Friday, June 02, 2006

why I don't love misogynistic humor (yet)

Eventually, I might find it pretty funny, but I don't yet. Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I must also admit that I'm not a big fan of bathroom humor or any other kind that prominently features farting. That doesn't mean I don't have a sense of humor, just that my funny-bone wears a filter that's either a leftover from my upbringing or something inherently me. Nurture/nature... maybe both.

But, as to reasons why I'm not (yet) crazy about woman-hating humor...

I'm pretty tired of the whole daddy party vs mommy party name-calling game that the GOP--and their minions-- insist on playing, and of course, it's always the Democrats who are the mommies, and thus, weak and ineffectual, and the Republicans who are the daddies, i.e, strong and competent.

I'm pretty tired of the worst thing that can ever be said about a man by his peers being almost invariably something horribly, disgustingly feminine, like throwing or running or cursing like a girl (not even a woman!).

And I'm even more tired of women's private body parts being used so indiscriminately to describe something or someone considered disgusting and/or weak. So far, I haven't heard about any women's private body parts being used to commit crimes of war or rape, unlike men's. (Okay, so there are some women (tho' very few) who are pedophiles. I took Maddox's test, and got a better than average grade. But, ethnic cleansing still remains a male thing, as does rape of a non-consenting adult.)

Ultimately, there's nothing like having your entire gender identity, or any of its many parts, be considered the ultimate insult or epithet...

Imagine if Shakespeare or Swift or Twain, or Aristophanes (who more or less invented comedy as satire) or any other comedic or satirical genius had decided to write about the people in power making fun of those people with less or little power. Do you think their work would have survived and thrived for so many centuries? What do you suppose history will make of GWB's attempts at humor: "Please don't kill me!" "Some might call you the haves (have mores) but I call you my base!" --and joking about not being able to find those WMDs about which he lied in order to exert his power to wage war?

So, I'm guessing that I'll finally be just about ready to appreciate some woman-bashing humor about the same time that women all over the world are wreaking the same havoc that power-abusing men are visiting upon the world right now, primarily upon women and children, the poor and the elderly. Once that happens, it will definitely be time to poke some good-natured (or worse) fun at women, sort of like Stephen Colbert did last month at the WH Correspondents dinner. Wait, now, that I think of it, most of those powerful people in that audience didn't want to talk about how funny he was... maybe I won't either. If I'm ever that powerful.

Comedy, properly used-- and especially when it is most shocking-- is an antidote to abuses of power and/or ignorance. With so much abuse of power (and ignorance!) running rampant and amok in the world, Maddox decides that's okay to pick on women? Go figure... sure, to a child or a younger man, women might seem to have more power than they actually do, but a real man, i.e., a grownup, knows better, and also knows how to be magnanimous and to show restraint with those who are less powerful.

[An aside: I also live with a man who works at a computer most of the day, but can also fix just about anything, and he's a vegetarian, too, unlike me. Go figure...]


I posted this comment earlier on Salon, in response to this story and the other comments, but without the links.

2 Comments:

Blogger Thursday Next said...

I have one word for this guy, and it is actually a masculine appelation. Contains 4 letters, starts with "D" and is a nickname for Richard.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Michael Parker said...

Wonderful post, Karen!

7:04 AM  

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