December 10, 2008

The Feminist Funny Test

As a feminist, when I out myself as a feminist at social events, I constantly feel like no one thinks I have a sense of humour. The humourless feminist is an unfair cliche. I've had plenty of funny feminist profs in my day. Plus, Sarah Haskins is a feminist and she's the fucking funniest person alive! Don't believe me? Just youtube her. You'll thank me. But seriously, I'm sick of people saying "Oh, I won't tell that joke then, because she's a feminist." How I feel is, if it doesn't pass the "Feminist Test" (ie. if you wouldn't say it in front of a feminist), then don't say it at all. I'm a pretty cool girl. I can deal with sexual puns, jokes about stereotypes (provided they're ironic), lots of sarcasm and even some slapstick.

What scares me most is that I don't think I know half of the offensive jokes out there! My power to fight them is nonexistent because people check themselves in front of me, and then tell the jokes anyway when the people they have identified as feminists willing to stand against discrimination have gone to the bathroom. Honestly, though, if you wouldn't say it in front of me, it's not funny. I have a fabulous sense of humour (Come on, I think Superbad is fucking hilarious in a touching, ironic way!) and I have no interest in being overly politically correct. So, if it's isn't sexist, racist, classist, homophobic or truly discriminatory in some other fashion, I won't object. I promise! Be self-reflexive and consider this: Maybe I'm not the one who's humourless and needs you to self-censor for her sake; maybe your offensive jokes just not that humourous...

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