A tale of two (unfortunate) jokes

Yesterday I came across a joke floating around the social media. It was a cartoon of a couple in a bathroom. The man is shaving his face as he says, “I am shaving as I have an appraisal meeting with my boss today. I am asking for a raise.” The woman says, “Me too.” Guess what she is doing? Shaving her private parts!

Ok, I’ll give you a moment to visualize the cartoon(I think it was too graphic to share)… and react.

If you’re like me, you’ve balked. The joke is sexist, to put it mildly. It wasn’t the first sexist joke I’ve seen. There are tons of husband-wife jokes, and then there are other posts preaching about Indian girls who don’t mind tying a dupatta around their faces when they drive but hate the ‘ghoonghat’. This one cartoon, however, crossed a line. It was humiliating and disgusting and represented the very bias we women fight against on a daily basis.

If she is always at her desk, not bothering to network at the water cooler or in the smoking zone, well, she is not a team player. She doesn’t deserve a promotion. If she spend a minute too long in the boss’ cabin, the promotion was only due to it. If her neckline shows a centimeter more skin, she is a slut. She has big butts or big boobs. Dude, she has a big brain too – perhaps bigger than yours as she has already completed her tasks and is through half of yours while you wasted time staring at her body parts.

How many of you women have not been hit upon at work on the pretext of ‘professional help’? A junior in my team was once harassed by a client’s manager whom she was required to work with. As the 50+ ‘manager’ was too busy the entire day, he found time for her only after office hours. Things began with a sincere hour of knowledge transfer, then they began to be followed up with a coaxed dinner and later into gifts.

Sadly, this attitude is not limited to men. Even women judge other women. Which brings me to the second (unfortunate) joke.

What do you see here?


The irony of the situation of women around the world. I bet this made you laugh. Smile at bit, atleast. I’ll admit, I am guilty of a sheepish grin. But then I realized these women have been shackled by a bunch of men. Men who decide what they should wear. And yet, the women have risen above the shackles to live their dreams. They didn’t let their clothes define their passion. Mind you, I am talking about BOTH the women here. These women inspire me now. They tell me one simple thing – live your passion, no matter what anyone tells you to do!

If you too think some jokes have gone too far, do share.

5 thoughts on “A tale of two (unfortunate) jokes

  1. The casual abetting to these kind of jokes in the name of “don’t be a prude” is all too common. It is so accepted that the sexism and misogyny is almost invisible.

  2. Great thoughts Shweta and thanks for sharing.
    Women are the butt of many jokes now a days and with the whatsapp in the scenario has grown more rapidly. I think the point is not only about the emancipation of women as a wife, girlfriend or an office colleague but also about their objectification. A man who buys a car by looking at just the half naked woman wrapping herself on the bonnet surely has too much black money or has robbed a bank and has cash to spare. No sane hard working man would buy a car without doing research on its technical specifications and performance features. So the question comes as to why did the car company use a woman to try to sell the car ? I think the problem lies in the age old mindset of beauty without brains and brains with no beauty ! It’s time we helped our sons give up that thought process and recognize the real truth !

  3. It’s a tad ironic that you see covered women and assume they cover because of misogyny.

    The reality is that women cover for many different reasons. Some cover in defiance of the men in their lives who prefer their women to be on display like possessions.

    Perhaps the one who is misogynistic is you? Because when you see a woman wearing hijab niqab etc you assume they are automatically oppressed by default, which means you see them as having little to no agency.

    Just some food for thought.

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