“Women against Lazy Stubble (W.A.L.S.)” is a sexist anti-male ad campaign with the message that since women like men who are clean-shaven (as per some challengeable research), those men who do not shave will be marked off as lazy and their women have every right to detest them and not co-operate with them. Without going into the righteousness of the spirit of the campaign let’s look where can such a campaign lead to in a society precariously poised against men and considering abuse of men as social service.
All the characters in the narration below are fictitious and bear no resemblance with any person living or dead whatsoever. Any such resemblance is co-incidental.
Abhishek is 29 years old, has a degree in management, a well-paid job in an MNC, an apartment, a car, lives away from his parents who are financially not dependent on him and is the only child of his parents with stunning looks and dashing personality. In short, he is just the husband any woman can dream off. And so comes Neha’s dream true with as his alliance get fixed with her.
Neha, who is an educated smart and beautiful looking young girl, attracts Abhishek a lot who falls for her and despite her extremely demanding nature tries every bit to keep her happy while their courtship blossoms.
Neha had a wish. She wanted her fiancé to be the first person to wish her on her birthday. So Abhishek gets up at 5 AM on her first birthday after their engagement just to fulfill that wish of hers and does succeed in it as well. Neha is on seventh heaven, as Abhishek just broke one rule of would-be spouses not meeting for 2 days before their wedding just to please his princess and be her Prince Charming.
But, co-incidentally her birthday coincides with their marriage date and Abhishek gets a little late for marriage and reaches the marriage venue with his stubble (not clean shaven).
Neha gets extremely furious seeing him in stubble. She leaves the marriage proceedings in between and tries to run away saying,
“A research by Procter and Gamble has proved that men who do not shave are lazy and I do not want to marry a lazy fellow like you. You have ruined my life. You know how much I hate this damn stubble, yet could not take care of this simple thing, how are you going to take care of my feelings?”
Abhishek, his parents, Neha’s parents and all tried a lot to pacify her and convince her to get married to Abhishek but she does not listen. Seeing all this, her brother Abhijit gets furious and slaps Abhishek saying, “Why did you do this to my sweet little innocent sister?”
Abhijit walks out of the venue along with Neha and the duo return with the local police with a complaint of dowry harassment against Abhishek and his parents who are immediately arrested and sent to judicial custody for 8 days without any trial/investigation. Inside prison, also, Abhishek does not get an opportunity to shave and his stubble get promoted to beard.
He gets bail after 8 days and when he produced in the court before the magistrate, there too Neha lashes out at him saying, “See your honor, I told you, this fellow has no feelings for me. Still he is the same dirty fellow. Please cancel his bail”
Abhishek is still in a state of shock as he is not able to comprehend what went wrong. He said to himself, “I loved her so much, and did everything just to keep her happy and one ad campaign ruined my life! And that too I could not shave only to keep her happy and still today I am a criminal without a crime! Why the hell do they design such bogus, meaningless, destructive and gender biased anti male sexist ad campaigns?”
He decides to fight for his innocence. It takes him 10 years to prove himself innocent of a crime he did not commit. He became victim of what has been aptly termed by the Honorable Supreme Court of India as “Legal Terrorism” i.e. misuse of dowry laws and Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. But during that time even Neha is not able to get married because of the case.
One ill-designed and myopic ad campaign ruined so many lives!
Think, would you not like to protest against such a campaign?
If so, visit “Phone Action Campaign Against Procter and Gamble”