can equality be measured by how we react to jokes?

January 5, 2007 8:49pm CST
i've been doing some research using yahoo answer and have discovered that we can not yet make jokes about black people or gay people without causing offence. Equality has not yet been reached, but we must keep making that effort so that one day i can ridicule and joke about anyone and everyone equally. I wonder what sort of response i would get if i made a joke about a gay black man? However on a more positive note we can now make jokes about women and them belonging in the kitchen without causing too much offense, which is good!. It has long been acceptable to make jokes about christians but if you make a joke about a muslim you just get a tirade of abuse about how all muslims are terrorists (which of course they are not and just shows how far society still has to go). that is the conclusion of my findings, my thesis will be out later this year if you wish to read in further detail
4 people like this
7 responses
@James72 (26832)
• Australia
6 Jan 07
Your thesis certainly sounds interesting! It's like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry's dentist converts from Catholicism to Judaism. He's now in a position where he can tell both Catholic and Jewish jokes and get away with it! Its like the "N" word. It seems ok for African Americans to refer to each other directly using this word but if you fall outside that race you would be crucified for using it! Personally I think we all need to lighten up a little. There is such a thing as jokes involving race that are not racially offensive. There are jokes about gays that are not sexually offensive. A joke is just that! A Joke.... Not to be taken too seriously! And as long as it is not actually offensive, what's the harm in it? Even after horrific world events like the explosion of the space shuttle, jokes follow soon after. Some people are too damn sensitive.....
2 people like this
• Australia
6 Jan 07
I second you there with regard to the "N" word. It comes back to the "Rule for acceptable teasing" that I came across in high school, which states: "UNLESS YOU HAVE, ARE, or ARE RELATED TO it (namely what you're teasing), then you can tease it; otherwise SHUT THE F*** UP!"
1 person likes this
• Australia
6 Jan 07
i agree totally seejay
1 person likes this
• India
6 Jan 07
the topic for your thesis indeed sounds very interesting! perhaps people do not take jokes on them very well when they relate to instances where they have actually been offended. there are people now who actually abuse and ridicule blacks and who actually hate to be seen with gays. result - the next time the black or the gay hears a joke on him in good humor, he takes it seriously. if muslims think they are branded as terrorists every where and thus kept away from mainstream, well, frankly, it is actually the handling that so many regular muslims get at the airports and like around the world! it is just unfortunate that this knee jerk reaction to a handful of muslim miscreants labels the entire race as terrorist. but you no longer see anyone actually ridicule or abuse a woman nowadays about them belonging to the kitchen. so they are easily able to take these jokes on them! anyway, what i said above again goes in favor of your thesis! sure, people may not be able to take jokes because of inequality. but more often than not, the source of this feeling of inequality is not inherent within them, but is forced on them by the mainstream society. it is some among us who make them ill-equipped to take the jokes that we make!
• India
6 Jan 07
and good luck for your thesis - it would be interesting to read the entire discussion!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (90001)
• Marion, Kansas
6 Jan 07
Add to your "can joke" list Swedes in Kansas--I live near a town that bills itself as "Little Sweden, USA" and we joke about the Swedes, and the Swedes joke about the Swedes, and we all laugh. The Norwegians get a little joking too! Good naturedly ufdah! On the other hand, you are in deep donkey dung if you even positively refer to anything native Americans, like school mascots: chiefs, braves, tomahawks. We have an ultrasensitive person/family around here, who has NO resemblance to native Americans that goes after you constantly, even though people explain over and over that it is a compliment, as they admire the qualities of native Americans he gets very upset. We have not changed school mascots yet, but it gets awful uncomfortable around here. He and his family claim to get harassed as well. For the record, I am at least as connected as he is to a tribe, and it does not bother me in the slightest. I am embarrassed by him. I do not harass him, I am on speaking terms with the wife, in a friendly manner.
@yoleis27 (557)
• Israel
6 Jan 07
When making jokes on one type of people it called "black humer"... You don't really want to offence just to make fun of a stereotype that was attached to this kind of people. When you tell a joke about one type of people ofcourse they can get offended... It a risk you take, i guess
1 person likes this
• Australia
6 Jan 07
Yes, granted when you do indulge humor or satire, it is often at someone else's expense. You have said "it's a risk you take" -- and I don't know about you, but I certainly would not like to take certain elements of that risk. There's no WAY that I would do stand up in a club and tell "N" jokes, (and the reasons for that which came to my mind have just reminded me that *I* am not free from racially prejudiced views either, which I guess is OK because I never claimed to be, but still unsettling that I managed to prove my own point so easily.)
1 person likes this
@medooley (1875)
• United States
6 Jan 07
Wow, this could be one of the best indications as to where socity is when it comes to equality. I have always wondered why it seems for most people it is okay for them to tell jokes about other poeple but once someone else says ago about them they instantly get upset. I don't know where you are at, but I can tell you around here, jokes about women in the kitchen do not go over very well. I really do look forward to reading your thesis when you are done. Is there some way we can get on a mailing list or something like that? Good luck!
1 person likes this
@anne_143god (5390)
• Philippines
6 Jan 07
Maybe my answer is not to subject anyone if you want to make a joke. You can joke about yourself that you know you wont hurt but if you subject other people you dont know if they are going to be hurt.
@Wanderlaugh (1625)
• Australia
6 Jan 07
Wanna hear a joke? A. Someone has a gender, sexuality, an identity, a heritage, a cultural tradition, a form of ethnicity, and feelings. B. We have a social ritual whereby it's OK to totally disregard, and even refuse to refer in any way, to all these things, and call it a form of compulsory egalitarianism. I sympathize very much with your motives, but let's face it, the human race has some growing up to do.