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The Sexist Notion Of Nagging Wife Is Still So Commonplace

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No sooner do two or more men gather, around a water cooler or a roundtable, the “nagging wife” crops up in the conversation, as a back-slapping joke. It has been part and parcel of male banter for so long and is so commonplace, that it has acquired a legendary status. No social gathering is complete without one or more mentions of a nagging wife. Also, it isn’t just men who propel this notion, isn’t it?

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • No social gathering is complete without one or more mentions of a nagging wife cropping up.
  • From pop culture, to cinema, to books and magazines and even advertisements, portray wives as husband harassers.
  • Recently, a multiplex chain cashed in on this common notion with an utterly sexist billboard.
  • This running joke needs to be put down, because stereotyping is outdated.

From pop culture, to cinema, to books and magazines, and even advertisements love to portray the wives as constantly badgering their hapless husbands. And what do the hapless spouses do? They endure, roll eyes or share the plight with male friends. The pop culture would have us believe that this is the equation among all the heterosexual couples, when it comes to conversations, women complain and poor men endure silently. Recently, a multiplex chain cashed in on this common notion with an utterly sexist billboard. Portraying their cinema theatres as some kind of refuge from daily life troubles, their ad said, “Office, Nagging wife, K-serials. Leave them all behind. Welcome to the movies.”

It was actor Adil Hussain, who brought it to light, by sharing a picture on Twitter and calling out the multiplex chain for its sexist promotional gimmick.

The multiplex chain in question has apologised and committed to “looking into this matter.” But we all know that is just a bid to protect their own image. They might as well be frantically searching for a scapegoat to dump the blame on.

How such demeaning ideas transform into campaigns and find their way into print media and on billboards, right under the nose of woke executives is beyond me. The brand managers only wake up from their slumber of ignorance, when they receive social media backlash. This happens when they sense that there is a threat to the only thing they care about in the world – profits.

But then it is not as if this billboard said anything we have not heard before. The society loves to label women as harassers, who detest male mental peace.

This running joke needs to be put down, stereotyping is outdated. Labelling wives as nagging is like calling all men unfaithful philanderers. We all know how untrue that is, yet such stereotyping is a big part of our casual banter. It colours our perception of the opposite gender and individuals, even before we interact with them. Moreover, we get conditioned into adopting these traits in our personality, because that is what the society expects from our gender.

Hence the tendency of men to complain about wives nagging them in itself is a result of conditioning, because culture teaches them to do so.

That is what normal or regular male behaviour is supposed to be like. Even if it means one has to spin a few lies or fake your “agony”. However, with changing times, it has become essential to discourage such conversations. Husbands and wives, or rather men and women should stop feeding any more fuel to such notions and vow to not engage in sexist interactions. That is the only way we can discourage pop culture and advertisers from cashing in on our biased mindset, putting it in print and further passing it down from one generation to another.

There are many things we may want our children to inherit from us, sexist notions like these are certainly not on that list. It does nothing more than to impede our drive for inclusion and equality and it also puts the heavy baggage of preconceived notions on our mindset. Getting rid of it is only going to make us more open minded.

Also Read : Golden Globes Nominations: No Women Directors Make The Cut

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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