…why ya laughing Mr., the joke is in your hand…

…just an old graffiti joke that I’ve seen written on a restroom wall…

Toysoldiers did a write up on a comedian and a feminist on whether rape jokes are okay..

Here’s the video…

One thing that cracks me up is how the feminist feels it is okay to call men she dislikes “dicks.” Is it okay for other men to label men they perceive as weak as “pussies”? Is it okay for a man to refer to his lover’s genitals as a pussy? Maybe she is blind to her privilege. Maybe she just doesn’t care. Maybe she coulda taken the high ground and said “jerk.” Double Standard much? Gotta love the hypocrisy–well unless you accept that because of patriarchy, blah, blah, blah, teh oppresed ™ class can do no wrong…

Now, I’m a huge fan of heavy metal and I’ve been told that listening to it could make me violent. But for me it is cathartic–It releases anger and stress… Maybe comedy serves a similar effect…

Comedians often discuss edgy subjects and play around with allot of the double standards of society. I remember one time seeing a troll on a feminist blog. The troll attacked “trigger warnings” and said that because (s)he was the victim of a crime at gunpoint, even the word trigger was “triggering.” Obviously this troll was just going for a quick laugh at the blog owners expense, but the bigger picture is that you can’t sanitize the world to the point that no one is offended and no one’s feelings get hurt…

2 thoughts on “…why ya laughing Mr., the joke is in your hand…

  1. Good video- I thought Norton really made the case.  

    In a broader sense, ideologues are never ambivalent or nonchalant about the issues that move them, so they are always surprised and shocked when someone else is. 

    To someone of such persuasion, such as West, humor (like ambivalence) implicitly suggests a lack of emotional commitment, proper introspection, or inappropriate irreverence; to ‘joke’ (in their calculus) is to marginalize, shame, or exploit- and their given issue (whatever it may be) is far too important to them for it to be marginalized, mocked or exploited.

    I think we all have our own innate sense of justice; and for most people, justice can’t exist when it’s just arbitrary, singularly self-serving, or hypocritical: This is where I believe West’s argument seems to fall apart, and Norton called her on it- we want & need to rationalize reasons why ‘our suffering’ is so much more valid and more worthy than ‘your suffering’  

    No one is trying to justify or defend hate speech, arbitrary malicious personal attacks, or enraged outbursts (re Michael Richards). So, given this, one must presume a comedian/comedienne is then proceeding from a morally and ethically defensible starting point.

    To me, it seems hypocritical and self-serving to say ‘My sense of aesthetics trumps your sense of ethics- what offends me, or may offend ME, is the paramount issue.’ Generally speaking, feminism has been able to justify this through the long held belief that ‘the personal is political’ – a way of rationalizing subjective preferences, beliefs, and experiences as objectively universal truths & proofs.        

    It’s a false choice to say we have to choose between their aesthetic preferences, ideological prisms, and succoring those who would commit morally indefensible actions (or those who would joke about such actions in ways that are malicious, spiteful, overtly hateful and/or simply not funny). A comedian who is not funny does not last very long as a comedian- and there is a difference (as Norton clearly defined) between being angry (check out anything Louis Black has ever said… well, actually, SHOUTED) and being genuinely, coldly, spitefully hateful. The former is often funny, but the later seldom is.     

    West also seems to play the ‘think of the children’ card at one point. Generally speaking, she asserts that it would just be better if we didn’t have to hear any misogynistic jokes, because ‘there are systemic forces affected by speech’ – and likens it to the racist jokes of the past. Her assumption is that the systemic forces can only be affected one way- that is, the more we hear rape joke, the more prone we as a society will become to tolerate and approve of them, and, by extension, rape itself. She brings up the example of overtly racist humor from decades past- but this itself seems to undercut the argument; over time the prevalence of racist humor made it harder to ignore everyday racism & stereotyping, and perhaps, easier to confront the notion of real racism. That is, of course, very debatable- (again, no one is defending hate speech) but my point is that these ‘systemic forces’ she points to are not uniform and they are not just ‘one-way.’        

    West’s argument also seems to falter when she tries to conflate rape jokes as a  consequence of oppressive institutional forces, on par with other indefensibles such as slavery (historical institutionalized and legally state-sanctioned racism) and the holocaust (historical institutionalized and legally state-sanctioned genocide). This perspective is not surprising when it proceeds from a worldview where women are a collective class that is being collectively marginalized by another class collectively, on the axis of gender. In such a worldview, rape is not perceived as an aberration by individuals acting AGAINST the collective moral & legal will of society, but rather it is a collective response, a consequence of enshrined institutional values which (by their ideological thinking) actively SUPPORTS, approves of, and overtly encourages the rape of women. When one believes that ‘the personal is political’ then, of course, no individual’s action (no matter how innocuous, irrational, atypical, or abhorrent) can be viewed as autonomous, apolitical, or outside of their own class interests if more than one gender is involved- everything is a collective class/gender struggle.

    So that all said, I still have to ask myself: ‘Would I approve of a blatantly misanderous comedy set?’ Well, I doubt I’d like it (any more than I like Futrelle- a joke without a punchline), but freedom is expression is all about tolerating some things & ideas we don’t like to hear, for the sake of the things we might want the freedom to say. Thanks.

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