Gender And Humor : A Sociological Perspective Essay
A Sociological Perspective
Jokes based on gender have different intentions. Similar to the ethic jokes of the past, humor based on gender brings attention to topics that need to be discussed. It also highlights conflict, differing ideas, and changes over time. The world of binary gender humor is best discussed in a way that considers both facets: jokes told by men and jokes told by women.
PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACHES According to the phenomenological approach, humor has a place in society as it brings attention to topics worthy of discussion. “Humor can be used to express the contradictory aspects of life” (Popescu 2010). Jokes also give the teller an opportunity to discuss topics that would otherwise be emotionally charged without fear of consequences from the audience (Popescu 2010). This element can be seen in jokes that discuss the topic of the division of household labor. The issue of home maintenance is relevant when one considers the increased number of women entering the workforce. It has been reported that “Wives, even when employed outside the home, do the vast majority of household and child-care tasks” (West and Zimmerman 1987). Household labor is exaggerated in jokes by both men and women. Women may bring attention to the issue by using humor to exaggerate it: “How many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper? We don’t know; it has never happened!” Men reinforce stereotypical responsibilities of wives in the home with…