Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sexist Jokes, an Outlet for Sexist Behavior

Not to side with those cheesy human resources videos they make you watch on your first day in the office, but it seems a new study shows that sexist jokes can actually create an outlet for sexist behavior. The study itself is a little weird -- researchers had participants read jokes, some of which were sexist and some of which were not, then asked them to donate to a women's organization. I'm not sure I agree with that method, since it equates women's organizations with women themselves. There are plenty of reasons to be critical of women's organizations that aren't sexist per se. But it does illustrate an important point. Sexist jokes go a long way in diminishing the importance of feminism. If you're willing to laugh about how women are inferior, you're probably less likely to think that what women are trying to accomplish is important.

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