Loud Whisper ~ Jaspreet Singh

For a creative class assignment, one has to think it all, sniff it all, know it all, and scribble it all on paper. Mirroring social experiments already available on internet is easy but thinking about an idea which is out of the box, something deep, layered and unusual take an effort. When a group of five students sit together, disagreements are bound to happen during the brain storming stage. When your bond is stronger, you share the ideas, discuss with your friends and pitch it properly, then it becomes easy. It all depends upon convincing others. A good and convincing argument can compel others to listen to your ideas.

We were reluctant, anxious and worried about a particular topic that was proposed. The topic was use of contraceptives and more precisely, we planned to do it by purchasing a condom from the market. Condom is not a bad word but still, people think twice before calling it by name. The responsibility of purchasing a condom from the market was mine. The locations were decided where the social experiments had to be conducted. We also decided that the contraceptive will be accidently dropped by not only a male student but also by a female student so that we could record the responses and observe the reactions of people. Different responses were expected from the sample of female and male population for both female and male experimenters.

Talking about sex education has never been easy. Even the most intelligent and modern minds fear the word sex. Funny, ridiculous and silly responses were observed from the people. However, some returned the packet of condom but others kicked the pack and laughed it off. In an ‘easy to record’ and ‘easy to make viral’ world, we kept close watch to make the experiment a success. It was our first social experiment and it was a success. We noted several observations where people felt anxious, uncomfortable and shy on seeing the dropped condom, stammered while naming the packet and stared oddly at us for carrying the packet with us. In many instances, people became oblivious to the condom deliberately dropped in front of them and nobody called it by name.

Netflix launched a show titled ‘Sex education’ in 2019 and they promoted it by simply saying that the word ‘sex’ messed up with the minds of teens. The show is bold to question several notions and misconceptions about your sex life. Even, the girls in the show were strongly portrayed that have smart, courageous and fearless heads. In one of the incidents, the girl in the show was catcalled. Another woman suggested her to not wear shorts because the shorts were too revealing. She went home and cut them even shorter. The normal scene like this leaves an indelible imprint on the hearts and minds of the audience. Clearly, one can learn from the show while others censure it for being too bold that it also contains unnecessary sex scenes. Undoubtedly, unnecessary bits could have been ignored.

The awkwardness and fear of the word sex was frankly discussed in the show. While it reminded me of the loud cheers the show gained. Whispering with a social experiment and then saying it loudly with the observations, the evidence is enough to startle us. The team got engrossed in thinking the absurd reactions of people on the face of public service advertisements on family planning and use of contraceptives among others. The name is whisper but why do you whisper? The name is condom but why do you condemn? It is about contraceptives but why do you contradict? It was seriously funny or funnily serious when the social experiment and the show both revealed us that there is less talk, less education but more thinking about sex.

About The Author

A student of Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication at Panjab University, Chandigarh. Formerly an intern at The Indian Express, Panchkula and News 18 Punjab, Haryana, Himachal.