OpEd: Here’s Why So Many Kerala Men Took Personal Offence To The Jolly Joseph Murders

In Kerala, the concept of ‘kulasthree’ or the ideal wife is given a great deal of importance.

She is docile, demure, dressed modestly and adorned with gold jewellery provided by her family.

She prioritises her home and husband above all else, and is always there to cater to their every need.

She is not always familiar with concepts like feminism or following one’s individual dreams.

She is a respected person in the neighbourhood, and is usually a low-profile, non-controversial figure.

But what if she turns out to be a serial killer?

This is exactly what happened in the case of Jolly Joseph, a ‘kulasthree’ herself on the surface, who ended up killing six people (including a small child) in pursuit of property and the husband she had her eyes on.

Similar to an Agatha Christie character, her chosen method seems to have been poison- cyanide, to be exact- which she mixed in the food and drinks of the family members she wanted to bump off.

It took around 17 years for her to be caught, because no one would suspect a dutiful kulasthree, right?

Why men are worried

A huge number of men have been congregating outside Jolly Joseph’s house and the police station she was taken to, jeering and shouting insults.

A serial killer is not a new phenomenon, so why are so many unrelated men taking it so personally?

Read More: How A Horrific Series Of Murders Has Shaken Kerala’s Middle Class Beliefs

Patriarchy is deeply entrenched in Kerala society

Several people take it for granted that however educated and talented a woman is, at the end of the day, it is her job to be a kulasthree.

No matter how much they date and have fun, most Malayali men want to marry a kulasthree themselves, and fall into the ‘dependable’ structure of Kerala home life.

If the kulasthree turns out to be a murderer, they will be constantly watching their backs, not even confident of eating their own food.

I feel that many of them feel that their security at home is threatened if their own wives decide to take a leaf out of Jolly Joseph’s book, and use unscrupulous means to get what they want.

Watch my opinion video on the same here:

Having said this, I just want to reiterate that this article does not support Jolly Joseph, serial killers, murderers, or any kind of unscrupulous practices.

It is merely a social commentary on why this particular case has touched a nerve with many men in Kerala.

Image Credits: Google Images

Find the author online at: @samyukthanair_

Find the editor online at: @YaddyVirus

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