Why We Laugh With Kapil at Things That Are Not Funny at All

Don’t you think misogynistic ideas and prejudices are reinforced by our tolerance of them?

Would you say that, ‘nobody is objecting’ conveys ‘nobody is offended’?

And does, ‘nobody is offended’ imply that the ideas must be acceptable?

What makes some things funny for some people and offensive for others?

Shaloo shared this link, Why We Laugh With Kapil at Things That Are Not Funny at All

The joke is always on her. The middle-aged bua who cannot get married because she is not eligible for love anymore and so must be laughed at. The spirited young woman played by a man in drag who must be insulted because ‘she’ is fat and must be compared to a bull-dozer and assorted inanimate objects. And though ‘she’ always retorts saucily, the good-natured entertainment revolves around how she comes across. Too big for her boots. Too big to be ignored. Just too big.

… Comedy Nights With Kapil (Colors) must say something about us.

Even though Kapil Sharma always delivers a hurried disclaimer in the end and says, “Aurton ki izzat karein,” (always respect women), in his skits, respect is not easily available to women or to the naukar (the domestic help), or anyone who is too thin, too old, too strange or too poor. [Why We Laugh With Kapil at Things That Are Not Funny at All]

Do you agree with the article?

Here is a comment that does not,

“… its weird how people instantly trace any direct-indirect signs, patterns of misogyny or negative generalization of women in literally everything… ideologies, preferences controlling subconscious minds of feminists who have license to get offended and to come up with such theories after attaining a saturation point. There are countless examples of negative generalization of men like almost all unhygienic, germs careers in ads for handwash, soaps, sanitizers are males or in beauty products where every other man is ‘chauvinist pig’ stuck in the Smita Patil art movies timezone & backdrop,….and then the typical TV Shows where men emotional quotient (EQ) is equivalent to orangutan, in every movie-show-report script if there is a comparison/contest between men and women the unsaid rule is women should win…..If I am sounding ridiculous in similar comparison then I hope you got my point.”

 But don’t the ‘countless examples of negative generalization of men’ only reinforce the stereotypes further?

16 thoughts on “Why We Laugh With Kapil at Things That Are Not Funny at All

  1. “respect is not easily available to women or to the naukar (the domestic help), or anyone who is too thin, too old, too strange or too poor. ”

    Sadly, this is very true. In many many places, you’re only respectable if you conform to a very narrow set of definitions. Unfortunately, I’ve found this to be true in many many so-called “liberal” spaces as well.

    Also, that comment is one of the most ridiculous pieces of trash I have ever read. The person who wrote that seems to blame feminists for having the “license to get offended” at nearly everything, without realizing for a single second that each and every single one of those negative generalizations and stereotypes about men are reinforced thanks to patriarchy, not women. The same patriarchy that women want to dismantle and get rid of. It is patriarchy that says that men have the emotional range of a teaspoon, not feminists, because showing emotion is deemed as “weak” and lacking in armour. It is patriarchy that portrays men as inept in household duties such as cleaning and cooking, because such things are constantly shamed as women’s work. It is patriarchy that confines men within its rigidly confined rules of what constitutes as “manly” and what doesn’t. It is patriarchy that dictates, time and time again, that the worst insult a man can ever face is being told that he is acting like a woman. Not other feminists. Feminists want men to break free of these idiotic stereotypes.

    The other sad thing about people who make such comments like this is that they rarely if ever care about the issues they are talking about. They simply bring them up in order to diminish and dismiss the issues that women face, by crying loudly about men. However, change the conversation around and these are the same people who will proudly talk about how much of a “man” they are for doing some stupid asinine socially acceptable masculine thing, while putting down women as being “too emotional” and “too high strung”. Which is incidentally another thing that person who made the comment was doing. While complaining that men are constantly stereotyped about not having emotions, he puts down feminists for getting “offended” over seemingly nothing. Lovely how double standards work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your post reminded me of Head and Shoulders for men ad…..where 2 men are discussing maid issues…because they use women’s shampoo etc.
      When I saw the as,I realised how deteriorated admen are,..they’ll reinforce do anything to sell anything.
      That time I realised,if one wants to bring up children properly have to keep TV on tight control.I mute ads, skip serials ,…there is nothing to see on TV😦

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      • “if one wants to bring up children properly have to keep TV on tight control.I mute ads, skip serials”

        I wouldn’t say that. My mom and sister have a series of TV serials that they watch constantly. They’re some of the most forward thinking, egalitarian people I know of. The reason is because they know well enough to not accept any piece of media blindly. They watch the shows, yes, because they’re fairly addictive, but rarely do they ever agree with what’s expressed on the shows, and a lot of the time, they will loudly state their view at the TV.

        Protecting children isn’t going to help them. Children have to be educated to know how to differentiate between a good piece of media and a bad piece of media. They need to know how to understand what messages their getting. Shielding them from TV shows and ads isn’t going to help that cause in the slightest, because they’ll only grow up to know what is wrong, but not how to recognize HOW it’s wrong.

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  2. I’m curious to know bhagwad’s view on this who says that if you are offended by something just don’t watch/hear it. So, if someone feels offended by Kapil’s show, simply change the channel. Freedom of expression should be upheld.

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    • Absolutely. We can change the channel. And we can watch it first and then discuss it on our blogs. I am not suggesting banning the show. This is what Freedom of Expression means – we each expresses what we feel – we disagree, we disapprove, we stop viewing/reading/sharing/liking, mock, scorn, condemn or simply ignore what we don’t want to see or hear/see/read. So long as we don’t get violent and don’t attempt to silence other voices – it’s democratic and fair.

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    • Freedom of expression means that the government cannot persecute you for the beliefs that you express.

      It doesn’t mean that ordinary citizens can’t object to the views that someone has. And it also doesn’t extend to an ordinary citizen writing an article pointing out exactly what is wrong with the show.

      And also, if someone has a belief that is dangerous, dehumanizing and vile, should they be allowed to express it on a public forum? Would you still defend the right of someone to state something like, “All people of x group should be annihilated.”, even though the belief that they are stating is something that seeks to take away the human rights of an entire group of people? Freedom of expression needs to be protected, always, that much is obvious and true. But not all opinions are correct, and not all opinions need defending. There are some we can definitely do without in this world.

      And if the only thing defense that Kapil Sharma has for his show as is that “it’s [his] freedom of expression” then, that really speaks for itself.

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  3. The author has ended it aptly “That if a Yo Yo Honey Singh has succeeded where better musicians and lyricists have failed, the joke is perhaps on us.”
    Most comments including the one you have quoted prove that “Indeed the joke is on us”. We deserve our politicians, leaders and the kind of society we live. Seriously we do!

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    • You know my father after few weeks of the show, gets irritated at how bua is portrayed and how he makes fun of his wife and her parents. He doesn’t like any of the kapil’s interplay of words with the characters.
      my father is old world.I like only the first segment and interview part rest I ignore.
      I think Indians overall like this kind of humour…..actually any humour is acceptable to Indians these days….toilet, sexual ones rule the roost.I have since girls and women laughing on non veg jokes with guys cracking them….while I cannot stand those kinds of jokes.
      In India, there is very few good funny serials on TV.,.I think that’s why kapil’s show is doing well.
      I don’t think there is much choice for common lower and middle class Indian.

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  4. To answer your questions with which you started this post:
    1. Misogynistic ideas and prejudices are certainly reinforced by our tolerance of them. I would go a step further and say that many of us who speak and/or write against misogynistic ideas and prejudices are selective in our opposition. For example, many of us are quick to criticise our own and our sisters’ parents-in-law when they discriminate against their daughters-in-law, but gladly overlook the same discrimination when it is perpetrated by our own parents. Sometimes, we even perpetrate the same discrimination ourselves!

    2. ‘Nobody is objecting’ does NOT convey ‘nobody is offended’. It probably means that those who are offended either think it’s futile to object.

    3. ‘Nobody is offended’ does NOT imply that the ideas must be acceptable. There was a time when ‘nobody was offended’ if it was said that the earth is flat.

    4. What makes some things funny for some people and offensive for others? Unfortunately, the easiest way to make a joke funny, or funnier than it is, is to cater to stereotypes. So you have jokes on Sardars, blondes, lawyers, etc., etc.. Obviously, the people in the group targeted find it offensive.

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  5. Pingback: So we criticise Comedy Nights with Kapil. And we criticise political leaders who make misogynistic statements. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  6. Thank you for raising this. It is so easy to laugh at fat, unwed, loudmouth women, isn’t it? If she is not attractive or a sacrificing mother- lets make her a butt of our sexist jokes.

    I think it is lazy on part of the comedians who do that. I also find the comment you quoted hilarious ( but not in a Kapil way, you know)- that he thinks it is feminists who take offence at ‘normal’ things. That he thinks men being portrayed as helpless buffoons is equal opportunity offence. Both stereotypes- a man who is helpless and needs to be saved by his super wife who washes his shirt superwhite- or the wife who grins proudly for saving the man from doing what is expected of women- are offensive.

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  7. I am not a fan of Kapil though I do watch his shows occasionally. The only time when I thought his joke was off the mark (of the shows that I have watched) was when he made fun of Afrcian women. Other than that, overall his show is really good and humorous.

    Plus whoever wrote that comment, I am sure what he is saying is that men are also portrayed badly on his show, its not just women. The person who wrote that comment is not complaining “oppression” and “patriarchy”, I get the feeling, he/she rather asking to take his jokes in light hearted manner which they are and stop thinking “patriarchy oppressing women” on such mundane things.

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