Left Menu
Development News Edition

Commonplace jokes normalise sexual misconduct experiences: Study

Commonplace suggestive jokes such as 'that's what she said' normalise and dismiss the horror of sexual misconduct experiences, experts have suggested in a new study.

ANI | Washington DC | Updated: 02-09-2019 20:23 IST | Created: 02-09-2019 20:23 IST
Commonplace jokes normalise sexual misconduct experiences: Study
After analysing multiple examples of the joke used in the show, the authors argued that the "that's what she said" joke serves as an analogue to the rhetoric of rape culture.. Image Credit: ANI

Commonplace suggestive jokes such as 'that's what she said' normalise and dismiss the horror of sexual misconduct experiences, experts have suggested in a new study. The recent wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations against prominent actors, politicians, media figures, and others highlights the need to condemn inappropriate and misogynistic behaviour, and to provide support and encouragement to victims.

Communication scholars Matthew R Meier of the West Chester University of Pennsylvania and Christopher A Medjesky of the University of Findlay argued that off-hand, common remarks such as the "that's what she said" joke is deeply entrenched in modern society, and contribute to humorising and legitimising sexual misconduct. The first notable "that's what she said" joke occurred during a scene in the 1992 film 'Wayne's World.' However, it became a running joke in the hit television show 'The Office,' leading to "dozens of internet memes, video compilations, and even fansites dedicated to cataloguing occurrences and creating new versions of the joke."

After analysing multiple examples of the joke used in the show, the authors argued that the "that's what she said" joke serves as an analogue to the rhetoric of rape culture. By discrediting and even silencing victims, this type of humour conditions audiences to ignore -- and worse, to laugh at -- inappropriate sexual behaviour. Furthermore, the authors suggested that these types of comments contribute to dangerous societal and cultural norms by ultimately reinforce the oppressive ideologies they represent, despite the intentions or naivete of the people making the jokes.

The authors argued "that's what she said" joke cycle is part of a larger discourse that not only becomes culturally commonplace but also reinforces dangerous ideologies that are so entrenched in contemporary life that we end up laughing at something that isn't funny at all. (ANI)

Also Read: Ambedkar memorial: Govt appoints experts to present its case


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Videos

Latest News

Tennis-Rublev stuns Tsitsipas to lift Hamburg title

Andrey Rublev will arrive at the French Open having secured his third ATP title of the season after the Russian youngster defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 3-6 7-5 in the Hamburg European Open final on Sunday. As the years last Grand Slam beg...

96 pc candidates appear for JEE-Advanced amid strict COVID-19 precautions

At least 96 per cent of the candidates, who had registered for JEE-Advanced, appeared for the examination on Sunday amid strict precautions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Indian Institute of Technology IIT-Delhi, which c...

Maha: Latur temple gets notice after it opens for devotees

A gram panchayat in Latur inMaharashtra issued a notice to the management of a templewhich opened for devotees amid the coronavirus pandemicdespite restrictions on such type of gatherings by the stategovernmentThe notice was issued to the m...

J-K LG condoles demise of Jaswant Singh

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday expressed condolences on the death of veteran politician and former Union minister Jaswant Singh. In a statement, the Lt Governor said he was deeply saddened to hear about the pass...

Give Feedback