Questions on Our Foreheads

questions.on.our.foreheads.jpgComedian Aziz Ansari has been popping up even more than usual on TV (The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel) and elsewhere to help promote his new movie with Jesse Eisenberg and Dilshad Vadsaria, 30 Minutes or Less. Entertainment Weekly reported that at one recent club performance, Ansari had some harsh words for an audience member who asked him, “Why don’t you have a red dot on your forehead?”

While the audience gasped, a shocked Ansari replied by asking why she didn’t have the word “c– on her forehead.” Then he remarked about how there are still “racist” people in the world. (EW)

Like Ansari, you may have been asked, “Why don’t you have a red dot on your forehead?” Or maybe you’ve been asked other questions–”Is it made of blood? Is it a tattoo? What does it mean?” and perhaps even “Can I touch it?” You might have called it a bottu, bindi, tikka, tilaka or something else at home and felt weird about people calling it a “dot.”Maybe one time you quickly removed a sticker version from your forehead when your brother was pulled over by police while giving you a ride home. Maybe you never wear one in public and yet you’ve still been asked about the “dot.” Whatever your personal experiences, you probably have an opinion about how Ansari reacted–check out the poll below to share how you feel.

Photo credit: Stephan Baudy

7 thoughts on “Questions on Our Foreheads

  1. Aziz is not only an unfunny loser, he has now proved himself to be an overly sensitive, insecure mysogynist.

    • If feminism is about equality, then “cunt” should be no more offensive than “dick” is. And I guarantee that if Aziz Ansari was Amina Ansari, and the rude audience member was male, and she called him a “dick”, there would have been no backlash – more like pats on the back for “grrrlpower”

  2. I disagree Alina. The C word is worse than dick. But in the context of what happened, I have no problem with the way Aziz brought it up.

    And yeah, all bets are off when an audience member tries to be a smartass in a club. Though I wish Aziz didn’t bring up the racist part. He should have left it at the C word and moved on to a new joke.

  3. On the subject, I was actually asked – very nicely – by a colleague about the dot a few weeks ago. He had seen someone at a desi grocer with a dot and was simply curious and realized he could ask me without worrying about offending anyone. I explained that the bindi/bottu is quite decorative these days, used traditionally by married women, but that it was mainly about one of the chakras. He knew about the chakras already so I didn’t have to explain that. Its great to be curious about other cultures, but going about it without being insulting or condescending would be appreciated by everyone!

  4. I would have loved to come up with a snappy comment like Aziz, but it would have taken me nearly 30 minutes to come up with it. Timing is everything with comedy and Aziz is totally in the right to respond the way that he did.

  5. I was at a wedding once in a very small Ontario town. The groom and groomsmen were wearing kilts so I thought it’d be great, as a guest, to wear a saree. Bless the little (ok, 21 yr old pregnant and smoking) local girl who came up to me, aglow with innocence, and asked if I called the dots on my head ‘Paki dots’. She was serious, and earnest. Bless her soul for wanting to learn about our cult…ahh frack it. Blarg.