Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Just a joke, you'd say!

Below is a picture that I just received, as I tapped on the Wi-Fi icon on my handheld and the Whatsapp messages flooded in. 

The photo is labeled as: “ladies enjoying cappuccino, policeman relishing latte” and has been enthusiastically been followed up with emoticons that shed tears of laughter and rolled on the floor, in ecstasy.

And the pictures and texts of the marriage jokes that flood the group, hovering around what the man says and what the woman says about the shape of rotis to the size of waists, from evening stars before marriage to funeral wishes after – I am not even going there! I do not know about videos, I do not download and watch them unless it is meant to be personal, for me. I suspect they are there too, many of them.

Seriously guys… I mean, seriously?

“Oh no, they are not meant to be serious,” someone tries to pacify me. “It is just a joke!”

Right! It is just a joke, and that exactly is where the problem lies, you see!

I raise the question in the group. They say: Life is to be lived lightly. I ask, if they'd say the same thing if mine and her daughter were in the picture. They say: what can you do if people watch? If they say something, you teach your daughter to kick their asses hard. Another adds: all we can do is, teach our daughters to be careful. Another is more progressive and up the curve, she suggests: also tell your son not to watch. Right, dear aunties and uncles. And until then, you sit back and enjoy your show. Life is about living light, anyway!

You know what?


Ting tong… guess, guess?

All the crimes you read and shudder upon... They all start with a man, or some men, ogling at a girl, just like she is an object, just like the picture you have just shared there, Sir.

I can write pages after pages of texts and slogans on how the freedom to dress is, well, should be the freedom to dress, after all; and how that entitles none to ogle, touch or pass a comment at. I can write another many pages on how, I still trust, will grow up your own daughters with what you think is rightly her share of freedom. I'm sure you'll do a good job of parenting, I'll wish so. And I’m sure you cannot even imagine that girl in the picture (having cappuccino, you say?) to be anyone real, perhaps!

But there you are, Sir!

No, indeed! It is not personal. And yet it is… won’t you say? The share or forward buttons on social networks come too easy, too easy and too quick to have us stop to think before we act. It took me a lot more to sit and write this down, and will take a lot further more to get this out of my head.

But let us for a change do some hard work of thinking, shall we?

(Also published in MyCity4Kids)