Friday, January 25, 2013

Briused and humourless

I can be intemperate on my blog. I need to tell myself this before I can and even then I may not succeed.

What does this tell me about the culture of silence and niceness we - in this case I mean women, but it could be any description of person speaking out in a majority that doesn't include them - put ourselves into? Why do I play nice even when I don't have to?

Yesterday a friend sent out a mail making what was, in effect, a rape joke. I was not amused and I said so. I was told that my sensibilities were wafer thin. I said a number of things, most of them unbelievably un-ragey and moderate.

What I wanted to do was rave and rant. I wanted to use a hammer and instead used what might be called a needle. Or an unwound paper clip.

Today I feel bruised and humourless. I want my sensitivites to be wafer-thin and I wish my friend was similarly sensitive. Instead, he side-stepped. He suggested something else and said, 'is that plausible?'

No, it fucking is not. I said so. I await developments.

Elsewhere in the country, men are coming out of the woodwork to say why the Justice Verma report can't be implemented. They don't want to rethink the AFSPA. They don't want to disqualify politicians and bureaucrats who have rape charges against them. They don't want senior officers made responsible for the sexual assaults committed by the people in their charge (they like being decorative and drawing large salaries for not doing their jobs).

And in the meantime, ordinary men, people you call friends, still think rape jokes are, if not hilarious (we musn't be too sensitive) at least mildly funny.


pi-pu-xi-xu said...

But Dala, aren't we all humourless feminists?

Even Afterellen and Dorothy Snarker recommended this "satire" and asked us not to be unfunny feminists, because criticising Tina Fey, Oprah or Lena Dunham is so bog-standard humourless feminist of us.

Space Bar said...

If you love me please don't link to anything more today that will have me tearing my hair out. I can't afford wigs.

pi-pu-xi-xu said...

I think they are going to throw me out of my office if I go Gah! one more time.

Anonymous said...

Why put a gender to being humorless about some things? I am a guy and if anyone had sent me an email with a joke about rape, I would react (or not) in a similar way.

Space Bar said...

Anon: Not sure this is addressed to me? Regardless...

There are certain kinds of jokes that are made, specifically by men, that cast women as being especially humourless. I think that's what Pipuxixu was referring to.

Humour is often wielded as a weapon, don't you think, to aid someone in their bullying. You can't call them out if you want to be seen as having a sense of humour. In some cases the bullying is gender-specific and therefore, I suppose, gender-assigned humourlessness.

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

madam i seem to have been away from here for too long. yes, i want to be prickly sensitive too. i am giving a talk later today about this (among other things), alarmingly, to young people who seem to think that we ought to conform to the norm, because, we are, after all, women. just women.