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  • Is it just me…

    OR ARE THERE other folks out there who don’t find this funny?


    No, I’m not wildly outraged. And neither am I a curmudgeon whose sense of humor is permanently trekking in the Himalayas. I’m well aware that sexist ‘jokes’ exist and we’re expected to ‘lighten up’ and not bristle in annoyance at the historically derogatory undertones. But pardon me if the giggles don’t naturally burst forth. Would you buy a garment that had that label on it? What would your reaction be? Also, I can’t help wondering if it was a woman who stitched that label and whether she gave it any attention at all.

    Thoughts, people?

    23 Responses

    1. This is outrageous. Sexist jokes are one thing (wonder how funny men find jokes where the humor is directed against them?) – but to commercialise sexism!!!

      I would absolve the poor woman who stitched the label – she probably doesnt even read English (if she is literate). I wonder if it was a woman who designed it, though!

    2. Vote with your wallet. Boycott the brand.

    3. This isn’t funny at all! You should have mentioned the brand, so that we know whose dumb idea of humour this is.

    4. My thoughts are… why are men so lazy that they can’t do their own laundry? I know plenty of men who do their own laundry. This is something that should not be allowed to be on a tag.

      What brand is this by the way?

    5. Well, I laughed.

      Before the whole lot of you gang up on me, there are some stereotypes that are funny. It’s just one of those things. Something to read and giggle at and move on.

    6. You’re right, the giggles don’t burst forth.

      What is funny and awesome is if there’s garbage to be taken out or some crap that needs to be fixed and if there’s a sign saying ‘Give it to your man, it’s his job’, a guy will find it funny and smile AND do the job.

      The giggles might not burst forth, but chances are you won’t find a confident, secure person (male OR female) getting anal about something this.

      A lot of guys who don’t know how to cook would laugh and break a few eggs if told cooking was a gender-specific job that should be done by a man.

      And there are men who’d read this sexist thing, say ‘Heh!’ and go right ahead and do their laundry…and maybe their lady’s laundry too.

    7. Ofcourse it is horribly sexist. I am tired of this imagery and its not funny! The comments by the people before me seem to make it seem as though as women we are unnecessarily sensitive. Its great if more men reacted saying that they have problems with this sort of imagery precisely because the world is changing and some of them are taking on the role of washing clothes. If we heard that too, I would start to feel that the world may be changing.
      Its about reacting and asking for change in the way that men, women, transgenders are portrayed. Stereotyping is the easiest and it continues precisely because no one feels that we should react!!!!

    8. A response to Aditya Mehta’s comment:
      1) I think most of the men I know wouldn’t actually find that garbage label funny. There are many men who dislike male stereotypes. But I’m sure there are some men — perhaps many — who would find it funny.
      2) More importantly, I think we should understand that a joke is not funny when it is based on an insulting belief that is still held by a large section of society and that adversely affects many people in practice. This is why jokes based on gender stereotypes tend to be more offensive when they are about women. In most families, a man has the ability to refuse to take out the garbage; but in many, many families a woman may still not have the ability to refuse to do the laundry.

    9. Hi there ladies,
      I am neither young nor a female.
      I found this offensive and sexist.



    10. absolutely outrageous!! cant imagine these jokes put in brands in this age!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    11. It is really not amusing at all. A lot of people , women and men , may not give it any thought because this is not an “issue” or a “big deal”. But it is exactly this sort of thing that perpetuates gender stereotypes.

      Why must we take it as given?

    12. Last time I checked my sense of humor was still looking for a good laugh but I simply couldn’t laugh at this bit of tripe.

      It is a pretty big deal because the big stuff hides out in the little details of our lives.

      This not so innocuous and unfunny label says quite a bit. There’s the whole division of labor into “men’s work”and “women’s work” which was accomplished before any of us were on the scene. The kind of work allotted to men is conveniently classified as real work. You know… the kind that has built civilization as we know it. Areas of work that have been chalked off as a woman’s lot are conveniently slotted as secondary and supportive of man’s effort and of course, her most important role is care taker of said man himself. Hmmmm… Definitely not funny.

      Does anyone know the name of the manufacturer?

    13. I should imagine ‘division of work’ is more of a sensitive topic in a feminist blog from a place where division of work in society is a traditional source of injustice.
      That said I agree with the comment ‘insults men’ : too stupid to be trusted to wash it properly.
      Some people have an abrasive sense of humour because they are unthinkingly accepting of the status quo…and like a ‘cheap shot’.

    14. Definitely not funny. I can hardy believe this doozy of an artifact exists. Sigh.

    15. I think 95% of the men think this is funny but most won’t admit.

      I had to smile about it. I don’t agree at all that it is a woman’s job but still had to smile about it.

      PS Do we even know if this is a real label or that it isn’t photoshopped?

    16. A lousy advert… and am so tired of these sorts.. they not only categorise that it is women’s jobs to do laundry but (as a previous comment says) the language is so demeaning for men too (that they are not capable of washing their own jeans)!

      But am even more disappointed at the response: when I see people taking it as a “joke”. Yes, we could avoid buying the brand and you shall probably forget the advert, but the “joke’s” already been made and snickered upon.

      Probably gives us a cue to the ways we consume (and even enjoy) the loud (and not so loud) messages of gender stereotyping..

    17. *barf*

      Not even remotely funny. I’m a bit astonished that *anybody* found that funny! Must be the same kind of people who laugh at someone slipping on a banana peel.

    18. Not funny at all. And yes – I hear people telling me the same old “lighten up – it’s a joke” thing. It’s not. It’s not funny and it’s not a joke. When women are truly empowered and laundry and other “womanly” jobs are actually being done by women AND men, this **might** be funny (and then the label would say “Give it to your better half – it’s his/her job”.
      I was thinking along similar lines while watching these adverts on TV – and just posted them to my blog yesterday :


    19. hmmmm… I have a hunch about this label being not real… maybe because its absurdly anachronistic… but if this is in existence, it is of very bad taste, and there isn’t much new to say about the people who find it funny …

    20. Koyel, even I agree, now that you mention it, seems unreal, have never come across such a label in my life, no one knows the name of the brand either. I would like to say a thing or two to the brand and the store that dares to sell stuff with this ‘instruction’ on it! They won’t make a pretty sight when I am done with them, I promise!

    21. Just a response to Aditya’s comment. How many Indian families do you know where it is the man’s job to take out the grabage? How many Indian neighbourhoods have garbage bins lined up neatly by the side of the kerb? How many Indian neighbourhoods have kerbs in the first place?

      In most Inidan families, the kachra is kept besides the front door by the woman of the house, the practise you are talking about is so far removed from our cutural context that a comparison is entirely inappropriate.

      Another thing: Do you know any Dalit who would not be offended if there was a sign on a garbage bin that said: “Give this to a Dalit. Its his job to empty it.” This would actually be factually true, because most waste-collectors in India are from lower castes, but it would be wonderful if Aditya Mehta could confidently walk up to a Dalit and ask innocently, “Dude do you really think jokes about Dalits are offensive? Lighten up already!”

      Groups that have been historcally oppressed have a right to feel offended about humor that is based on insulting stereotypes about them. That is why anti-Semitic humor and racist humor is more offensive than humor about George Bush and other WASPS like him. Has Aditya ever tried a ‘nigger’ joke on an African American?

    22. If this was the perfect pair of jeans (and we all know how hard those are to find), and if I had been looking for a pair for the last 1 year (as I have been right now), I would cry, after seeing this label, but I wouldn’t buy it.

      Sexism is not acceptable.

    23. As a man who lives alone and has always done his own laundry it is not funny. Please tell us the name of the manufacturer.

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