"Feminist" humour?

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Michelle
"Feminist" humour?

I stumbled across this page in my internet travels.  The page is titled "Feminist humor" and then has a bunch of jokes that probably everyone has heard before.  Basically, any joke that insults men is considered "feminist humour".  I'll admit, I laughed at one of them - the one about black widow spiders and snoring.  In fact, I may have laughed at more than one of them.  But not because I'm a feminist - if anything, I laughed at some of them DESPITE that I'm a feminist.

I think it's kind of problematic for a religious site to label all these insulting jokes as "feminist".  This fellow might even be quite open to feminism and be an enlightened guy - but there is a stereotype out there, and one that many religious men perpetuate, that feminists are all man-hating bitches. I remember when I told a guy at church during my first year of university that I was taking women's studies, and he started making jokes about feminists that centred around the theme that we all hate men, etc.

So, this page hit the wrong chord with me.  I'm a feminist, and I don't hate men.  Jokes about "not holding the pillow down long enough" don't really make me laugh.  Labelling these jokes "feminist humor" is perhaps humorous to those who find stereotypes about feminists funny.

 

ennir

I didn't really find the jokes funny, well one made me teehee, "Why does it take 100 million sperm to fertilize one egg? Because not one will stop and ask for directions."  Even as I giggled though, I thought this kind of humor just reinforces the stereo types we are trying to change and from that perspective not funny at all.

 

Michelle

Well, I'm not that worried about being misrepresented as a man-hating bitch.  I mean, heck, what do I care what anti-feminist guys think of me?  But I guess this sort of thing just kind of bothers me because I experienced it within the last decade at my own church when I was going - this stereotype of feminists as haters.  And it also bugs me because it seems sort of "unconscious" - this guy is probably a nice guy who just thinks insulting men = feminist.  I ran into nice-but-clueless guys like that in my church days.

I guess the solution is the one I chose - just don't go to church. :D  But the problem is, lots of influential guys go to church and are indoctrinated with this sort of "gentle sexism".

So I don't know whether we still need to actively counter it.  I guess I just noticed it and it bugged me, so I posted it here.  I don't suggest waging a huge internet campaign against it or anything. :D  (Marshal the Facebook and Twitter forces!  To the battlekeyboards!)  Just wondering if others have a similar reaction to it as me, that's all.

Yes, we should introduce that nice fellow to the vagina warriors club, skdadl. ;)  Something new for his feminist humor page.

Michelle

ennir, yeah, I think the ones we laugh at are the ones we've experienced, even if we know that it doesn't mean it's true across the board.  Like the snoring one.  I just read that one to my partner this morning and we both laughed.  And yes, the sperm one is one we've laughed over before too.  We'll go into a store and he'll wander around looking for some flitsywhatsit for an hour without asking for assistance.  Whereas I make a beeline for the nearest sales associate. :D

That's another thing I've noticed - it's interesting to see some of the "traditional" gender patterns that emerge.  (Although lots of non-traditional ones emerge too, of course.)  It's fodder for lots of inside jokes. :)  It wouldn't be so funny, however, with someone who really believed in "traditional values" and "traditional roles".

ennir

 The vagina-warriors club?

Michelle

Here you go, ennir.  Glad it escaped the dreaded archives. :)

Edited to add: holy crap.  Maybe I'm not so glad now that I've started reading it again.  Eep.

It was lots of fun before that whole soap opera happened!  Apologies to remind for posting the link.  I didn't read the thread before posting the link and had forgotten about that nastiness.  But I'll leave the link there so that people who weren't around then can get the background on the man-hating vagina warriors joke.  It really WAS a fun joke.  Wish I could find the original thread!

remind remind's picture

Well...that was a blast from the past yet again

 

....forgot about that Line "right wing attack tactics are so old",  by I believe it was RP...,but yet some are still sucked in by them, and  the right still uses them...

 

In respect to this topic, I get told all the time; "if more feminists were like you....." but yet when you ask what other types of feminists they know...one finds they know none.

Michelle

If more women were feminists like you, remind, we'd have a world full of feminists parenting well-adjusted kids who don't take patriarchal shit off anyone.  Works for me! :D

skdadl

Y'know what those are, Michelle? Those are glurge. That's the kind of stuff one of my cousins (such a sweetheart) sends me by email almost every morning. And every once in a while I do get a chuckle, or occasionally a serious wow at a gorgeous photo (the polar bears meeting the submarine, eg), but mostly I feel I'm reading well-intentioned rumpus-room humour from decades ago. Well, maybe it's a bit smarter than that (the rumpus-room humour tended to be sexist the other way), but it's still dated. In the early days of the women's movement, we did try to come up with a few zingers, not because we were man-hating but I guess because we were sort of feeling our oats -- we could tell we were succeeding. "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" -- I still remember Dan Rather reading that out on the CBS Evening News one night and then staring at the camera in puzzlement. Thought I'd never stop laughing ...

 

But that was then; this is now. I'm a feminist who has never hated men, and I've got the battle-scars to prove it.  Wink  I don't know why the lies about feminism picked up so much steam in the nineties -- I was a little out of touch at the time, being married and working at the same time and all, and then through much of this decade I was taking care of my husband (who was a man; trust me). Do we still need to counter this sort of silly propaganda? I was hoping that it was dying down, that young women were less worried about being misrepresented as man-hating bitches if they called themselves feminists, Yes/no?

 

(What ever happened to the vagina-warriors club?)

remind remind's picture

well... thank you michelle... I think....or was that "feminist humour"? ;) :D

 

ennir

Thanks for the link Michelle, lots of great stuff in that thread, I particularly appreciated what Deborah had to say.  So sure, I'm in, I am definitely a vagina warrior.

I find my humor has changed, it is often much darker and sometimes bitter as I look at what passes for sanity in out topsy turvey world, like reading the newspaper and finding that Gail Asper has received the Order of Canada, now that strikes me as hilarious.  Could this be the same Gail Asper who has a generous understanding of what deductibles are when it comes to raising money for the Museum of Human Rights, another bitter hilarity the monies spent for the archaeology dig is probably about ten percent of what it should have been and half of that went for administration, okay now I am losing my humor altogether.  lol

 

Michelle

Nah, definitely not, remind.  I meant it!

remind remind's picture

awww...michelleCryEmbarassed

 

anyway back to feminist humour, my partner and I seem to be in retrograde thses days, for childish punning on "adults" and their phoney behaviours and posterings...

 

... over the last couple of weeks we hear/see something on the news that stretches the bounds of any adult's credibility and anyone's notion of being rational, and we find ourselves punning from it, and clinging to the kitchen island in helpless giggles until our stomach hurts...or I am dashing to the bathroom.

 

Peter Mackay's TV earnestness comes to mind as being one occasion...and on that note.... did anyone else notice he has got more hair these days?

Bacchus

remind wrote:

 Peter Mackay's TV earnestness comes to mind as being one occasion...and on that note.... did anyone else notice he has got more hair these days?

 

Can't resist.

 

What does his appearance have to do with his abilities or flaws?

remind remind's picture

nothing...

just noticed that he has more hair these days, which accentuates his boyish "earnestness",   as shown by the wind blowing through it ruggedly...in glorious photo op splendor....

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

His appearance does not have anything to do with his abilities or flaws which is why "growing" hair is interesting.  Maybe he didn't get the memo?

Bacchus

I would be surprised if he could read a memo

phio

It's not updated very often, but there is a feminist humor blog here http://lolfeminist.wordpress.com/

Doug

I thought the joke was supposed to be that there was none.

How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

THAT'S NOT FUNNY!