He – hey! How did your entrance exam go?
She – Not good.
He – It is okay! You can always marry a rich guy for sustenance.
She – Was it a joke? Was it supposed to be funny?
Before I start with this post, I would like to admit it just for the sake of everyone who’d think of this post as overreacting to a trivial joke in the wake of women empowerment and ongoing feminism issues, yes! I am going to make a big deal about this conversation. Stop me if you can!
In an ideal world, men and women are equal and time and again we come across various messages which talk about equality through innumerable media sources. For instance, the movie Bewakoofiyaan starring Aayushman Khurrana, Sonam Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor (yes, I know. My movie choices). The story revolves around Aayushman who loses his job and teaming up with Sonam, has to lie to Rishi Kapoor about it to get him to approve of their marriage plans. Yes, I know. The plotline is sort of “ehh”, however there was this one set of conversation between Rishi Kapoor and Aayushman Khurrana which made me set husband/boyfriend goals. It went like:
Rishi Kapoor: Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Your girlfriend earns a lot more than you do.
Aayushman Khurrana: What is there to be ashamed of, sir? She deserves it. She makes me proud.
Another example of a movie which portrays idealistic men who are supportive of their beloved’s career choices is the movie ” The Intern” starring Anne Hathaway, Robert Niro as the main leads and Anders Holm as one of the many supporting characters. With the main plot of the story taking shape as the movie ends, there is also a subplot which goes around the relationship of Anne and Anders. Anders plays the role of a “House Husband” supporting his wife, Anne, who is a successful business woman. Through a series of highs and lows, the couple emerges as a resilient modern day couple fighting the stereotype of the woman as the carer.
Okay, my dear male readers! Take notes.
Coming back to my ranting about that little conversation I had with my friend. Yes! That intended joke is NOT funny, rather it is offensive.
It is not about the joke, it is the mentality and the thinking it conveys. This joke hit me hard because it is not only the casual male friends one hangs out with, it is the entire society! This mentality of ‘a woman can always marry a rich guy’ and ‘a woman earning a salary is good and all but it should never be more than the man’s salary’ exists on every level of our society’s hierarchy. From job level where the women gets lesser salary packages than men for the same job to the clean and pure bride expectancy of the society where men encounters questions like “kitna kama lete ho? (How much do you earn?)” while women generally deals with the questions like “khaane mein kya kya bana leti ho? (What all food items you know how to prepare?)” to such levels where the male friends/colleagues/acquaintances instead of motivating their female acquaintances, crack such jokes.
Now few would talk about the conflicts which arise in the families where the wife earns more than the husband. Okay, yes! Point considered. This happens. I know a family where this is the sole reason for their differences. However, the way I look at it, I think the main reason of their ongoing disputes is more because of the lack of love, respect and morals towards their fellow partner than just the salary gap. Because, who wouldn’t want good things for someone they love? Who wouldn’t be happy and proud seeing what their beloved is achieving in life? Who wouldn’t sympathise with, reassure and encourage someone they actually love and care for to build up the life they want?
Living in the 21st century where there is a lot of cry, protests, speeches, organisations fighting their way through to help women attain an equal position in the society, such ‘supposed to be jokes’ make me sad and disgusted. NO! I do not need a man to help me establish a high standard life! I can do that myself. All I want from my man is to love me and support me while I struggle to find my way up to the top.
So, it is my appeal indeed! To all of my male readers who come across this post, it is high time to think before you crack such sexist jokes. Instead, think about treating the girls/women in your life equally and with respect.
Oh! By the way, if you think my ranting about such a *trivial joke* is funny or silly or if it makes me a high maintenance immune to wit and jokes, the problem is in you. Not in me. K thanks.
Until next time.