So as I get more immersed in the literature of anti-racism, feminism, class structure and sociology, it becomes harder and harder for me to enjoy jokes. For example, I used to find this video hilarious:
And it is funny – it’s a comedically exaggerated version of an interaction that happens between men and women all the time. Here’s the thing though: knowing what I know about sexual harassment and the pressures put on women to be “nice” to men who are overstepping their boundaries, it’s hard to laugh. Knowing that women are often “nice” because there’s a risk of violence if they aren’t, it’s hard to laugh. Knowing that some clueless dolts interpret anything that isn’t a clear and brutal “no” as an invitation to try harder, and that those same dolts will react to a brutal “no” as though it’s the woman’s fault for being a “stuck up bitch”, it’s hard to laugh.
Knowing that Darrel’s social awkwardness is exacerbated by his race, and that the same approach (modified for dialect) from a white guy would likely seem less obtrusive, it’s hard to laugh. Knowing that even if Darrel were successful in getting Yvonne’s number, the two of them have clearly different social backgrounds and would struggle to find acceptance in their respective communities, it’s hard to laugh. Knowing that Darrel could possibly face violence for walking down the street with Yvonne in the wrong neighbourhood or town, it’s hard to laugh.
Basically what I am saying is that thinking about things ruins jokes. So… I’m sorry I guess?
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