ByÂ Geetika Aggarwal:
Earlier today, I received a joke on WhatsApp about the “life of boobs“. It was a joke. Its purpose was to make the reader laugh. Though what it did was quite the opposite. It made me uncomfortable, furious, and disgusted. One of the sentences which caused such a reaction read; “When in a crowd someone squeezes me, it feel so great” (these are the breasts talking).
For anyone who has experienced this in reality (and I know many have), it is far from great. It is neither funny nor enjoyable, it is molestation. It is pathetic and agitating. In a country like India, in a city like Delhi, not much attention is paid to such violations of personal space and sexual harassment. These are instances to be ignored and lessons for being more careful in the future.
I am positive that a number of men, and women too for that matter, do not find anything wrong with such statements; after all it is simply a joke. However, is it? They say what we laugh at reflects our beliefs and our personality. With such humour doing rounds and being perfectly acceptable, does it not reflect our casual attitude towards molestation?
To those who are unable to find anything wrong with it, I do not blame you. Our society promotes ignorance and something like this has always been acceptable and ‘okay’. However, one doesn’t realise that texts, such as these, in subtle ways incorporate the idea in the minds of many that it is alright to squeeze, pinch, touch or press against girls in public because they like it. They feel ‘great’ inside.
I recently came across a slideshow comprising of the things rapists say while raping. “I know you want it.” “You were asking for it.” “You know you want it. Give in to the pleasure.” These are international cases, true. But does it make it any less relevant in our country? You may also say that these are rapes and one can’t equate molestation to rape. The degree of abuse varies, yes, but not the intention. You can check it out here
The moment has come when preaching about issues and solutions wouldn’t help bring change. It is time to act and take a stand. We often talk about changing mind-sets about sexual abuse as a solution, so it is time to say no to rape jokes. To women hating jokes. To stereotyping jokes. To homophobic jokes. It is time to stand up and say NO.