Sunday, April 30, 2006

Racism and Sexism on popular comedy show

For past year or two, there has been a very popular comedy show showing on one of India's cable tv channels. It is actually a competition where every week a few comedians try to make the crowd laugh harder and harder, and whoever manages to get the highest points wins. Cool, isn't it? Well, I had rarely watched it even though it was a rage amongst a lot of people because I rarely find their jokes funny.

Recently, I started watching it because of my roomies who seem to like it a lot. I have to say that I am apalled at the stuff that passes around as comedy in this country. Actually, I am more apalled to see that the 95% percent of their jokes are sexist/racist/sick. I am not surprised that they make such jokes but good clean comedy is totally non-existent in their jokes!

One of their favourite (perhaps, the most favourite) target is women. There are always those usual wife-jokes that seem to be omnipresent in the entire world. What surprised me was how blatant and explicit some of their jokes were in exposing the status and perception of women in our society. One incredibly unfunny comedian enacted a conversation between men where men have started referring to their girlfriends as 'flats' and there is this entire segment in which they describe their girlfriends as if they were describing flats. And people were laughing at this. I was speechless. When feminists say that women are viewed as property, as possessions and not as human beings, this joke is like the undeniable proof of that claim. It is incredible the amount of insensitivity to women should go into making such kinds of jokes and to laugh at such jokes. The fact that people did laugh out loud at it makes it even more sickening and kind of makes you want to distance yourselves from them.

The racism of their jokes is also quite evident. It is always some other group that they target who are expected to take it in jest but in reality reveals the prejudices that people incorporate in themselves.

Culturally, jokes are quite an eye-opener to the outsider and to ourselves. It is time we reviewed our society through the jokes that we laugh at. If we respected different cultures and different people, we wouldn't find such jokes funny and there wouldn't be such jokes in existence. But as we can see, these jokes do exist and there is no denying their influence in our society.

I could go on and on about how this show disgusts me with the attitudes presented in them but I cant. They make me so mad!!!!


Jaya said...

Had written it quite sometime back. Not in very definitive terms though!

MadHat said...

yeah, I vaguely remember that post. Interesting to see how similar they are...

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