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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

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3 responses to “Feminism Friday: Humour as a tool for shaming and silencing”

  1. tigtog

    Liss had put up various images of “fun” “joke” plastic etc disembodied boobs as a photoessay, hosting the images on photobucket.

    Photobucket have pulled about half of those images as “offensive”, so now when you look there’s just a blank box where they were.

    How interesting.

  2. outfox

    Ah, thanks for the photoblank explination. I was going to comment on the limits/relevance of using colinisation as an analogy for sexism -given women’s different relations to actual colinisation -but the picture censor’s gone and illustrated the point already.

    I think it’s about sovereignty, just in the sense of women’s sovereignty over our own bodies and voice in sexual politics, against the supposed ‘free speech’ existing around sex today.

    These expressions aren’t about humour but reinforcing a concept of ‘free’ in sexual ethics that means without limits rather than liberated – not even the limits of self censoring out of respect for partners and self.

    Which these random ‘image deleted’ censor acts sooo endlessly shows. How often do you see this done hypocritically to images that challenge consumerist, colonising defintions of ‘free’ – but aren’t violent and were made with consent? Flickr’s the only host I’ve tried that hasn’t deleted my feminist art images while allowing all kinds of sexist, racist, commodifying kids imagery.

  3. outfox

    You know what’s started to interest me about the responses to rape jokes? The witnesses who stand by nervously laughing on, obviously uncomfortable but still not calling it.

    When rape jokes flow I increasingly notice guys laughing nervously, rather than outright joining the macho bonding. Which seems *some* improvement, they maybe get that it’s not about humour but dominance and sexual aggresion.
    But damn, why don’t they just NOT laugh if they get that?

    I guess it’s because calling it then implicates them in making a choice to be allies to rape survivors over the more chauvanist people in their male homo-social networks.

    Nervous laughter is scared laughter, which wouldn’t be suprising when deciding to be an ally can bring up a persons’ own issues.

    Social norms also encourage a kind of false, immature public sexual confidence – thanks to sexuality being presented like a cool consumer brand in all kinds of media.
    So these jokes perhaps challenge allies to step outside the comfort zone of that artificiality and be actually publically mature about sexual ethics?

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