Since when does duct tape and bondage bring peace to anyone?

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I was thinking all day about writing a response to this photo, but then my amazing husband wrote this on Facebook:

When?

When did we decide it was ok to joke about our wives and daughters being gagged and bound?

When did we decide peace on Earth would come from silencing half of the world’s population?

When did we decide that Christmas (or for that matter anytime) was a good time to mock those we love?

When did we decide that “lighten up” or “it’s just a joke” were appropriate responses to those who were shocked by such a message of violence and forced submission?

When?

Is it possible that it was all decided long ago?

Is it possible that these types of acts are manifestations of what has been simmering just below the surface all along?

Is it possible that our world still believes that it is all Eve’s fault?

All of it?

All the pain?

All the sorrow?

All the fighting?

All the disention?

All the frustration?

Is it possible that the world has passed this on to us?

And we believe it?

Is it possible?

Do we all really believe that?

And if we don’t, why do we keep hearing and seeing – and tolerating – messages that bound and gag our wives and daughters?

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41 thoughts on “Since when does duct tape and bondage bring peace to anyone?

  1. jean47 says:

    Thank you! And, thank your amazing husband for me.
    I saw this photo yesterday for the first time.
    I did not know what to make of it.
    I read an article accompanying it.
    I get that for some reason, the man (supposedly the family) think it is funny.
    I’m a very pg 13/R rated comfortable person, can tolerate more profanity, word wise, than some.
    However, this was such a disturbing, arresting image to me. It startled me.
    I think that perhaps the father/husband overshot, just a tad, with this photo.
    I wonder what he thought it would look like.
    Sadly, it looked all too much like a prisoner/captive scene. The last thing I saw was the little chalkboard message and the guy holding it. And the little boy giving the whole thing a big thumbs-up.
    Sorry.
    It just isn’t funny to me.
    At all.
    Thanks again for posting this.

  2. Rebecca says:

    What a world we live in when people have to take an innocent picture and turn it into something it was never intended to be! As if there are not enough things happening that you need to be concerned about! Where is your since of humor! I am a woman an I am sure there are times my husband wishes I would shut up, with love of course and I have kids and grandkids whom I love dearly and with them all in the room at one time I have surly joked about needing some duck tape, but never ever have I had one cruel thought! People who look at rhis picture and see more then humor, have a deeper problem then the meaning they get out of it!

    • Terri says:

      In what entirely sexism-free universe is this picture innocent?

      It’s not. It’s entirely what it was intended to be: Subjugating women and girls is funny. The topic of their subjugation is fodder for comedy, not to be taken seriously. A laughing matter. The deeper problem is with people finding something like this funny.

      • The one where not everyone thinks the same exact way you do. The one where not everyone has a hidden agenda. The one where not everyone reads far to much into every thing they see around them. The one where not everyone feels it necessary to tear others down, because their lives are a big hot steaming mess. The one where not everyone thinks that just because you have a twig and berries, you are dirty rotten evil bastard by default.

        • Angela says:

          Those who find the subjugation of women – intended or ignorantly practiced – funny are a part of the system which works against women. IT ISN’T ABOUT YOU OR YOUR PENIS. It is about how women are perceived. I REPEAT: IT ISNT ABOUT YOU. It’s about those of us that have to live with the blind ignorance that surrounds us when it comes to perceptions about women. This photo is perhaps most shocking because of the very fact that some still think it’s funny to subjugate women in this way. It is, in fact, archaic and frightening. It sends a larger message whether intended or not: “We men would be much better off without the contributions of women.” P.S. The fact that someone has to explain to you the implications of this photo says volumes about your own ignorance and male privilege.

          • And, if the roles were reversed, the males were duct taped and tied up…would you be screaming about the male subjugation displayed, or is it only wrong, in your eyes, when it’s done to women? I am just curious how deep your devotion is to the concept of equal treatment really is?

            • Matie Leaves says:

              The difference is, males are NOT universally subjugated and females ARE. So we’re “just a little sensitive” on the topic…..

            • Jenn C. says:

              Since you asked, yes, personally, I would find it just as disturbing. Because that kind of theatment of anyone has no place in a family or a marriage. Everyone deserves a voice, and this isn’t about who gets to be “on top”, but everyone’s right to be able to speak.

    • Sure there are times when my husband has wished I would STFU, as I have him. But never would either one of us think it was okay to essentially gag and bind the other, let alone our daughter, while our preschool son gives his approval. If they aren’t like this in real life, why on earth is it in their Christmas card??

    • Why defend the message being sent so blatantly and in-your-face? I think I know. You’re only pretending that it’s a joke. What it really is, is a big F*** You to everyone who doesn’t share the culture where the males do the leading and the females have to follow.

      Tell you what, Rebecca. Why don’t you, and your friends and neighbors of like mind, take your “peace on earth,” and your backward, tribal “since” of humor, and pound them down the nearest rat hole. This is America and we don’t want this crap ruining our holidays.

    • Heather Friedman says:

      They’re also bound…how is that innocent? They look like kidnap victims, not a joke about wives/daughters who talk too much. That’s what’s wrong – this is not innocent, it’s misogynistic.

    • Tala says:

      Some might find this funny. This guy might be a wonderful husband, this lady and her kids may be struggling not to laugh as this picture was taken I don’t know. I also know there is a fuzzy line between humor and disturbing. God knows some of my family’s inside jokes would make an outsider think we’re trying to kill each other. But I also know that’s why we don’t post those inside jokes for the world to see and comment on. I believe I have a healthy sense of humor and I try to always let others be who they are and think what they think but I would like you to consider this for a moment. What we see and learn as children sticks with us, it helps mold who we become as adults. That little boy just got a negative stereotype put in front of him and even as a joke it showed him that that was what the rest of the world would be like. As he grows he may not remember this one event, this one picture, when he turns to his girlfriend and tells her she better shut her mouth or he’s gonna do it for her. He may be joking but the girl is still talking his ear off so the boy, still in a joking manner, grabs some duct tape and puts it over the girls mouth and says “finally some peace” To that boy, he was just joking. This is how his parents acted and they are probably great people so he was just being affectionate no harm no foul. But what about the girl? What’s she thinking? Is she angry, confused, scared, hurt? Do you think the boy is ever going to see her again? Because I sure don’t. Now I love to laugh and I have a pretty twisted sense of humor but I don’t expect others to understand or approve of what I find amusing but thats why I only share that side of myself with like-minded friends and not over the Internet. And looking at this photo that, to the family was just some silliness, what I see is a father telling his son that women and girls are nothing but talkers and sometimes the man has to do something about it. In the future I hope this gentleman keeps his “jokes” to his immediate family instead of the world. And last but not least before you accuse someone of not having a sense of humor please make sure you can spell both words correctly. Merry Christmas.

    • Angela says:

      Binding and gagging isn’t funny. Ever. It is NEVER okay to make light of binding and gagging women when women actually suffer these atrocities daily at the hands of men who want to “shut them up.” If you do not see the inappropriateness in the symbolism of this photo, then you are perpetuating the problem of violence against women. Yes, you.

    • scribble says:

      Well, gee, Rebecca, that makes it all right, then. As long as YOU are totes good with it, it must be 100% fine, and everyone else who is bothered with it are all just over-reactionary bitches. Maybe we are the ones who should have our mouths and hands duct-taped. Or maybe, Rebecca, we have experience and awareness that you don’t. Maybe we grew up in houses where we weren’t allowed to talk, or we were told how inane and stupid our “chatter” was while our brothers got to always have their say, no matter what the topic or how idiotic or hurtful their words were. Maybe we were told to our faces by our fathers that our brothers had more worth than we did just because they were boys. Maybe we were not allowed the same freedoms of expression and speech and behavior that our brothers got, again because we were girls, and they were boys, and boys deserve those things while girls do not. Maybe we experienced a shed ton of negative and hurtful things that you didn’t, Rebecca, or we’re aware that others have, and maybe we don’t think it’s okay to perpetuate that kind of crap by teaching little girls that it’s acceptable and “funny.” But oh yeah, YOU aren’t bothered by it, so the rest of us who are should just sit down and shut up. You’re part of the problem, Rebecca. If you don’t think it’s wrong, that’s because your thoughts and experiences allow you to sit in the kind of bubble that tells you only your thoughts and experiences are valid, and that’s awfully nice for you, but it isn’t reflective of awareness or of the reality for millions of others, so maybe you can refrain from judging others by your extremely narrow and very short stick. Maybe you can open your mind and listen to why it bothers other people and try to learn something. But I kinda doubt that will happen. I think you probably like your bubble too much for that.

  3. Mar53 says:

    People have to make such a big deal over things. Concentrate some of this negativity into positive things. Worry about hunger, peace, condition of this country and curing killing diseases. If these people want to take this pic and like it….it’s really no ones business. You don’t have to look at it. Yet people do to make a big deal out of nothing. Start at home….no one has a perfect life! Bye Felicia!!

  4. Terri says:

    If he meant it as a joke, it’s not funny. Doubly so that he’s doing it to his impressionable son and daughter. It’s terrible. It upholds the literal repression and subjugation of women and girls. This is the sort of thing that might be funny a couple of hundred years after sexism genuinely ends, and we are nowhere near that now.

    Sorry not everyone thinks that little boys and girls being taught that women can be bound, gagged, and silenced is important; or that those kids learn at *best* that such an idea is funny, not destructive.

    It is terribly destructive. It’s real in this world, and he’s helping it along and teaching his kids to laugh about it (at best) and be more OK with it (worse yet).

      • Actually, yes! This is not funny no matter who is being bound and gagged. It is particularly egregious (outstandingly bad; shocking) because this is the kind of message that women and girls deal with all the time. Perpetuating (making [something, typically an undesirable situation or an unfounded belief] continue indefinitely.) it is as disgusting as the message itself.

      • Tala says:

        Some might find this funny. This guy might be a wonderful husband, this lady and her kids may be struggling not to laugh as this picture was taken I don’t know. I also know there is a fuzzy line between humor and disturbing. God knows some of my family’s inside jokes would make an outsider think we’re trying to kill each other. But I also know that’s why we don’t post those inside jokes for the world to see and comment on. I believe I have a healthy sense of humor and I try to always let others be who they are and think what they think but I would like you to consider this for a moment. What we see and learn as children sticks with us, it helps mold who we become as adults. That little boy just got a negative stereotype put in front of him and even as a joke it showed him that that was what the rest of the world would be like. As he grows he may not remember this one event, this one picture, when he turns to his girlfriend and tells her she better shut her mouth or he’s gonna do it for her. He may be joking but the girl is still talking his ear off so the boy, still in a joking manner, grabs some duct tape and puts it over the girls mouth and says “finally some peace” To that boy, he was just joking. This is how his parents acted and they are probably great people so he was just being affectionate no harm no foul. But what about the girl? What’s she thinking? Is she angry, confused, scared, hurt? Do you think the boy is ever going to see her again? Because I sure don’t. Now I love to laugh and I have a pretty twisted sense of humor but I don’t expect others to understand or approve of what I find amusing but thats why I only share that side of myself with like-minded friends and not over the Internet. And looking at this photo that, to the family was just some silliness, what I see is a father telling his son that women and girls are nothing but talkers and sometimes the man has to do something about it. In the future I hope this gentleman keeps his “jokes” to his immediate family instead of the world. And last but not least before you accuse someone of not having a sense of humor please make sure you can spell both words correctly. Merry Christmas.

      • Tala says:

        I’ll give you a couple: spell check. If you truly believe I would think the opposite picture would be funny to than I worry for you. Women can be just as abusive as men. Men are raped every day. There are men who are terrified of their wives or girlfriends. But I wish you could really experience and understand what being a woman is like. We live in a world that has the majority of men believing to some extent that women are their right. I’ve been fondled by strangers on the train, I’ve had guys grab my ass at a bar and I’ve had guys too numerous to count refuse to take no for an answer. There are some wonderful, intelligent, and compassionate men out there, there really are. But a woman can’t take that chance. A woman has felt that fear walking down the street getting catcalled and then being called a bitch if she’s lucky. If not the pissed off guy comes up to her to tell her how horrible her mistake was and how he was glad she wasn’t interstellar because why would he spend time with stuck up bitch and an ugly one at that. And the girl? She’s had her keys in between her fingers in case this guy gets violent. So when we see a photo like this, being presented as “harmless family fun” and other people agree it makes a lot of us scared that if we don’t speak up it’s going to continue. So to answer your question I would be as angry at a picture with the family reversed because it would still be enforcing the idea in those kids heads that in order to gain peace and quiet you freely allowed to bind them with duck tape. I also feel that this little joke has introduced that little boy to the idea that women should be silent and be what he wants them to be. This is not a harmless picture, it’s in very poor taste, and the Internet beverage forgets

      • Dylan says:

        Do you understand the opposing view? Can you probe the opposing view for any validity you might find in it?

        If you can find the strength to look at others beliefs with respect and curiosity, I will be happy to answer your question, but as your question stands it reads as rhetorical, with the assumed answer already negated.

      • phaedra says:

        Are you totally ignorant to the way oppression works? It starts with a power unbalance. So no, I would not find that funny, but no, it would not be nearly as offensive. So you are either one of those who deny that women have been subjugated for thousands of years, or you dont think that its worth being taken seriously.

      • Abomb says:

        Nope. Your question is the essence of false equivalence. Men do not suffer violence and oppression at the hands of women at anywhere near the levels women and girls experience at the hands of men. This is a joke at the expense of very real pain and suffering women and girls experience at APPALLING levels here and worldwide. A joke in the reverse, as you described, wouldn’t be about women/girls wanting men to shut up and sit down. It would be about how ridiculous it would be for women to have managed to bind and gag them. The power difference in the jokes alone should be enough for decent folks to understand how inappropriate the photo is. That’s not to say I think the family in the photo or the photographer should be hunted down and shamed. I think they made a joke in poor taste. But, given time and space to reflect on the idea, I’m happy to call out folks who defend the idea. What exactly are you protecting? Mean jokes? The space for women/girls to be degraded? I just don’t get it.

  5. Samantha Drennan says:

    This is incredibly sick and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to have their children taken away and raised by healthy, responsible adults.

  6. Anne says:

    Anyone who thinks it’s humorous has been co-opted into our society’s shaming of women who are vocal, who speak up for themselves; and its insistence they should be seen, not heard. It perpetuates that subversive patriarchial dominance in the name of “humor”. Rebecca- do you not see that the little boy is NOT duck-taped? Would you only silence your girl grandbabies? And he is probably the noisiest of the bunch! Yet he is, in solidarity with his dad, saluting the whole scenario with his fist. I’m a mom with a great sense of humor, I’m not what anyone would call a feminist (I don’t jump on bandwagons or get reactionary, and rarely comment on things) but this is not humor, it’s sad and disturbing.

    • We’ve gotta find some confirmation of our manliness somedamnwhere. 0bummer pulled us out of two land wars and now he’s doing everything he can to keep us from going off on a third.

      • HFOR says:

        How sad for you that your sense of manliness comes from pagan concepts of masculinity and manliness, which can only lead to a “winner or loser” mentality. No room for true dialogue or true intimacy and leads to early death, lost relationships, harmed children. With this thinking, you are either the winner (and better than others such as women, children or black Presidents) or the loser. Since you can’t be the loser you have to blame others for your lot in life, people you see as inferior–again women, little girls, the first black President. What a sad and angry way to live life. This thinking hurts men. Thus my first comment: when male sadism replaced the message of loving your neighbor. Or perhaps, when Ayn Rand replaced Christ’s word (google: Ayn Rand’s comments on Jesus) Rand did not believe Jesus deserved love and devotion because he wasn’t willing to claw his way to the top. Martin Luther interpreted the word of Christ as such: if one is to love their neighbor as themselves, should they love their wives most as their wives are their closest neighbors. This picture is not of a man who loves and lifts up his wife.

      • scribble says:

        @pwlsax – If you have to confirm your “manliness” by oppressing and dominating others, women or not, you should really seek therapy.

  7. Casieopea says:

    in a country where women earn significantly less than men for the same work, where women are not free to make choices about their own bodies and where every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten (http://www.ncadv.org/learn/statistics) I fail to see the “humor” in an image that clearly degrades this man’s “partner” and female children. it isnt “humor” it is misogyny!

  8. Jesse says:

    Well, I’m a guy and I think it is inconsiderate. I would never EVER ask my family to wear tape over their mouths as something ‘funny’. How is telling someone to shut up funny? How is repression funny? How is it funny that males have the power, over females to make them shut up? How is it funny to express that because women are physically weaker that the only power they have left, of effect via speech can also be oh so cleverly shut down? It insinuates women are for males pleasures and must be put down when they get their own sense of independence and power. These people got a reaction. Society learns together to have compassion for each other. Sometimes it is bumpy. People did used to behave this way literally though and many still do, maybe most of the world. Maybe this family does behave this way too, as cute as they think it is, it could be exposing their normal flaws. Tape my daughters mouth as a joke? Ugh!

    Really this image shows us how far we have to go.

  9. sign4baby says:

    I took an amazing Women’s Studies class in college and learned about how we come to accept these things – these quote unquote humorous things about doing such things to women. When our society can make light of such things it makes it less distasteful to our society to see the real abuse of women taking place. Comedy promoting violence against women helps to perpetuate the the cycle of abuse and also our tolerance. If we want to put an end to such things we need to look at what we find funny. I don’t think people for a minute would find a card humorous that portrayed incest… but for some reason not everyone agrees when it comes to women being bound and gagged. There are times when we have something in our blind spot uncovered for us. I hope that there has been something written with compassion that clearly defines why this card is so bothersome that can reveal to the family something they had not considered and perhaps they can grow from this experience. Stupid is knowing better and making a bad choice anyways. Ignorance is simply not having the knowledge to make the right decision. This perhaps is a helpful tool to use on social media to continue to educate those who just don’t have a clue about this very type of thing helping perpetuate such behavior and some eyes will be opened. Same as we don’t use the word “gay” or “retard” in a derogatory way anymore and it starts with educating those around us about how it perpetuates the sentiment that a group of people is less than when in fact they are not. Together we can help make a change in our society’s acceptance of tolerating the notion that women need to be silenced. I’m going to make sure we start right here in our home and share with my children why this image is not okay.

  10. DAH says:

    Put any other oppressed group in the photo (black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, jew, nerdy, disabled, homosexual, trans) and you’ll see instantly understand why it’s wrong, problematic, and only funny to bullies and the ignorant.

    • DAH, you took the words right out of my mouth, and I’m amazed it took this long down the comment chain to be said. As you so correctly stated, if the subjects in this photo were anything but what they are…there would be hellfire to pay and everyone knows it.

  11. Kristian says:

    I think it is more important to raise a daughter to be strong, smart, independent, and have a good sense of humor than it is to raise a daughter who is is hypersensitive and sees herself as a constant victim.

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