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It's Your Fault.
September 21, 2013 10:56 AM   Subscribe

It's Your Fault "Every sexual assault case in India inspires a string of stupid and hateful remarks against women. This is our response to those remarks." (SLYT) From AIB365, an Indian sketch comedy troupe.
posted by sweetkid (37 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite

 
Really well done and tragicomic.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:12 AM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


If coffee could be as dark as this humor, it would be undrinkable. Well, well done.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:14 AM on September 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


Oh wow, this is SO great. Thanks for posting.
posted by lalex at 11:25 AM on September 21, 2013


If coffee could be as dark as this humor, it would be undrinkable. Well, well done.

Blacker than the blackest black, times infinity.

This was pretty great.
posted by kafziel at 11:35 AM on September 21, 2013


My god, it makes a point. I can still feel the point.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:39 AM on September 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wish this wasn't necessary but black humour has proven itself again and again.
posted by kairab at 12:01 PM on September 21, 2013


That was incredibly good and very uncomfortable.
posted by ambrosia at 12:07 PM on September 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Good but depressing. I appreciated the humor of having the actresses in the skit saying "It's my fault", but if I were writing the script for this I would have the women at the end shouting "It's NOT my fault !!".
posted by marsha56 at 12:25 PM on September 21, 2013


Good but depressing. I appreciated the humor of having the actresses in the skit saying "It's my fault", but if I were writing the script for this I would have the women at the end shouting "It's NOT my fault !!".

I dunno, breaking kayfabe would kinda lessen the point. The humor is in the absurdity of that montage.
posted by kafziel at 12:27 PM on September 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


What is the word the woman shouts that she says will make it "not rape"? That's the only part I didn't get.

Elsewise, wow. Really underscores the wrongness of a mentality that is unfortunately pretty global.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:34 PM on September 21, 2013


She says Priya, which is the hindi word for beloved. It's not illegal for a husband to rape his wife-- therefore, "Priya" horrifically turns something illegal, legal. Problem solved... right?
posted by Static Vagabond at 12:49 PM on September 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: The word is "Bhaiyya". Means "Elder brother" in Hindi, and is colloquially used to respectfully address an older male in that age range.
posted by techSupp0rt at 12:50 PM on September 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Whichever it is, thanks. Seems the same point is made regardless.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:57 PM on September 21, 2013


Absolutely brilliant and so, so painful.

I look forward to links to this being deployed in future rape culture threads, at which point at least one rape apologist will counter that it's only relevant to India where the men really are all animals and the women really are all powerless -- unlike the the U.S., where men have been emasculated by feminism and political correctness, and women rule society with an iron hand.
posted by scody at 1:17 PM on September 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can we not presuppose shitty things people are going to say though?

Calling Indian men animals is pretty offensive even if it's in a "that's what those people say" way.

Also, one of the reasons I posted this was to show that Indian women do have feminism and can speak for themselves.
posted by sweetkid at 1:29 PM on September 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


Can we not presuppose shitty things people are going to say though?

Why? Because I've known plenty of men IN THE USofA who would look at it without a hint of irony and say "Finally, somebody is speaking for ME"?
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:07 PM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's different than what scody said.
posted by sweetkid at 3:27 PM on September 21, 2013


My point -- made badly, for which I apologize -- was that if someone can twist and turn to find any possible way to Other women in order to blame them for rape, they can also twist and turn in order to Other men in different cultures so that they can avoid acknowledging the ways in which patriarchal attitudes are global. In other words: "sure, that's terrible in India. But this is America, therefore it doesn't apply to me."
posted by scody at 4:15 PM on September 21, 2013


Yes, but please consider, this was made by Indian people for an Indian audience in India. Your follow up is indeed better phrased, and I understand the instinct to make it all about us in the US. But it's not always all about us.
posted by sweetkid at 4:27 PM on September 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I understand the instinct to make it all about us in the US. But it's not always all about us.

Because this was posted to Metafilter, my comment was a reference to the ongoing series of discussions and debates that Metafilter has been having in recent months about this topic. Or did you intend this post not to be seen within that context? (Not a sarcastic question; I'm genuinely curious.)

I am aware (and celebrate) that there are feminist voices in India, as well as all over the world. And I appreciate the fact that those international feminist voices have vital messages for the men and women in their own cultures as well as for those of us outside them.
posted by scody at 4:51 PM on September 21, 2013


And actually, my middle class extended family in India is a great audience for this. They were pretty shocked by the bus rape and are all working women and completely nonrapey professional men.
posted by sweetkid at 4:52 PM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Scody: people are going to have multiple reactions to any post. Yours was pretty us/western centric though, and like I said, we would all do well to remember that this is a global site.

Also, in particular about the rape culture in India, I have seen a lot on Metafilter and elsewhere about the white Western perspective when visiting and about the country, and posted this in part because I was really tired of just hearing that one voice. Also I posted it because it's so well done, and shows an attitude that we all agree is pretty universal to rape culture.
posted by sweetkid at 5:04 PM on September 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is absolute genius.
posted by rhombus at 5:38 PM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really love the barely veiled rage when she says (paraphrase) "if you're not humiliated enough, don't worry, you can always be humiliated further when you report your assault to the police!"
posted by sweetkid at 5:41 PM on September 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Scody: people are going to have multiple reactions to any post. Yours was pretty us/western centric though, and like I said, we would all do well to remember that this is a global site.

The thing is, mefi is a primarily US audience site. Like probably in the upper 4/5th percentile as such, if not more. Anything you post on here is going to get viewed through the lens of "This is how this looks to me as a person in the US, likely with the background of having grown up there as well".

I absolutely get what you're saying with your posts in here, but posting it here in earnest as a short SLYT post and then getting annoyed when people view it through that default lens is a bit... grating to me somehow. It's like setting a pitcher of water on a table and getting mad when people pour glasses of it instead of waiting for you to come back out of the other room with cold tea bags or powdered drink packets.

If you wanted to have a discussion through the lens you just described, you should have padded out the original post more so people would launch off from there and realize that. There's plenty of good discussion to be had in the vein of and about the sort of thing you're talking about there, but expecting people to approach it that way by default without any prompting is expecting a hell of a lot.
posted by emptythought at 7:36 PM on September 21, 2013


This is weird. I said several times i know people are going to view what they want to view in a post. I think this video has a global viewpoint, but it's not on me to say "hey, let's not make this yet another post about what animals Indian men are, and how we think we're better in the U.S."

Most of what I've seen about Indian rape culture since the bus attack has been a white, Western perspective and as an Indian American woman I know that the culture is more than groping men and women as property. But Indian culture is still not really my culture, it's more complex than that.

This video is Indian women speaking for themselves (with Indian men). That's important, especially if you care about rape culture in India.

I'm sorry if it's expecting a lot, but it shouldn't be.
posted by sweetkid at 7:48 PM on September 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Rereading everything again, i still don't totally get it. The entire back and forth with scody and a couple others is basically "This is what i could see some asshole saying" and you responding to them in earnest as if they're directly saying that.

I agree that the whole "oh great, some dumbass is going to say XYZ outrageous shitty thing" and sailing down that canal is... really pointless. But basically what i was getting at is that i think people are being pretty good at "Not making it all about the US", and that preemptively shutting them down is kinda unproductive.

It's the lens a lot of people are looking at this through, and i think they're trying as hard as they can to look beyond or around it. Several of your replies that jumped straight to the "Making it about the US" thing especially seemed really oddly defensive and pre-emptive in that sense.

This video is Indian women speaking for themselves (with Indian men). That's important, especially if you care about rape culture in India

And i think a large majority of people on this site realize that. Boots on the ground, from within the culture and situation accounts of, explanations of, and responses to events, situations, or even large cultural systems that nearly everyone commenting aren't(at least directly) a part of are far more interesting, informative, and meaningful than some people taking pot shots of "what's this mean for my white western ass in relation to it?".

Maybe wait until someone actually starts doing that here to use this a soapbox to take a shit on it though?

I like the video and i appreciate you posting it, and it's an interesting perspective. FWIW.
posted by emptythought at 8:06 PM on September 21, 2013


I think it's really only been you and scody who had any issue, and scody and I seem to agree, so maybe let it drop?
posted by sweetkid at 8:09 PM on September 21, 2013


The thing is, mefi is a primarily US audience site. Like probably in the upper 4/5th percentile as such, if not more. Anything you post on here is going to get viewed through the lens of "This is how this looks to me as a person in the US, likely with the background of having grown up there as well".

Oh, FFS. It's called the World Wide Web for a reason.

sweetkid posted something brilliant from an Indian perspective and within a few comments, someone is redirecting the focus to a US context, and sweetkid politely asked them not to do that. Seems reasonable to me.
posted by Salamander at 9:26 PM on September 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


The thing is, mefi is a primarily US audience site. Like probably in the upper 4/5th percentile as such, if not more.

Really? Seriously, I look askance at this figure. While a majority of the most vocal commenters and posters are from USA, I don't think that makes Mefi a "primarily US audience site".

Maybe us non-USians should start a notusa.metafilter.com site, so we can get out of the way of the really important posts. Like how Time magazine does their covers.
posted by Alnedra at 10:45 PM on September 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


On a more on-topic note, this video is really on-point. Painfully so. It cuts across cultures as well. Blaming the woman for abuse committed on her (mostly rape, but also verbal and physical assault, stigmatisation, insults, catcalls etc...) is entrenched in so many societies.

The public transport system here recently put up a series of posters about avoiding crime, such as pickpocketing - and they put up one of a woman about to get molested from behind, with the admonition "Don't get molested". Of course! I shall wear studded leather armor all over my body, and even then if I get touched up by a stranger on the bus, it'll still be my fault - I "let it happen".
posted by Alnedra at 10:49 PM on September 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


On a more on-topic note, this video is really on-point. Painfully so. It cuts across cultures as well. Blaming the woman for abuse committed on her (mostly rape, but also verbal and physical assault, stigmatisation, insults, catcalls etc...) is entrenched in so many societies.

This! So so much this!

It's entirely bullshit that there is this whole "it's HER fault!" excuse for the things males perpetrate on women. At its most extreme, it's the physical violence and rape, but it's also more subtle. I've heard well-meaning, supposedly-level-headed-thinking pundits say that the glass ceiling and the pay inequity is because women aren't as (pick one or any combination of) aggressive, capable, intuitive, insightful, leadershipful, whatever...

A friend of mine recently pointed me to the late 1970s comedy by Norman Lear "All That Glitters", which was a nightly half-hour soap in the spirit of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman... set in a universe where gender roles were reversed... Women were the dominant gender, men were the subs, women held all the political and business power, men were the secretaries and such... The wikipedia page talked about the reviews this series received, and most of them were brutal, based mostly (apparently) on this satire of prevailing of cultural attitude. Like, this struck such a deep vein of discomfort that people weren't able to even regard it for its merits, and were simply hostile for having their basic cultural assumptions parodied.

I swear, I will do a quality FPP about this series one of these days, if enough of the show is online and I find the time.
posted by hippybear at 10:59 PM on September 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


males perpetrate on women

Actually, to be fair, I find (in Asian cultures at least), it is the women who come down hardest on other women. The mothers, the female colleagues, the aunts, the neighbours, who are the most vocal in "moralizing" other women.

I shouldn't travel alone, I might get raped. I shouldn't wear low cut dresses, I'll invite molesters; I shouldn't go home late, I will get assaulted. Proper girls don't wear short skirts/stay out late with boys/say vulgarities/talk back to rude people. I've seldom had a man blame or admonish me, but almost any woman I know even vaguely will impress on me my place in society.
posted by Alnedra at 7:04 AM on September 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Alnedra, that's a basic feature of patriarchy and other oppressive systems - those oppressed are trained to in turn oppress others according to the system's standards so they can "earn" a little more power or privileges. The role of women in a patriarchy includes often explicitly to teach other women by example or instruction how to be a good woman and to shame those who fail. Men don't have to explicitly teach it, only enforce violence and other harm on transgressors.

It's also often a damaged kindness. If you do follow their guidelines in their culture, you (and/or your family) will end up safer because if or when you get raped, you will at least have some social credit that you can use to pursue justice and rebuild your life. If you've grown up in a culture that doesn't consider the gang rape of sex workers as a crime, that marital rape is the fault of the wife and that puberty equals consent to sex for girls, then you pass on what little strategies you have to survive because fighting an entire culture is often more than what most people can do.
posted by viggorlijah at 8:51 AM on September 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's a hostage mentality, I suppose. We women self-enforce so that the patriarchy doesn't punish us - like hostages staying quiet so the kidnappers don't beat them.
posted by Alnedra at 9:48 AM on September 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Metacommentary doesn't belong on the blue, and if you want to suggest that something needs a warning, you can use the contact form. This post already says pretty clearly it's about sexual assault.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:59 PM on September 22, 2013


I swear, I will do a quality FPP about this series one of these days, if enough of the show is online and I find the time.

Pretty please? I'd love to read and see this.

Finally got around to watching this and I am impressed at the ovaries of these Indian women.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:49 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


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