Jokes about sexism

SL Forsburg susan_forsburg at
Mon Feb 26 18:52:54 EST 1996

dr._margaret_martens at FTDETRCK-CCMAIL.ARMY.MIL wrote:
> Anyway, I think that the intent behind the jokes has to be
> judged on a case-by-case basis.  If you know the person and 
> how they   relate to other men and to women in general, you can 
> usually tell if  the joke is meant to be offensive or not.

This is is very difficult to draw hard-and-fast  
distinctions, because there is a very shaded grey area in human

 I have some men friends that I genially tease with humour of this 
sort, and they is okay between us because neither
means it.  On the other hand, while we were getting to know each 
other, or if the relationship were less friendly and more
professional, it would be inappropriate and neither would engage in 
it.  And if I didnt like these jokes, my friends would cease and
desist as soon as I told them I dont find it funny.  

As another example, if a friend says something I think is 
silly and I cheerfully say "that's stupid!"  
my tone and intent is obviously different than if I were to say that
to an employee who had screwed up.

As with many situations including communication by computer, when
all you have is the words, it is hard to "see" all those cues that 
give language its texture and tone and show us what it means.  We
really do have to judge on a case by case basis, as Margaret suggests.

--susan, whose sense of humor is irreverent 

S L Forsburg                             
susan_forsburg at
 "I don't speak for the Institute,         
 and the Institute doesnt speak for me."

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