On sarcasm and satire, and why yours isn’t funny
Dudes. They’re all around and all over the internet. They’re even on feminist blogs sometimes. Some of them do their thing and do it well. They understand that maybe feminism isn’t about them and that maybe when women are talking about patriarchy and the real pain and real oppression it can cause, that they’re speaking truth. They get the fact that they have privilege, and they even put forth the effort to keep it in check at all times. Then there are dudes who just don’t get it. They go on blathering “Dear god, what about the MEN?!” rants and derail feminist discussions like it’s their job. Some even legitimately DO consider it their job, but that’s beside the point. They’re irritating, but generally you can laugh them off.
But then there are dudes that think they get it, and they want you to know that they get it by correcting you when THEY think that YOU are feminisming wrong. They are DUDES, and they KNOW WHAT’S UP. They took a philosophy course once, and they read about other dudes who know what’s up, and they might have even read “The Second Sex” or something. They may have even taken a sociology course, or ventured into the women’s studies department for a quick jaunt, you know, just so they could vary their vast knowledge.
So then, this expertise under their belt, they go about cavorting on the interwebs, often reading feminist blogs as a means to keep their Awesome Openminded Progressiveness intact. It’s also awesome if that can show how much they know about how bad you are at feminism. Whichever, you know how that goes.
So here you are, you’re a feminist, you’re trying to kick the patriarchy’s ass. You do this on the regular, you kinda make it your thing, and bein’ a woman and all, you have a vested interest in seeing the end of this oppressive social construction. You’re reading some stuff, possibly a blog post regarding two different viewpoints by two different feminists on an issue, and then a dude thinks he’s going to be fucking hilarious. Get ready. Socks will be knocked off. You might pee. This is really going to be epically funny and original.
“That rant utterly failed to bake me a pie”
What a knee-slapper. Try not to laugh too hard.
I mean, so what if it sounded sexist. It was a joke. Funny, ha-ha, joke. You got the joke didn’t you? I mean, if you didn’t get the joke and think it was amazingly hilarious, what is wrong with you? Oh, you thought it was sexist, huh lady? Well, let me enlighten you by telling you all about satire, and why my brilliant comment was it.
The dude will then feel the need to mansplain to you why you are Wrong, and why his wit is dazzling – and edgy. You can never forget how edgy the dazzling wit of The Dude is. It was obviously an exercise in absurdity. He doesn’t actually think that. I mean, he’s using feminist terms right and left and talking about women covering their heads in the Middle East. He Cares, which means you can’t and/or shouldn’t question him and his use of sarcasm, satire, or whatever this particular dude tries to call his thinly veiled sexism. Otherwise, you are a misanthrope. You might even be sexist yourself, ever think of that?
So I mean, because he doesn’t actually think that, it’s totally ok for him to dismiss a woman’s argument by ironically saying it. No self-awareness required! The Dude doesn’t understand why you don’t think he’s entirely interested in progressive concepts, He even said he doesn’t think women should be forced to be in the kitchen. He went to a Take Back the Night march once. All of his women friends think he’s charming. His girlfriend might even be a feminist.
That means he can’t say anything sexist.
Well look, here’s the thing about hilarious funnies of the amazing dudely ironic wit variety. They’re not funny, and they don’t subvert anything. You, Dude, are in a position of privilege that you need to check at the door, and when you’re speaking in feminist spaces, it would behoove you to think about what you’re posting before you just go ahead and do it. The point of feminism is that you don’t own it or rule it. That means that when a woman tells you your joke wasn’t funny, defensiveness shouldn’t be your first option no matter how many feminist girlfriends you’ve had or have now. You know what else? She doesn’t have to be particularly nice about telling you your joke wasn’t funny either. You didn’t seem interested in being nice when you made the joke in order to dismiss another woman, so the misanthropic feminazi that you’re also trying to dismiss doesn’t have to tiptoe around you when she tells you you’re not as funny or edgy as you think.
That kind of shit isn’t funny. It isn’t edgy. It isn’t cool. It isn’t productive. It isn’t progressive. It isn’t any of the things you fashion yourself to be. Yes, even if it’s in your satirical newspaper.
So Dudes, if you happened upon my feminist site and this misandrist posting, just think about what you’re creating before you birth it into the internet world. While it can sometimes be entertaining to tell you you’re an industrial-sized box of Summer’s Eve, having to deal with your butthurtery on the regular just gets in the way of shit that is super-dooperly more important than your egos and/or your superior knowledge of how to feminist.
So just cut that shit out, ok?