The latest viral sensation in the country is the savage bride video, which shows an angry bride slapping a man for allegedly touching her without her consent. However, as an article in The Indian Express points out, what follows the bride’s outburst is certainly not funny. As seen in the video, the man who is hit by the bride turns away in anger and proceeds to slap a woman standing in front of him, despite the fact that she had no role to play in the incident.
— B Sethia 🇮🇳 (@sethia_b) July 5, 2018
This video, being labelled funny by most social media users, is far from being entertaining or hilarious if you look beyond the savage bride. It asserts that arrogance and ego prevent men from accepting their mistakes. And they would rather take out their anger on unsuspecting women than accept that they made a mistake.
Harassment at weddings is not fun
As much as one is able to grasp from the video, the bride is right in slapping the man who picked her up in his arm without her consent. Such violation of consent is very common during weddings in our country, where inappropriate behaviour is often dismissed as friendly banter. Be it picking up a bride during Jaimala or misbehaving with women in a drunken stupor, we all know of these creepy uncles and dulhe ke yaar who cross the line of appropriate conduct.
It’s a wedding, it is bound to be full of funny anecdotes, which we can remember afterwards and laugh about. But it is not. Remember when the drunk uncle dragged a college-going cousin from the other side and touched her inappropriately in the name of dancing with her? Or when the groom’s best friend rubbed haldi all over the bride’s sister’s face and casually touched her breasts in the process?
These incidents are far from funny. We need to stop letting men get away with harassment in the name of fun and frolic at weddings. It is wrong to pick up the bride in your arms simply assuming that she will be okay with it. Ask her first. No ceremony is an excuse for crossing the line of unwanted body contact.
Paying the price for the bride’s bravado
The more disturbing part of the video, however, is when the man slapped by the bride turns around and assaults an unsuspecting female. Note that of all people present around him – the bride, the groom, the other male friend who had hauled the groom up, this man singles out a woman who had nothing to do with the entire incident.
Why are we okay with letting men use women as punching bags?
Isn’t hitting someone innocent, knowing that this person is too weak to retaliate a sign of cowardice? This man was too timid to confront the bride who hit him or her husband. In a fit of embarrassment and anger, he did what most Indian men do, due to generations of conditioning. They proceed to treat women like objects. From frustration at the workplace to dissatisfaction in life, there are a million reasons why men resort to physical abuse. The only reason why they get away with it is because the society lets them to. Even in this case most people just choose to look at the boldness of the bride. But they ignore the viciousness with which that man hits another woman. So even when this bride came out victorious against her harasser, another woman ended up paying the cost of her bravado.
Let’s not forward this video as being funny. The conduct of the man is disturbing on two accounts, and we must address that. While we must congratulate the bride for showing guts and standing up against what she thought was inappropriate, let us also question, why we find it hilarious, that the man turned around and slapped another woman. Men always know what they can get away with. They know who can be pried on and who cannot. What is sad though, is our indifference to their predatory behaviour.
Picture Credit : The Indian Express
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.