Watch: 'How I Raped Your Mother' tries to make a point about marital rape, by using humour

Humour can be a powerful tool for highlighting what’s wrong. Satire, spoofs, black humour — used well — can have a more powerful impact than a tear-jerker.

Girliyapa’s new video on the extremely serious issue of marital rape tries to do the same. But does it succeed?

A still from How I Raped Your Mother. Screengrab from YouTube

A still from How I Raped Your Mother. Screengrab from YouTube

Titled How I Raped Your Mother, the video puns on the name of the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother to tell a story about how we, as a society, fail to recognise marital rape — leave alone provide any recourse to those who are victims of it.

The skit depicts a typical Indian parivar — a nani, numerous masis and mausajis, parents and siblings — all gathered in the living room of their apartment. They are offering advice to the daughter of the house, who has packed her suitcase and left her husband.

When they probe as to what is the reason for her taking the step, the girl responds by saying that her husband rapes her every evening. Her uncle counters it isn’t possible — he pulls out an updated journal on the types of rapes (it lists “taxi rape”, “abandoned mill rape”, “Gurgaon rape”) and points out that “marital rape” isn’t a category mentioned there.

The women of the family convince the girl that what she is experiencing isn’t rape — it’s “intense lovemaking”. In fact, her mother says, she has been experiencing “rap..sorry, itense lovemaking” at the hands of the girl’s father for several years now.

The family discusses several ways in which the girl can deal with the “intense lovemaking” — get pregnant, hope that her husband gets diarrhea, or simply put up with it (he can’t possibly take all that long! one aunt exclaims).

The husband himself appears on the scene and gives the girl a spiel about how she doesn’t take his consent when she packs baingan ki sabzi for his lunch. If he can put up with the throat itch the sabzi gives him, why can’t she put up with his “intense lovemaking”?

The skit ends with the couple reuniting, the wife realising how “selfish” she’s been in not pandering to her husband’s demands and the entire family gathering for a selfie.

The video ends with the words “if you know someone suffering from marital rape, call these numbers” — before going on to say, there aren’t any.

The laughter track and the farcical nature of the skit itself have been used by Girliyapa to make a point — but that point seems to be diluted by the treatment. The jokes at several points just seem off.

A well-intentioned effort this, but a little more thought may have actually helped create a more impactful message/product.

What do you think of How I Raped Your Mother? Watch the video here and tell us:


Published Date: May 17, 2016 07:23 pm | Updated Date: May 17, 2016 11:13 pm