Why I will never find misogynistic jokes funny.
1. 3 billion other people and I are the butt of the joke
2. We can’t ‘laugh at ourselves’ if the joke isn’t true
3. Your ‘humor’ is the product/reflection of your views.
4. The ‘women are not equal’…
This is funny. I know misogyny is not a joke, but this text post is, because you’re the reason some stores don’t allow their friendly Santa to say “ho ho ho” or the nursery rhyme to read “bah bah black sheep.” You’re the reason behind a fastidious social environment that makes a lot of people uncomfortable.
Apparently if you don’t find stereotypical or degrading jokes made at your expense funny, you’re contributing to making everyone uncomfortable. You know whats uncomfortable? Living in a society where my intelligence, sexuality, and sometimes mere existance is criticized on a daily basis because I’m a woman. You know what else is uncomfortable? People arguing that people should stop fighting their oppressors because it makes them uncomfortable.
And no, the banning of ‘ho ho ho’ in Australia, and ‘bah bah bah black sheep’ in the UK had nothing to do with a 20 year old American girl who doesn’t find sexism funny, hate to break it to ya. Neither of those things have ever concerned me, but keep on fighting for Santa! I’ll be over here trying to fight for an increased quality of life for all women.
Holy. Shit. Way to miss the point, asshole.
Misogynistic jokes aren’t funny because they’re not jokes. Women the world over are treated no better than cattle, and the rest of the world really doesn’t even seem to give a shit. Even here, in a supposedly first world country like America, they are far enough behind in some areas (and told they are far enough behind in all areas), there are enough warning signs all over the place that these aren’t jokes, it feels more like really fucked up foreshadowing.
Our government has spent the better part of the last 5 years making sure women feel themselves in imminent danger of joining their third world sisters in illiteracy, poverty, and lack of rights and basic human dignity. Keen observers will note that this is definitely possible - women had their rights taken away from them in Saudi Arabia in 1979. Women in Nigeria have been losing their rights since 1999. Women in America are staring down the barrels of men looking to take away their rights as I type this.
The idea that these continuing trends is what makes me uncomfortable. If you’re uncomfortable with having to not, y’know, act like you’re totally on board with racism, sexism and continuing to compound the mistakes of our forefathers, maybe you’re just a shit human being.
Do you know the difference between Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and America? Saudi Arabia is not a democratic country and Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz is far from progressive. Nigeria is supposedly a democratic country, but the laws of the northern part of the country are based on Sharia law; the laws of the southern part are based largely on customs and traditions. It’s unsurprising that women are oppressed in those countries. But the United States of America is a democratic, free country, and is arguably the most developed country in the world. There are checks and balances in the United States of America that would mean that any attempt to reduce, remove or otherwise affect women’s rights negatively would be a nullity. Quite simply, those mechanisms include: the separation of powers, where the judiciary may strike out laws based on certain criteria; the division of powers, where State governments are also given some power in areas deemed befitting; democratic elections; the Constitution; Presidential veto; two houses of Parliament, one, a house of review, and the other, a house with the power to create laws; bipartisan government; executive Cabinet; inherent judicial powers, etc. Women are not “staring down the barrel” of an oppressive movement; any oppressive movement in the United States of America is staring down the barrel of a Constitutional, Parliamentary and Judicial onslaught, not to mention public and political backlash.
I’d rather not be considered a “shit human being”. I am not “on board” with racism and sexism. I don’t know if you actually recognise the notion that men can be partial to equality as well. I am in favour of equality; I love seeing politically progressive movements, and I argue strongly for complete equal opportunity and rights. I do not, however, adhere to the notion that the world is not progressing in terms of legislating for equality. Sure, it’s not a complete system, but y’know what, equality has come a long way. When your parents, grandparents or great grandparents were still in their “party days,” first and second-wave feminism solidified numerous principles and instilled them in legislation. Women fought for equal pay on a large, political scale; they fought for suffrage, and they fought to be recognised as a part of the census figures. That was what your ancestors fought for. I’m glad they received it.
I think you need to look at the political, legal and social environment in your country, in your state, and in your locality, and see things objectively. Yes, you may have been wronged as a woman, and I wholeheartedly sympathise with your situation, but subjective experiences cannot leak into your assessment. You need to view statistics, and ask yourself why women are oppressed in certain environments. You need to view legislation, and voting numbers. You need to view your local, state and federal Constitution and decide whether there is room for improvement. Sure, by all means, visit other countries and do the same thing. Go to Nigeria or Saudi Arabia, discuss it with their governments and rally for gender equality. Travel, go places, talk to locals and attempt to understand how their country works. Talk to women in Nigeria, Papa New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, China, Japan, Afghanistan, Iran and Zimbabwe. Understand and comprehend how they feel about the oppression of women. Join a Women’s Rights Movement throughout Asia. Meet Hillary Clinton, discuss her experiences as she traveled around the world. Discuss her views on several topics. I will be standing right beside you when you do, because I believe in equal rights for all.
But please, don’t be petty about a joke.
If you really think a woman could travel to Nigeria or Saudi Arabia and “discuss it with their governments” you are either painfully naive or else completely delusional. I’m not a woman, although I wouldn’t be able to discuss this subject and be heard by them any more than I could be heard by most Republicans in this country, and for the same reason - they don’t care to hear about it.
I have to wonder how different your response would have been had you realized you were talking to a man. Might you have tried to actually address reality? You don’t seem to realize that things like state-level abortion legislation can take years to reach the Supreme court and be struck down, IF it happens to be struck down at all. These are the people who brought us Plessy v. Ferguson, Dred Scott v. Sandford, Lochner v. New York, and many others. By my count we’re about two poor appointments from an unstoppably conservative Supreme Court, and that could easily happen within the next ten years.
Your dismissive hand-waving of the barrel pointed at women in this country shows a similar level of denial. How many abortion clinics are there in Mississippi right now, today, and how many are there likely to be by ths fall? How many states have attempted to legislate a sexual assault the abortion process in the last few years? What about congressional attempts to eliminate or reduce protections for woman’s fair pay in the workplace? Or attempts to redefine rape?
I’m not even a friend of the Feminist movement and it’s clear as day to me. There is an American Taliban slowly but surely eroding women’s rights at every turn, but it’s somehow petty for them to feel threatened by the marginalization of their dignity and humanity? Even assuming that these attempts FAIL (which is NOT a safe assumption, as the examples of Nigeria and Saudi Arabia demonstrate, much as you’d like to deny it), they get to live with the knowledge that a significant portion of their very own government will continue attempting until they succeed. Is it really so petty for them to not find such “jokes” funny when they know their government is hard at work every day to set them back 40 years or more? Is your discomfort with having to think before you open your mouth greater than theirs? I’m sorry, but that, to me, seems incredibly petty of you.