Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Not offended or angry, but quizzical
Why is this joke, which was extremely funny and completely unacceptable when told about Paddy the Irishman, suddenly acceptable when told about blondes?

Have we decided, as a culture, that it's acceptable to take the piss out of women who just happen to be blonde? Or do we really think that blondes are stupider? Can you imagine this joke being told about blond men? Note the classic strategem of apologising to the group maligned in the joke, too. ("Oh no, flick or hhfishlifter. I didn't mean you! Obviously you're not dumb. But everyone knows that 'blondes' in this joke means 'generic group of people mocked for their stupidity'.")

Both men and women shown pictures of blonde women judge them to be stupider than pictures of the same women with dark hair, red hair or grey hair. So I think it's a pretty safe bet that they're discriminated against at school and in the workplace too.

Blonde women tell tales of being systematically put down all through school because of their hair colour. And there are far more blonde jokes now than there used to be. Now, it's fine for adults to dye their hair whatever colour they like, but we don't normally encourage children to dye their hair. Is it reasonable to expect blonde girls to put up with people assuming they're stupid, and making jokes at the expense of their ethnic group?

  • 1

Have we decided, as a culture ...

I posted the joke, I'd heard it on BBC Radio 2 being told by a blond(e) woman.

I got six replies, all positive. Four from women, two from men.
Of the women, I think we have one German, one American, one Swiss (maybe German) and one Brit.
Of the men we have one American and one Brit.

When I posted a follow up message with some quotes from here I got another five people commenting, two Brits, two Germans and an American. Maybe they were being polite, maybe they were being supportive, but out of the eleven I've just mentioned that expressed a view on the joke, every single one of them thought it was amusing/funny.

So whose culture are we talking about? Me, I'm fairly mid-Atlantic (which is why I can't spell Blond(e) and didn't realise it took a gender, which would make it a fairly rare word in English, interesting, no?)

Would it have been as funny/insulting if it were, say, Government employees or Government ministers or Oxford graduates or religious fundamentalists or Al Quida or nuns or traffic cops or people named Dave or Burger King employees ... ok, let's try that one

A person walks into a Burger King restaurant and notices that the crew are all cheering and giving each other high fives and chanting "51 days". The person notices that there's a picture of Barney the Dinosaur on the counter top, so the person steps forward and aasks the burger-droid behind the counter what's up? And the serving unit says "We wanted to prove that just because we're all uniformed cogs in the machine working for minimum wage and going home stinking of burger grease, that we're not as stupid as people think ... so we bought this Barney the Dinosaur jigsaw puzzle and we've managed to complete it in 51 days, even though the box says 2-4 years!"

Is that funny? Is that insulting to those fine men and women (like gothtart) who work in Burger King? Yes, of course it is ... is it *as* insulting though?

Re: Have we decided, as a culture ...

Damn. Before I got to the last couple of lines I was thinking "Ooh. I'm going to tell gothtart you said that...

Seriously, though. I've spent a significant chunk of my life as the butt of asorted Irish jokes - until working in recent years working in London when I was the butt of assorted Scots jokes - and in some circles I get bisexual/pagan/SM jokes of varying degrees of viciousness (some of my former colleagues managed to form the impression I was only a member of any of those groups as a ploy to score with particular people - none of whom I'd intended to get off with), but I was always able to do the mental translation of the joke into the "Two stereotypes go into a bar" form, and enjoy the joke for its own sake.

But I've just realised that I'm coming horribly close to the archetypal School Bully's "what's wrong with you, can't you take a joke?" and that's not what I meant so say at all...

Re: Have we decided, as a culture ...

Well I think you've proved your point. It's not funny. You're too embarrassed to laugh. So I'm clearly not too embarrassed to laugh at blondes..

BUT Alternately it's not funny cos I know the joke now :-)

I'm not too embarrassed to laugh ...

And I've tried a rewrite back at the original posting ... wag_9393 is that funny?

  • 1