As many can attest, YouTube video recommendations are a little bit random. I don’t understand how their algorithm selects which videos it “thinks” I’d be interested in watching, but sometimes the content is so off that I find myself second-guessing whether I’m even a good person.
How could YouTube think I’d want to watch that? Does this algorithm know something about me that I don’t?
After all, what we consume does say some things about us.
So, when YouTube recommended a stand-up comedy clip by Indian-American comedian Akaash Singh titled “Nobody is crazier than Indian Women,” I had the above-stated moment of anxiety.
This is a great example of how lazy comedy that relies on toxic terms of sexism gets a pass.
One of the things I most despise is lazy comedy.
Look, I love to laugh as much as the next person. I truly enjoy the feeling of having my mental faculties tickled, so I can let loose a little. There’s even research to show that laughing is good for you.
That said, I think that more often than we care to admit, morally idiotic people use comedy as a conduit to express their ignorant perceptions about the world.
From the title of the YouTube clip alone, I was skeptical. There are few things lazier than calling women “crazy” or “bitch”. Yeah, it’s first and foremost offensive, but it’s not even clever. It just points to how myopic the offender's worldview is.
However, there was a chance I could be wrong. Perhaps Akaash Singh was going to address the title of his comedy clip with an original angle.
Some time ago, I made a pact with myself to refrain from judging things I don’t know about. I’m not saying I seek to become an expert on everything before developing a perspective because many times you don’t need to learn that much about trash before realizing it’s, well, trash.
This pact is why I braced myself, actively tried to keep an open mind, and clicked on his clip. I’d like to point out here that now YouTube thinks that it should give me more recommendations like this one, so I’m a little sad I didn’t first go incognito before subjecting myself to hearing Singh speak for two minutes.
In the clip, Singh describes Indian women as so crazy that their husbands want to not only be cremated but also dumped into the river to be taken away by the current, as far away from the wives as possible. He repeatedly uses the term “bitch” to describe the imaginary wife who’s so terrible that she leads her husband to take these extreme burial measures.
This is a great example of how lazy comedy that relies on toxic terms of sexism gets a pass. You know why?
Because sexism generally gets a pass.
In our country, the president has joked about grabbing women “by the pussy”, there’s a sitting Supreme Court justice who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault, and women’s rights are being further stomped on by policies denying them access to reproductive healthcare.
But it’s still really funny how women are “crazy”, right? That doesn’t at all contribute to the enormous problem of society not giving us the trust and respect it so readily hands over to our male counterparts.
When critical thinkers speak up against things like the derivative waste of time that Akaash Singh calls his comedy routine, we are labeled as everything from “the PC police” to “haters of Free Speech.”
If only we lived in a world where Akaash Singh could walk a few miles in the shoes of the South Asian women serving as the material for his jokes. Maybe he wouldn’t think they’re so “crazy” after that.
With a little more perspective, he might even be able to come up with content that’s actually funny.