Debate Magazine

Sexist Memes: Funny Or Not?

Posted on the 28 March 2012 by Juliez
Sexist Memes: Funny or Not?

the meme in question

While I understand that there is humor in provocation, this meme (the picture to the left) that’s been making the rounds on websites like 9gag and We Know Memes made me throw up in my mouth a little. Although I love these websites to death, and I think the political potential of memes is huge, these websites (9gag in particular) feature so much overt sexism that I often get mixed feelings. I think 9gag may be conditioning women to think that sexism is funny and perfectly acceptable.

Honestly, sexist jokes — such as the “woman-in-kitchen” variety — never used to offend me that much. I didn’t think that they really had much to do with women, just like yo-mama jokes have nothing to do with mothers. I figured they were just convenient frames used by comedians to prove their linguistic creativity. To avoid conflict I usually gave them a laugh.

But then I realized that there are so many of these jokes being told, in so many shapes and sizes (Good girl Gina, friendzoning, women logic etc.) and all of them to some degree are sexist, that writing them all off as harmless is a bit of a stretch, and probably detrimental.

Despite my weakness for such jokes, nothing makes me as angry as jokes about hormones (or anything involving female biology in a negative way). They are just too specific, and also inherently sexist. You can’t turn them around. There seems to be the misconception that boys or men are not at all influenced by hormones, as if testosterone is not in fact a hormone, but some kind of magical substance that, granted you have a sufficient amount, allows you to join an privileged and exclusive club. Estrogen, on the other hand, is a bitch and makes you act like a complete imbecile several days a month (according to these jokes).

Now I enjoy a good discussion, and I can get quite heated, but this does not mean that I have suddenly lost my accountability. So why is it that boys always seem to feel it’s ok to confuse passion and conviction in women for hormonal irrationality? Why do they feel it’s ok to tell me ‘chill out, are you on your period or something?’ This makes me livid. It is such a low comment. Let me clear this once and for all: just because a woman is frustrated doesn’t make her emotionally unstable.

This is the crux. A comment like this is an attempt to discredit you. It has been done before, to countless women. Just one example: in the eighteenth century women were often diagnosed with hysteria (derived from the Greek Hystera, meaning uterus). These so-called feeble minded, delicate creatures had to be cared for because god forbid they show any sign of discontent. Shut them up, lock them away because opinionated women are scary.

In an effort to end this rant on a rather more positive note, there is something women can do to fight casual sexism like this. Namely, come right back with an even better joke. Mind you not a joke that’s sexist towards men, but one that makes it known you’re not going to tolerate sexism. Use comedy as the way to smoothly pave our way to equality rather than fighting. Because the goal is not to get rid of comedy, and the point is not that we must be humorless in our attempts to achieve equality. The point is that equality is a necessary condition for great comedy.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • One Week

    Week

    It's been just over a week since we landed in Tashkent. The trip was uneventful, other than William acting like a typical 17-month old baby and keeping... Read more

    The 15 July 2018 by   Sherwoods
    FAMILY, PARENTING
  • Not Quite Eschatology

    Quite Eschatology

    Realized eschatology, if you’ll pardon my French, is a term that describes the “already/not yet” aspect of the “end of the world. Read more

    The 15 July 2018 by   Steveawiggins
    POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • 8 Lessons From The Field On Building A Premier Brand

    Lessons From Field Building Premier Brand

    Every new business dreams of becoming the premier brand in their space, like Starbucks is to coffee, and Apple is to consumer electronics, but they have no... Read more

    The 15 July 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • Superhero Doll Hopes to Help Young Black Girls Beat Low Self Esteem

    Superhero Doll Hopes Help Young Black Girls Beat Self Esteem

    FirstLadyB | B Inspired By Entertainment News Young black girls battling lo... Read more

    The 15 July 2018 by   Firstladyb
    SPIRITUALITY
  • 5 of the Best Places in Glasgow for Ice Cream

    Best Places Glasgow Cream

    62 total views, 62 views today 5 of the Best Places in Glasgow for Ice Cream Whether it sunny or dull a “pokey hat” will always bring a smile to a face.  Here... Read more

    The 15 July 2018 by   Emma
    DESTINATIONS, DINING OUT, FOOD & DRINK
  • GoGoHares!

    GoGoHares!

    Following the flight of camp dragons, the parade of vivid jumbos and the troupe of panto gorillas in our midst comes an assortment of big-eared, bright-eyed... Read more

    The 15 July 2018 by   Jackscott
    DIARIES, EXPAT, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Brew the Perfect Iced Tea by TE-A-ME

    Brew Perfect Iced TE-A-ME

    Be it any season, staying hydrated is important and what better way to do so than by enjoying a nice cold glass of tea. Yes, make your water interesting by... Read more

    The 15 July 2018 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE

COMMENTS ( 1 )

By Vorstag
posted on 06 April at 00:03
Report spam/abuse

I've noticed this too, I think I'll just stop checking 9gag this is just too far: http://9gag.com/gag/3702691 just makes me wanna throw up...

Magazines