Q ~ When is a sexist joke not funny?
A ~ All the fucking time.
If you think that people getting upset about the tongue-in-cheek business guidelines that you write on your website are sad people, you’d be right.
We’re sad because you think that taking the piss out of 50% of the population is funny and no-doubt sad because our silly lady sense of humour is so woefully inadequate compared to your clearly superior man one. Let’s get this straight – if you make, what you think is, a very obvious joke and lots of people, predominantly the group you are laughing at, tell you is isn’t funny and it upsets them, guess what ITS NOT FUNNY, IT IS UPSETTING AND OFFENSIVE.
Apologies for caps lock shouting there, but it is just so fucking tiring.
If the unrelenting sexism that women experience daily, both in person and via instutions and yup, hey lets not forget the patriarchy, is depressing it gets even more so when you are in business.
Sexism I’ve experienced in business:
As a divecentre owner:
Booking in clients to dive and the next day when they’re told by my husband that they were diving with me them looking to him with a very obvious “OH!” and saying stuff like “we thought we’d be diving with you, will we be okay?”
Oh how I laughed, especially when they then ran out of air and had to come back on my air and be hauled out of the sea huffing and puffing like a supremely unfit walrus. Yup, women can dive – and you know what, if they dive every day for a living, even if they are a 7.5 stone weakling that has less fat on her than your fry up, then yes, she may just know exactly what she’s doing and be able to save your fucking life.
At a networking drinks party:
Being introduced to a CEO of a company that I wanted to engage with professionally. Why yes, of course, I’m a woman this does in-fact make my body public property and yes you can of course grab me and squeeze me to you as if you own me. While we are at it why not just put your hand on my arse, oh you already have, super. And yes I would like a drink, but tell you what why don’t you ignore that fact that I’ve asked for a single and tell the barmaid to buy me a triple.
I’ll tell you what any male readers – this isn’t unusual. This is normal. You have to smile and pretend that you didn’t notice and it didn’t happen and that the person dismissing your ability or groping your arse hasn’t done anything wrong. Because it isn’t like you can complain to your boss if you’re running your own business and in any case it was a joke, a bit of fun and you should of course be able to take a joke.
The problem is that in doing this, in finding schemes and strategies that work around your sexist behaviours we are accommodating them and condoning them, if we don’t call you out because we fear losing a client and losing income then the sexism wins again and you’ll keep on making your funny jokes.
Well yes, I can take a joke. When they’re funny, but when they are a sexist joke at my expense on an almost daily occurrence then no, I don’t find them funny, they make me sad.
Which, I believe is where we came in. So yes, there are sad people in the world that don’t understand your oh so obvious joke but that’s because we know that it represents very real attitudes towards women in business.
Now, off you pop back to la la land.