India: Mocking our rape culture

Instead of another strident editorial, a group of Indian comics has captured the nation’s attention with a satirical video.

Nishita Jha

Tehelka

“Outrage is boring,” said Nishita Jha. Instead of another strident, easily ignored editorial denouncing India’s culture of blaming the victim for rape, a group of Indian comics has captured the nation’s attention with a four-minute satirical video mocking that very premise. The video, “It’s Your Fault,” went viral across India in the past two weeks, garnering more than 2 million views, thanks partly to its witty script and partly to its casting of Bollywood star Kalki Koechlin. Koechlin sarcastically tells women that being raped is their own fault, listing under “things that cause rape” some eyebrow-raising justifications actually given by Indian politicians—including women using cellphones, wearing skirts, going out without men, and going out with men. It also gives a few pointers on how to prevent rape, such as by getting married. “Fun fact: If he’s your husband, it’s not rape!” Perhaps the best thing about the video is that it was made by the comic collective All India Bakchod, “a young, cool, and privileged tribe of male comics who felt outraged.” By daring to make a satirical video, they have broken new ground in India. They have not only shown us that feminists can be funny, but also—“even more outrageously”—that feminists can be men.

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