The Use of Humour – Does it Add to or Deflect Hate?
Some people’s go-to is humour. It’s how they deal with darker emotions, and with serious topics. And most people would say that is a good thing.
But is it always?
When you’re an insider to a culture, gender, sexuality, race…. (esp one that is currently being targeted) and crack wise, are you teaching haters the tools to hate you better? Informing them? Or are you reclaiming the discussion with your own? Defusing the pain the haters have caused you?
If it’s an inner circle discussion, then the answer is far easier than if you are speaking before a crowd of strangers you have no idea what their views are about your group.
So do you step more carefully? Or throw it to the wind and hope for a good outcome?
Is it ever acceptable to use this type of self-deprecating humour on social media? Where anyone could see it and use it against you? By re-blogging it away from the thread you control to their domain? To their followers?
I think it has to be a struggle to toe this line. It’s even hard deciding which jokes to love or comment on, let alone being the creator of them.
Many say that humour is supposed to be open to the worst and best of us, as is all art. But at what point do we say, ya know, maybe you shouldn’t say that.
Those who cry foul are often called snowflakes. Or SJWs. But are they?
This is 21C and eventually we do have to show we can be civilized. Shouldn’t we start by policing our own?
As a woman, I know there are jokes I won’t engage in or I will call out.
And what about the turnabout? If I as a woman engage in male-bashing humour, am I spreading a hate that I can’t reel back in? Because I think there is already enough anger between men and women without adding fuel to the fire. Or as the gender who isn’t in power now and hasn’t been for centuries, is it ok for me to tear down those in power? Maybe yes to the institution of patriarchy, but no to the men?
I think it’s a challenge to work around and I don’t envy comedians for traversing it. No matter what you do, you’re wrong to someone. I guess the weight is how much harm are you doing to those who are already frail? Are you adding to the hate, to their burden?