Your Sexist Jokes are Boring
I don’t get a LOT of trolling on social media. I get the usual amount of creepy d*** pics in the ‘others box’ that seems to be the tax you pay for being a woman who dares to be online. I occasionally get a bunch of dudes passing through body positive hashtags who stop to tell me that I am a fat pig. One memorable time I had a guy sliiide into my DMs to tell me that feminists are Dumbledore and that amused me for a whole day.
But I have been sadly unshocked at the drive by trolling that my ‘Your Sexist Jokes are Boring’ tote bag gets. This seems to get some peoples’ backs up in a special way. But realistically, I could have done a “Your Sexist Jokes are Killing Us” tote bag because that is what rape culture is doing.
In defence of sexist jokes...
The absolute joke of men (boys) coming along to say “no- sexist jokes ARE funny” is actually comical in itself . And I admit that its is a dark kind of fun to engage with them by answering their stupid comments and provoke them further.
But something that very quickly happens is that those ‘you can’t say anything anymore’ defense of sexist jokes commenters quickly get angry and start to use some violent language when you press back.
Because being a woman with the audacity to press back provokes violence. And women know this. It’s how the patriarchy keeps us small.
Surviving as a girl
I don’t know any women who have never ‘just kept quiet’ as the result of the continual risk assessment our brains are performing. We can hear our brain saying, ‘it’s safer to leave that‘. So we walk away. We tend, befriend, make peace, stay safe.
We learn these impulses early. We learn them as kids when we see the adults around us excuse violence with ‘boys will be boys’. We learn it the first time we see the ‘dumb blonde‘ stereotype as the butt of a joke in the cartoon we are watching. We learn it as girls when we are flashed by the creepy man at the bus stop.
We’re taught to look away- move on- and often don’t tell – because drawing attention to this could be more dangerous than letting it go.
Treading a fine line
I learnt it working as a barmaid in my early 20s. Laughing along or turning the hot shame of being female and the butt of lascivious jokes into a comical eye roll and cool put down, ‘YOU wish mate’.
Learning quickly that the friendly bants can turn in a moment into a threatening violence, if you let your guard drop or your disgust show. Of course the price of that smile, that excellent customer service, is they think you like it. That you are game.
And they are back the next night to sit along the bar and you wonder how your boundaries got so thin. Who are you? Maybe he is right and you have been leading him on after all?
At the end of the night when you are cleaning the urinals and in he comes with his dick in his hand and this is what he thinks YOU want. And when he is ejected by your boss and banned - as he should be - it is YOU that gets the dressing down. Because you must have been sending him mixed signals, as the till was ringing and ringing (and we share the tips between us all here).
I guess you can say that the tote is almost like a secret handshake between women. Something we all want to say out loud but have to keep quiet. But who’s to say we can’t have it on a tote bag?!