Friday, June 19, 2015

A Joke Test

I saw a joke on the Internet the other day that I thought was funny. There was a picture of a man face down on the aisle of a grocery store with the caption: Man down..aisle six! The joke proceeded to explain how he got there...

A man and a woman were grocery shopping together when the man reaches for a couple of six packs of beer and loads them into the cart. The woman says, "What do you think you're doing?" The man replies, "It's my favorite brand and they are on sale, two six packs for only 8 bucks." The woman quickly puts the beer back on the shelf. "No way I'm letting you waste money on that nasty stuff!" The man looks disappointed but makes no reply. A little later they are on the health and beauty aisle when he sees her place a jar of face cream in the cart. " What do you think YOU'RE doing," he asks. The woman says, " This is my brand of face cream and its on sale for 20 bucks. This stuff makes me beautiful." The man quickly places the face cream back on the shelf and says, "Two six packs of beer makes you beautiful too and we can save 12 bucks!"

Initially I thought that this was a pretty funny joke. But the more I think about it the more I realize how terribly out of step this sort of joke is in today's culture. The above paragraph is packed to the gills with loaded trigger words, micro-aggressions, and misogynistic stereotyping, not to mention how blithely it treats the very serious problem of alcoholism, and domestic violence. Here we have a classic example of a joke that manages to reinforce a virtual laundry list of destructive pathologies for the purpose of cheap laughs. Are we supposed to actual find humor in a man that must consume 144 ounces of beer before he can find a woman attractive? Are we supposed to laugh at the prospect of a woman who resorts to violent assault as a response to mere rudeness? Once again a joke portrays a woman as a moral scold and a man as a crude and thoughtless ape. Instead of laughing, we should be outraged at these gender-based stereotypes.

Ok...of the two previous paragraphs, which one is funnier?