Wherein a “Joke” is Simultaneously Right and Completely Wrong

I ran across the “funny” cartoon over to the right recently.

It’s flat-out wrong while simultaneously almost being right.

It’s the same argument that gets floated every year about this time when people (nearly always white people) complain about Black History month. 

And y’know, it would be nice if it was right. It would be freaking swell.

But it isn’t.

The history that’s taught in our schools is still overwhelmingly white history, except for the same few Black people that feature in the same lesson plans year after year… and the only reason those few Black people get featured at all is due to Black History Month. 

Pretending that reality is otherwise is willful stupidity.

Likewise, yes, it would be great if we could just treat children to just respect everyone. And that’s definitely the goal.

But that’s NOT how it is. Women are systemically discriminated against worldwide – including the USA and the global West – in a way that men just aren’t. Sometimes that disrespect is large and obvious (“grab them by the pussy”), and sometimes it’s microaggressions and small systematic ways that women are instructed that they’re somehow less worthy of respect.

Pretending that reality is otherwise is willful stupidity.

The end result is that those who create and defend “jokes” like the one up there are perpetuating and increasing disrespect toward women.

Maybe it’s not intentional. Privilege tends to be invisible when you’re the one with it.

But now you know. And now you can tell others.

And you can tell who is unaware…and who is being willfully stupid.

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