By The Ladies Finger
Ever been enraged by visiting NRIs giving gyaan? Then we sincerely suggest you do not watch Slate‘s new episode of Pre-Woke Watching (a series in which writers revisit old favourites and examine them for their sad lack of sensitivity). In this particular episode video intern Paroma Soni (and one number NRI) watches Friends and is shocked, by its sexism and homophobia. Which is fine. But she is also concerned, deeply concerned about the effects it would have on the delicate, backward minds in India where the show is still very popular. Soni’s ridiculous commentary will remind you of every cousin who comes over from Amrika and is concerned about the condition of women in India but sometime during dinner says that India could do a dictator for 10 years. “Just to sort things out, you know.”
This video is also a perfect example of a certain kind of cultural commentary where people object to a TV show, book or movie as having a bad influence on other people but they themselves have somehow been immunised from any bad influence because… we don’t know why. Take a look at the intro to the video: “I grew up watching the show in Mumbai. I worry about the damage its gender stereotypes still do there.”
NRIs who need to find new hobbies other than worrying about poor Indier and Indians watching reruns of Friends. American NRIs shouldn’t have any new hobbies given that the US record for protecting women, minorities and queer people is plunging at the speed of light. Talk instead to your relatives in New Jersey who voted for Trump and funds right-wing groups in India, yo. And let us over here be depressed, oppressed and grumpy about the influences of pop culture on our own time.
Meanwhile today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and a whole lot of great organisations are spreading the word. Follow the hashtag #May17Because to follow the Indian campaigns, data, solutions and debates.