“It’s now very common for people to say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase/ ‘I am offended by that.’ Well so fucking what.” - Stephen Fry
The other day I was talking to a female friend of mine about mean humor. At one point I spoke the wisest words that I know, “if they can’t take a joke, fuck ‘em!” She did not take this very well, and told me that she found rape jokes offensive and that they were never funny. I told her a joke.
“I saw a guy with a Hitler mustache hanging out at Sears the other day.”
“Yeah, but he went straight for the oven section, so then everything made sense.”
She laughed and we went on talking about something else that I can’t remember. Because it was me. I’m about 80% it had to do with whatever the fuck was in the suitcase from Pulp Fiction because I haven’t gotten out of the house since the 90’s.
Regardless, she found my joke about the Holocaust hilarious because it in no way affected her. The odds of being raped and the odds of being put into a gas chamber for your religion are slightly different in this day and age. Does this mean, however, that the forced work and murder of countless people can be mocked but sexual assault can’t be? Is Mike Tyson worse than Hitler?
The answer to that question is yes, because he accidentally punched all of the funny out of Zach Galifianakis, but I digress. My point is that whether or not something is offensive is completely different for each person in the audience. I chose rape because it is the current popular “NOT FUNNY!” topic, but not the only one. Subjects such as 9/11, homosexuality, and race have been used interchangeably in recent years to tell comedians that the first amendment only protects them when everybody else is not offended by their joke.
Recently, comedian and polarizing figure Seth MacFarlane made a bunch of jokes that could be alternatively described as “hilarious” and “god-awful” depending on who you asked (or “holy shit if I ever meet that man I will strangle him to death for ruining the art of comedy” if you’re my father). Unfortunately, a third opinion was formed about his comedy, whether or not it was “offensive to women”. Problems were made with the fact that his song about seeing boobs included scenes from films where the characters portrayed were sexually assaulted. He made a fat joke about an overweight woman; apparently it was the first time that someone in the history of the world has ever done that. He made a joke about how George Clooney likes to date women far younger than him, which offended people on behalf of young Quvenzhané Wallis. In short, his humor was crude, mean, and undoubtedly what everyone should have expected since he’s been doing the same brand of humor for over a decade.
I am not gay, Jewish, black, or a woman. I was born white, relatively wealthy, and a male. I will never understand how sexual discrimination affects a woman, how the n-word affects a black man, or the terror every Asian person must feel before getting behind the wheel of a car. I have spoken with women who have told me that because of the strong social connotations involving a woman’s body, the jokes about a woman’s weight or sexual assault affect them more than the same joke about a man.
To that I say, Get over yourself and make a better joke! That might be mean and rude, but I’ll stand by it. Do you know how a guy reacts when you tell him his joke about women is offensive? He thinks that means code for “hilarious to share with every guy he knows”. By telling someone that he has made a joke that offends you, he now feels that it was justified, that you are a lesser person who deserves to be mocked. You can’t handle tough things like that because “you’re a girl”. Tell him that his joke is less effective than his father was at fucking you last night, and you show him that he has no power over you. You no longer have to pretend that your vagina is a handicap.
So be proud, ladies! Tell that guy that he’s damn right you have great boobs, and he’ll never touch them. Black people, remind us white people how we will attempt to steal literally everything you have (Rock music, Michael Jackson, Will Smith). Gay people, the only jokes we have about you are that you’re attractive, stay in shape, and care about your clothes. Our best insults are just jealous compliments! Jews...well you should probably be telling me how to do jokes, not the other way around. Whoever you are, whatever random, beautiful, unique snowflake that you get to be in this world, just say whatever makes you happy.
If they can’t take a joke, fuck ‘em.