There is a fine line between humor and everything else. One may think they have said the funniest thing of the hour, without giving the slightest of thought that their said words can have consequences. In fact words do have consequences, trust me! (Remember this? …Yes, I did learn a lesson or two there.)
And so at it happens, at times the well informed too need a reminder of the above perhaps a quickie on Queer sensitization as well. So we begin today’s session with Mr. Mahesh Murthy. Who is he? Er…he is blah blah & blah. Jumping onto what he did! Well… he posted the below message on his Facebook page;
Funny? Really?! Since I am one of the 26,000+ people who visit Mr. Murthy’s FB page every now and then, all I can say is that this isn’t his finest of wordplay. And believe you me, this man is funny.
Personally though I found his posted message not only demeaning but also his follow-up (defensive) comment to be equally arrogant. Here are bits of it:
I personally don’t give a rat’s ass for political correctness. Yes, I know LGBT and other minorities have fought long and hard to be treated as equal – but part of being treated as equal is about forgetting what our own sexual leanings and other badges of minority-ness are, and being warm, friendly and funny human beings.
Firstly my apologies to the rat for unnecessarily being pulled up in this conversation. Believe me I know how hard it is to maintain a toned ass. But only if the likes of Mr. Murthy started paying some attention to the necessity of political correctness (at least in some instances)…Sigh! Imagine a greener world. Now Mr. Murthy it is heartening to know that you are aware of our struggle, but I wonder how much of it do you actually understand. For a Queer person much of our humanness lies in the acceptance of our sexuality and/or gender. And while you may ask us to let go of the core ingredients that make us happy human beings to begin with, how about first giving us the basic necessities that an equal person is provided with. Lets begin with the right to exist (Yes it’s true… in 2013 we continue to fight a battle in the supreme court).
So while you rightly say “Equal doesn’t mean better than equal”…you must first ensure the other is on an equal platform to begin with before you start kicking below the belt. Even in the Just Joking context.
Moving on Mr. Murthy enlightens us with further gyan…(*Statutory notice: He is only a human being).
Everyone’s welcome here. We don’t discriminate here, nor do we believe anybody needs to be treated with kid gloves. We’re all adults, we all have thick skin here. You want sensitivity, get yourself litmus paper. But this group of folks is under no obligation to offer any. They might, if they feel like, but it’s not a membership criteria here.
Now to the issue of humour. My post was a simple pun on the word “Chhakka” to refer to a eunuch (or TG person, as other terminology puts it) and a sixer in a game of cricket. Chris Gayle hit 17 sixes today. So there was a silly thought of calling him “Chhakkon ka raja” – king of sixers. But the pun also indicated “King of the transgenders” so the joke went on, that eunuchs might be unhappy with someone saying he’s now their ruler.
Not a super-great joke, but one for the moment indeed. I see nothing offensive about it, and if you or anybody else seemed offended you have a responsibility to say why you are, and what the issue is. And if you do find it offensive, get off this page. Please. Like I’ve said before, nobody’s under any compulsion to read or like what I write, and nor am I under any compulsion to write only what you like to read. And that goes for everyone else here.
Getting to the crux of the matter:
Mr. Murthy, FYI the word “Chhakka” is deemed offensive. It is a derogatory word used not only to humiliate the TG/Hijra community but also gay men & lesbians. This very word is engraved in the every day living of a Queer person in the form of mockery and many a times physical abuse (rape) in the hands of both, the judiciary and society. Furthermore it has taken years for the transgender & hijra community to disentangle itself from the word “Chhakka” but clearly the battle is yet not won.
Agreed your Chhakka update was nothing but a thoughtless remark. On a closer look, your behavior could very easily have a negative affect on the TG community. By the way are you aware of the many deaths that happen in the transgender community via murders and suicides? Ever wondered why? It’s because of such attitude that continues to belittle them & treat them like they are anything but human!
So Mr. Murthy you are guilty of discrimination.
And mind you, no one is asking for sensitivity here. I accept that people tend to be over sensitive at times, but at this point, it isn’t the sensitivity speaking. It’s an effort to teach you to respect gender & gender expression. As I said earlier on, knowing does not mean you understand. Sensitisation is the word here; we are not even asking you to walk in our chappals. So by all means you can call Chris Gayle the king of sixers (in the context of the game of Cricket) but we would appreciate it if in the future you keep the word Chhakka away from the eunuchs and your pun even further away from the two.
And while you clearly state your freewill to write everything and anything, we too would like to add that each time we find your words offensive we shall not hesitate to give you another quickie. When you proudly boast your social media statistics, it wouldn’t harm paying some attention to the political correctness. The point being – if you are informed, you will inform others too! *Good karma all around!*
Lastly, time and again I am advised to develop a thick skin in the course of my journey; as a woman, as a lesbian, a blogger and I suppose to a certain degree I have (see how well I tackle ignorance). But I also make an effort to be continuously informed, as it is the latter that helps me grow as a human.
As for the assuming ‘goodwill’ part… we are expecting your thank you message in the mail pretty soon now.
PS – Happy watching T20!!