I’ve heard this a few times. A joke is told. It lazily plays off tired gender constructs and stereotypes, all to reach a punchline that you could have seen a mile off with your eyes closed.
Everyone laughs. I don’t laugh. A few sets of eyes turn to me, and there is an acknowledgement that I am not laughing. I like an easy life, so often I will simply say, ‘I just don’t find it very funny’. (Sometimes I will say more, it depends.)
Oh, well. You probably don’t find it funny because you’re a feminist.
Let me tell you what I am. Yes, I may be a feminist but I am also someone with a fully functioning humour gene. I like hearing jokes and making jokes, I like being funny and I love it when other people are funny, I like making people laugh and I absolutely adore laughing. I appreciate humour. All kinds of humour. I don’t really enjoy all this ‘constant banter’ business in which every single thing that happens in life is twisted into a forced attempt at comedy, but I was certainly not sent to rid the earth of laughter.
Do you know what I don’t appreciate? I don’t appreciate things that aren’t funny. Your joke might have been sickeningly misogynistic. It might just have been a boring tale of a nagging woman or a cheating husband, tired old tropes that we all need to move on from and find some new material. It might have been just too pathetic to even reach the level of actual misogyny.
There was one thing, though, that your joke was not. Your joke was just not funny. And I say that not as a feminist, but as a human.