Mr. Bhagat’s tweet that we’re discussing here is not his usual self promotion, or brand promotion, or atrocious grammar stuff. We’re talking about a Rape Joke here:
” The rupee is asking, is there no punishment for my rapists? “
He later deleted it. But by that time, it was widely circulated & people were already trolling him. There was an uproar on Twitter against it. Which was expected.
What shocked me was Mr. Bhagat defending his joke. He later tweeted saying:
““People here flipping out on using word rape as metaphor. Murder is OK. Using F word is also OK.”
(I am happy that Mr. Sandip Roy in his blog at FirstPost gave an apt reply to him http://www.firstpost.com/living/chetan-bhagat-rape-jokes-are-not-funny-at-all-1066167.html )
However, what shocked me even more was that some people were actually supporting him:
And this why I felt it is important for me to join the troll wagon & write this post.
What he did was wrong. Period. And, it’s not because Mr. Bhagat is an influential person (No, that’s not a joke, Time magazine actually put him on its list of 100 Most Influential People), so to quote Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Therefore, he should have been extra cautious. You know, since he has a great number of ‘followers’ & not all of us have the discretion use ‘rape’ only as a metaphor and not have any misogynist innuendo in it.
No, for me that’s not the case. As Mr. Bhagat tweets I indeed ‘care more about the metaphor used to describe it than the (economic) meltdown itself.’ Because, I can never take a rape joke with a pinch of salt. I’ve a zero tolerance policy when it comes to rape jokes. For me, rape jokes are not just distasteful & unfunny but they’re also an act of violence against women. And, here are the reasons why:
TOP 5 REASONS WHY I HAVE A ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY AGAINST RAPE JOKES
5. They are not jokes, they are satire on awful male psyche. They reflect our pervasive culture of rape, where men treat this crime so nonchalantly that they feel it’s totally ‘cool’ to joke about it, and laugh at it. Thus, hampering our thinking as culture to prevent rapes.
4. They promote rape culture & rape myths, in the same manner as Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ did.
3. They’re extremely insensitive as they desensitize people. Which we can’t afford to especially, in India where people’s attitude towards rape is insensitive (“Respectful women don’t get raped”) & quite casual when it comes to other forms of sexual violence. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StYj8gzEtGQ)
2. They are like cashing on someone’s misery for cheap popularity. They piggyback on the ‘hot topic’ & controversial subject that rape is to garner attention. People may love, people may hate, but people remember their jokes & them. In doing so they fail to consider the deeper implications of it. We are hence contributing to our own problems by resorting to careless humor.
AND THE #1 REASON WHY I HAVE ZERO TOLERANCE AGAINST RAPE JOKES
1. Rape jokes validate rapists. The rapist finds a social conformity in the people cracking those jokes & in the people laughing at them. Moreover, they make the victim feel invalidated. The victim feels that the society doesn’t empathize with me. So, they can’t turn to it to help them surviving this crime. And, isn’t this fear that ‘people won’t empathize with me’ the main reason why most rapes go unreported?
I can’t sum it up without quoting Mr. Bhagat from ‘2 States’,
“The world’s most sensible person and the biggest idiot both stay within us. The worst part is, you can’t even tell who is who.”
(Hope he gets the drift *fingers crossed*)