown and my friend was left in tears.

It’s painful to know that men still believe that they have the right to insult or comment on anyone’s appearance without being rebuked or given consequences.

Ironically, these so-called educated men or people for that matter, are everywhere, in every household. Right from the distant relative who seldom speaks to you to your closest sibling, it can possibly be anyone.

Not just men

But wait, this is not only restricted to menfolk, for women, too, find extreme pleasure in other woman’s misery.

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My friend’s mother-in-law is no different. Instead of asking her son to hold his tongue while speaking to his sister-in-law, she joins him in his fun ride. The husband is a mute witness and that adds to the pain.

Probably, the outflow of tears was not a result of humiliation but of helplessness. Knowing what a strong woman my friend is, I can say with confidence that if her hormones were not raging within her body, she would have landed a dismissive counterpunch just at the right moment. Sadly, when no one came to her support, solitude and silence were her only companions.

The remarks never stop

Whatever be the circumstance, the remarks never stop. Whether it is about a mother who decides to dress up nicely after spending months of sleepless nights caring for the baby, or it is the unmarried daughter who decides to shift her office from her house to a rented building, people find faults and never miss a chance to pass an offensive remark. The lid is blown when the trusted ones cross the line and expect you to ‘take the joke lightly’.

My dear ones have been no different in this regard. Right from commenting on how many ‘gulab-jamuns’ I can eat in a day to how eccentric I am when it comes to organizing things, I have heard all sorts of comments. Offensive remarks on my weight, blemishes, and short hair have been quite frequent too. And I admit that I am not too strong to give someone a cold shoulder. I admit that some of such remarks leave behind a scar that permeates through my being. Such scars have eventually forced me to change my perspective towards people in general.

People pass such remarks when they are not intelligent enough to discuss anything else that makes sense or is meaningful. Probably it is much more difficult to appreciate someone and help lift someone’s spirit, than mocking someone and letting them down! There is no fixed solution to what people say or plan to say. Yet the only light at the end of the dark tunnel seems to be the support of your will and the courage to bounce back in life without caring about the rest of the world.

Image source: a still from the film English Vinglish

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About the Author

Enakshi J

An educator by day an author by night, Enakshi is also an eminent book reviewer. Having worked as a freelance content writer, she now writes read more...

7 Posts

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