So, you’ve heard something that you think is hilariously funny. Maybe you were introduced to the idea of front-bums, or someone lamented the growing dykocracy in New Zealand. Maybe someone accused the government of being a nanny state, or perhaps you called your mate a girl, or you describe anything unfavourable as being so gay.
Now, I like to laugh as much as the next guy. That’s part of why I can still stand to comment and debate on the internet- because they’re a certain serendipity to extreme stupidity that wraps it around to be funny again. That’s why George W. Bush has been the greatest thing for comedy since the Germans invented Schadenfreude.
But when you make comments like I’ve listed above, you’re not being funny- and I’ll freely admit to laughing at terribly bigoted jokes, so long as they’re creative and taken with a grain of salt. But when you say these sorts of things, you’re not being original. You’re not even being so ignorant it’s funny. You’re just being hateful- even if you don’t mean it that way. Let’s go through them one by one, shall we? Seeing people just don’t seem to get why these are so offensive…
Reducing a women to just being a pair of disembodied boobs is bad enough. But implying that not only is she no more than a vagina, but that one end is equivilent to the other, is blatantly offensive. I’m glad it generated controversy at the time. What I’m not glad about is listening to people still using this term. Knock it off- it’s about as funny as women calling men bundles of testosterone. Yes, I’m talking to you, you great big scrotums- stop being dicks. 😉
As for the dykocracy- I’m not sure which makes this term sillier- the fact that Labour has no lesbian MPs in cabinet, and it may not even have a representative number of lesbians in parliament despite that, or that it wouldn’t even matter if lesbians in Labour had more influence than in the general population anyway. This is because lesbians are not necessarily hostile to men- they may not be very interested in us, or necessarily understand us very well, but that doesn’t mean every single lesbian in the country has been abused in the past and because of it thinks men are irredeemably oppressive bigots that need to be culled. Even if lesbians were in charge of the country, it’d only matter if they were only concerned with women’s issues, in which case we’d have a matriarchy. But this term is often used to imply that women in Labour are somehow controlled by misandrists– yet the only sexism in Parliament has come from its men, and as we’ve referred to above, they have been rather vulgar. We should reign in our male MPs before we even begin to worry about some sinister lesbian plot. If Helen Clark were really pushing such an agenda, the numerous male MPs in Labour would probably have something to say about it, especially her deputy, who is very quick with a joke.
Now, the Nanny State. Part of the reason I dislike this term is because the people who use it often believe in just as much “nannying” as the people they’re disparaging with the term. The National Party is a constant offender here- it ignores climate scientists, environmentalists, it pushes corporate white culture onto people, it wants to dictate what research gets done, and it has conceded that it will leave alone many of Labour’s policies that interfere with the country, too, and yet it still thinks it appropriate to refer to human rights legislation as “nanny state politics”. The other reason I dislike this term is because it implies that nannies interfere too much and demean the children they look after- when in fact nannying is critical to our modern dual-gender workforce, and good nannies can be less demeaning and/or more permissive than the child’s own parents.
I shouldn’t even have to explain the last two. There is nothing wrong with being a girl. Girls are smart, they understand things, they are emotionally resilient, they can withstand enormous amounts of pain. (I’ve heard that pregnancy is like squeezing an orange out of your nostril, but I have no idea of the accuracy of that quote) There is nothing wrong with being gay- gay people have to endure all sorts of discrimination, and yet they still manage to be culturally vibrant, positive, loving, and highly productive members of society. Get a new joke. If you’re really funny, you’ll be able to think of one easily.