Is laughing about rape culture an effective way to build awareness about the problem?
by Lisa Fogarty
Ordinarily, rape is no laughing matter. But if you are trying to make a strong statement that people have refused to listen to about the unjust way men are treating women, and the only way to do it is by telling jokes -- well then, bring on the rubber chickens.
That was the brilliant thinking behind the viral video, "It's Your Fault," created by an Indian comedy team called All India Bakchod, or AIB. In the three-minute video, two Bollywood actresses put on their best deadpan faces and perform a mock infomercial in which they remind women that everything they do -- from wearing short skirts to astronaut gear to having the audacity to work and return home late from the office -- are reasons men just can't help themselves and have to rape to stay sane.
The video tackles several popular and severely misguided notions prevalent in India's rape culture, from the idea that "if he's your husband it's not rape," to the odd claims that Bollywood films, the overuse of cell phones, and even the consumption of Chow Mein can incite men to rape women. And it doesn't shy away from poking fun at law enforcement, either, by advising women who were raped to seek assistance from the very helpful police, who tend to ask valuable questions like "Why did you go off with boys at night?"
"It's Your Fault" is clearly a response to the outrageous incidents of rape that have occurred in India over the past several years, as well as the negative treatment of women who are raped and have little or no power over their situation and how it is handled by law enforcement. But this fantastic parody video speaks to women all over the world, since so many of us -- regardless of where we live -- still deal with the patriarchal attitude that we are responsible for how men treat us. That if we wear a skirt that's just a little too tight, or if our breasts are just slightly bigger than average, we deserve to be treated as sex objects -- because men can't help themselves.
I am grateful for this hilarious and thought-provoking video and hope it will inspire women to see themselves as victims, and not perpetrators, of sex crimes.
What do you think of this video? Is laughing about rape culture an effective way to build awareness about the problem?