April 15th, 2009


Welcome to the 21st century.

I can understand why there's a stereotype of feminists as humourless.

I mean, if you're used to being able to make jokes about horrible things happening to women and then a group of people start telling you that they don't find this funny then your perception of them is going to be that they just don't have a sense of humour.  After all, you don't _seriously_ want bad things to happen to women, you're just having a laugh, right?

My old friend Ed went to this debate in which a controversial comedian debated whether it was ok to make offensive jokes.  Frankie Boyle used his moments on the debating stand to tell a series of increasingly unpleasant jokes - all of which got a massive laugh from the audience, except when they touched on a subject just a little too close to home.  My friend found himself laughing at all sorts of appalling things, until the subject was (coincidentally) turned onto his own situation, at which point he found himself thinking "but that's not funny".

Because it's never funny when it's about you.  It's only funny when it's about someone you don't care about. 

Or, at the very least, if you can pretend that nobody you know is like that.

It's much easier when you live in a nice insular environment, where you only really know people like yourself, and you certainly only socialise with people just like you.  Then you can bask in in-group/out-group socialisation to your heart's content.

Not to easy when you're on the internet, and people are likely to pop up at any moment and point out the flaws inherent in something you thought was innocent fun.

The question is - how do you deal with it when someone points it out?  Do you have to let the flaws ruint it for you because they offend someone else?  Do you have to argue that there's nothing wrong with the thing you love?

If you care (and nobody is going to make you) then some very useful hints and tips can be found here.  The flow-chart at the end is particularly good.