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Archive for April, 2011

The following email is a dialogue/debate I had with a good friend of mine, who shall remain nameless.  My friend and I have known each other for a several years and like to get a rise out of each other, so playing the devil’s advocate and good natured jabbing is always a factor in our conversations.  As my friend well knows, I have some strong opinions on women’s rights.  I sent him an email of an article I wrote discussing jokes against women and the negative consequences that result from these jokes being told.  The following is a portion of that email.  Please keep in mind that the jokes are posted to argue a point, and do not reflect mine, or my friend’s opinion of women.  If you wish to post a comment, please be respectful. 

Friend: 

While I can see your point, I have to disagree. Jokes that ‘promote’ stereotypes are not to blame for any of society’s idea of women, race, religious beliefs, etc. They are humorous in nature because they point out the odd, antiquated notions held long ago, before society’s enlightenment regarding equity of human rights. Perpetuation of such jokes is actually progressive, as it is a reminder of the progress we have made as a society since none of the principles behind these jabs are held as common belief among normal society. In closing, consider the following and how they apply to this subject:

Those who do not understand the past are doomed to repeat it.
If you can’t laugh at yourself what can you laugh at?

Me:
I would first like to address the comment “stereotypes are not to blame for any of society’s idea of women”.  That was not the point that I was making, rather, jokes that are abusive and sexual in nature perpetuate the lower status that women often hold within society, particularly relationships with the opposite sex.  Second, while many of those jokes, as you astutely pointed out, are humorous in nature because of antiquated notions, many of them are still rooted in issues that are prevalent in today’s society.  Women are still the primary care giver to children and seniors of the family, thus tied to the home in ways men are not.  They still do the majority of the cooking, and cleaning; if you look towards cleaning advertisements on television, the target demographic is women demonstrated by the women in the commercials.  Many of women’s magazines are about fashion, the house and parenting, while men’s magazines are primarily geared towards fitness, strength and their career.  The jokes that I listed are highly sexualized towards women….. don’t even get me started there!!!!  There are gender roles within our society that have not been broken down by progression, rather, they are muffled and hidden by the narrow minded view of ‘look how far we have come’.  Yes, we have made some steps for equality, I cannot deny that.  However, there are still large steps that need to be taken.

 In closing, I would like to remind you that these jokes are obviously told from the perspective of a man.  The argument “If you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at?” doesn’t hold true here.

In short, thanks for coming out to play.  I use that metaphor with purpose as you are a man and can only wrap your brain around simple sports analogies.

Cheers,

Your ever loving friend 🙂

Article:

Jokes Against Women
 
What does a woman and carpet have in common?
if you lay them right the first time you can walk all over them later

why are women’s feet so small?
So they can stand closer to the stove

How are women and a pile of dog crap alike?
The older they get, the easier they are to pick up!

Want to hear a joke?
Women’s rights

What do you do when the dish washer is broken?
Slap her on the ass and tell her to get to work.

Why did the woman cross the road?
It doesn’t matter, why was she out of the kitchen in the first place.

what do you tell a woman with two black eyes?
Nothin’, you done told her twice.

why cant women ski?
because there’s no snow between the bedroom and the kitchen.

What’s strong enough for a man, but made for a woman?
The back of my hand.

How can you tell if your wife is dead?
The sex is the same but the dishes pile up.

Why don’t women need a watch?
There’s a clock on the stove.

Did you know there are female hormones in beer?
If you drink too it makes you talk crap and drive horrible.

Why do they call it PMS?
Cause mad cow disease was already taken.
 
 

I wanted to show a list of ‘jokes’ that I have heard since I was young that are extremely offensive towards women.  Many of these jokes have themes of sex, violence, objectivity and gender roles of both men and women in them.  They are clearly from a male viewpoint, and indicative of how society has and in certain contexts, still views women.  Since I have heard these jokes since I was a child, it is then obvious that these jokes are passed from generation to generation as a way to mock and ridicule women, thus demoralizing and dehumanizing them.  These jokes tell the next generation of young boys and girls that not only is it okay to ridicule women for being less than equal, it is a woman’s natural position to be so.  These jokes tell us that women cannot drive, her role is in the kitchen, she nags and talks too much, and if she forgets her place, the back of the hand and a black eye is the solution.  Now I realise that this may be an extreme way to look at these jokes; not every joke heard will lead to an abusive husband or a young girl assuming her role is to cook and clean, but the way in which we talk about the women in our lives should reflect the respect we hold for them.  By making a conscious decision not to tell jokes such as these, we are making the decision to end the disrespectful, demoralizing and dehumanizing treatment of women that is still prevalent in our society.

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Is this the future of touch screen technology?  While this innovative technology may make information more accessible and easier to share information with friends, I think that if I were able to read the news while brushing my teeth, I would be at the sink for a half hour everyday.  I would probably brush away all of my enamel and by gum-less at the end of one week.   Okay fine, a bit of an exaggeration.  Now you may argue that news that comes in media on the mirror could be simplified to, lets say point form or quotes and simple paragraphs, but would we then be getting all the information we need in order to get an accurate picture of the entire story?  How much information are we really taking in if we quickly scroll through the days news as we brush our teeth or comb our hair?

The concept of touch screen media is wonderful, and I love the way the two men at the end sit next to one another and swipe information back and forth between their two phones.  Also, the concept of a phone that extends and detracts to suit your technology needs is brilliant as well.  I just hope they make it strong and durable enough for clumsy people such as myself.

 

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This video is a wonderful way to stretch our imagination of what falls under the illusive definition of art.  From the child creating castles in the sand at the beach, to the artist who narrates Russian history by sweeping her hand through a few grains, our notions of art are always challenged and reinvented.

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This is a beautiful video to show 500 years of female portraits in Western art.  Enjoy 🙂

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