Joke: A newscaster mistakenly assumes that wives in a Middle Eastern country now walk ahead of their husbands due to an advance in societal roles.
Examples: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]
Barbara Walters did a story on gender roles in Kuwait several years before the Gulf War. She noted then that women customarily walked about
Ms. Walters approached one of the women and said, "This is marvelous. Can you tell the free world just what enabled women here to achieve this reversal of roles?"
"Land mines," said the Kuwaiti woman.
Origins: We first spotted this particular version of a much older tale on the Internet in November 2000. Needless to say, there was no such Barbara Walters report. What we have here is a joke that invokes
During the Vietnam war, this story about woman and land mines was presented as a joke about how the Vietnamese were handling the grim reality of living in a landmined country. Earlier in the 1960s versions of this tale starred the Burmese, who were said to be reacting to the threat of mines left behind by occupying Japanese forces in the course of World
A version of this joke from 1975 employs the same theme as the original but replaces its inherent sexism with racism:
"Wow!" says the Canadian lad. "I guess what I heard about race relations down here was all wet — look at that fellow taking his black friend waterskiing."
The southern cousin just shakes his head at the Canadian's naivete. "T'ain't waterskiing. He's trolling for alligators."
Barbara Walters of 60 Minutes (USA) did a story on gender roles in Kabul several years before the Afghan conflict.
She noted that women customarily walked about
She returned to Kabul recently and observed that women still walk behind their husbands, but now seem to walk even further back and are happy with the old custom.
Ms. Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, "Why do you now seem happy with the old custom that you used to try and change?"
"Land mines," said the woman.
Last updated: 28 June 2014