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1 GENDER ISSUES: Humor in Changing Times by Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen.

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Presentation on theme: "1 GENDER ISSUES: Humor in Changing Times by Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 GENDER ISSUES: Humor in Changing Times by Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen

2 Gender Differences 2

3 How Men Think: 3

4 The Perfect Man 4

5 5

6 Yarn Bombing How Women Protest 6

7 Gender Roles: This is Ritas Role:This is Rosies Role: 7

8 Im a man; I can fix that. 8


10 Humor and Gender Stereotyping We need to study gender stereotyping so that we can recognize the stereotypes in literature, sit coms, standup comedy, etc. where:... The humor might come from the stereotypes being adhered to.... Or from the stereotypes being reversed.... Or from additional gender stereotypes that are even funnier because listeners might not have thought of them before. 10

11 These Three Are the Major Differences Physical : Of course males and females have different bodies, but even here we arent sure how much of the difference is caused by inherent biology and how much by the way we raise boys and girls. Emotional: Women are assumed to be more caring and more emotional than are men. They are stereotyped as sentimental and sweet. Intellectual: Men are viewed as the protectors and providers of their families, which in pre- industrialized society meant being stronger, but today may mean being smarter. 11

12 The one irrefutable difference between males and females is that the female gives birth and cares for the youngwhich can be a long and arduous process. 12

13 A Mans Man: True or False? Edgar Watson has observed: No man would listen to you talk, if he didnt know it was his turn next. 13

14 The joke here is obviously related to a physical difference. Some differences relate to our plumbing and our reproductive organs. There are many jokes about whether the toilet seat should be up or down. 14

15 Is this a male or a female? What is your evidence? 15

16 Guess What Day This Is? How can this one cartoon relate to all three characteristics: Physical, Emotional, and Intellectual? 16

17 17 What characteristics were at the root of the Betty Boop icon created in the 1930s?


19 Breast Cancer: A Part of Womens Lives During Breast Cancer Awareness month, Arizona high school cheerleaders were reprimanded for wearing T-Shirts with the message, Save Our Boobs! In the summer of 2011, waitresses at Oreganos were wearing T-shirts with the message Watch for our Haboobs (Arabic for dust storms) until a few customers complained. 19

20 20

21 21 If Women Designed Bowling Alleys.

22 If Women Designed Parking Lots NOTE: A City in Germany Recently Marked Bigger Places for Women Drivers. 22

23 Explain: woman barber, male nurse, woman driver, mailman, and the Powder Puff Derby for women pilots. Male Female Adjutant Helpmate Chef Cook Clerk Typist Secretary Medic Nurse To Doctor To Nurse Duke Duchess King Queen King-Sized Queen-Sized MaleFemale Maitre D Hostess Major Majorette Orderly Cleaning Lady Paternity Maternity Suit Suit Professional Tailor Seamstress 23

24 24 Animal Sexual Discrimination What is a sexter at chicken hatcheries? Is this an example of reverse discrimination? The phrase Cock of the Walk comes from the fact that on farms only one rooster is needed for a flock of chickens. Explain cocky, to cock a gun, to strut like a rooster, to crow about something.

25 25 On a farm or cattle ranch, most of the male cattle are castrated to become steers and soon slaughtered as beef, because they cannot produce milk or calves. How does peacock compare to peahen go against the farm animal system? Which is the male, and which the female, in such pairs as goose vs. gander, and cow vs. bull. Lady bug, Black Widow, and Sea Cow are female generics. What does this tell you about female stereotypes?

26 So, Is It a Compliment to Call a Female A Chick? The chicken metaphor tells the whole story of a girls life. First, a young woman is a chick; then she marries and begins feeling cooped up, so she goes to hen parties where she cackles with her friends. Then she has her brood. And when they leave the nest, she begins to henpeck her husband, and finally turns into an old biddy. This shows that gender and aging stereotypes are related. 26

27 27 A Serious Side of Human Sexual Discrimination When the Nilsens visited an orphanage in Afghanistan they found mostly male orphans. At first we assumed that families worked hard to keep their daughters home, or that cute little girls were adopted first, but then they learned that female babies were more likely to have been abandoned and left to die. A March 10, 2008, BBC news story, Chinese Facing Shortage of Wives, warned that by 2020 China is expected to have 30 million more men than women. The ability to determine the sex of a baby before birth has resulted in the abortion of many female fetuses so that the difference between boys and girls in the South of China is already as great as 130 boys to 100 girls.

28 This Tool Kit for Women is making fun of women as handymen Such jokes are to be expected as women venture into roles formerly reserved for men. In contrast there is I Can Fix This; Im a Man, which includes dozens of photos of haphazard home repairs. 28


30 30 The C-Word In a 2009 article entitled In Defense of the Chick Flick, Gloria Steinem suggested that the chick flick is not such a bad genre: It has more dialogue than special effects, more relationships than violence, and relies for its suspense on how people live instead of how they die.

31 31 The C-Word vs. the P-Word Steinem suggested that the opposite of the chick flick should be called the prick flick. These would include: All the movies that glorify war, All of the movies that glorify bloody deaths and vigilanteism, All the movies that portray violence, Especiallyl violence against women, preferably beautiful, sexy, half-naked women,

32 32 Girl Behavior vs. Boy Behavior In a London, England study, toddlers at a day-care center were dressed in opposite colorsboys in pink and girls in blue. The researchers found that the little boy babies (dressed in pink) were socialized morethe caregivers talked to them and checked on them more frequently. The little girls (dressed in blue) were allowed to go off on their own, climb on furniture, and get into all kinds of mischief.

33 This speedometer goes from STOP, to QUICKISH, to OOH!, to HOLD ON, and to BITE LIP, SHUT EYES, and STOP NOW. Is it sexist? Why? 33

34 34


36 36 Common Observations about Male vs. Female Language Strategies: Men are lecturers; women are listeners; Men hold the floor longer. Men use more negative face; women use more positive face. Men are more exclusive; women are more inclusive. Mens language is vertical (competitive); womens language is horizontal (social). However for many men and women, these tendencies are becoming reversed.

37 The First Humane Humor Rule Emily Toth is responsible for the first Humane Humor Rule: "Never target a quality that a person can't change. The original humane humour rule appeared in "Female Wits" by Emily Toth The Massachusetts Review Vol. 22, No. 4, (Winter 1981). 37

38 Additional Humane Humor Rules 1.Target yourself, i.e. use self-deprecating humor. 2.Target your own ethnic group or gender, but no other ethnic group or gender. 3.Never target the victim. 4.Always target a strength so that it empowers rather than humiliates the target. 5.Be sure that there is spacial, temporal and psychological distance before making fun of a tragedy. 6.Remember: Tragedy + Time = Comedy 38

39 39 A FAMOUS RETORT BY AN EARLY LESBIAN CELEBRITY At a fashionable social event, Noel Coward (1899-1973) approached Edna Ferber (1885-1963), who was wearing a mannish looking suit. He looked at her and said, You look almost like a man. Her response was, So do you.

40 What does a feminist look like? 40


42 People who say that Computers Are Female base their logic on the ideas that... No one but the Creator understands their internal logic. Also, the language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paychecks on accessories for it. 42

43 People who say that Computers Are Male base their logic on the ideas that... in order to get their attention, you have to turn them on. Also, they have a lot of data but are still clueless. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they are the problem. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model. 43

44 What do these two images communicate about male vs. female stereotypes? 44

45 Four Really Talented Ladies: 45

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