“It was just a joke, haha, don’t get so offended over it.”
It’s 2018 and you still get to hear such remarks when you show discomfort when a person makes a sexist joke. You are told that the person making the remark is just kidding and shouldn’t be taken seriously like.. what? That does NOT make it okay.
“My intention was not to offend anyone.”
While people argue that that was not their intention or what they meant when they cracked that joke, one cannot ignore the underlying context of their statement.
It’s not even about the person’s intent, but the fact that the more such jokes are made, the more accepting people become about the subject’s matter. Due to this, men are more likely to believe that their misogynistic behavior is okay.
Sexist jokes normalize sexism.
When you make a joke that uses women as a punch line, you are treating women like objects. Through degrading jokes, sexism is being embedded into the society.
Do sexist jokes impact sexism in the real world?
One study gives us the answer.
Men’s magazines that objectify women and celebrate excessive masculinity are normalizing hostile sexism among young men.
Psychology of Men and Masculinity reports that men’s magazines which feature celebrations of toxic masculinity (through jokes that objectify women, etc.) are normalizing violent sexism — especially violence against women– among young men, their core demographic.
The sexist remarks made against women aren’t just straight up not funny, they are dangerous. Humour that belittles or degrades the female gender acts as as a releaser of existing prejudice and promotes a culture where discrimination against women is accepted and normalized.
One must realize how damaging a joke can be and think wise before delivering it. So the next time someone tells you to lighten up over a harmless sexist joke, call them out for their bullshit.