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Please read my Editors Note at the end of this article.
Why do Some Married Women Find it Acceptable to Poke Fun at Their Husbands in Public?
By Gint Aras
I noticed that several married women I know on Facebook posted this joke on their timelines in recent days:
Woman’s Ass Size Study
There is a new study about women and how they feel about their asses. The results are very interesting.
10% of women think their ass is too skinny
30% of women think their ass is too fat
60% say they don’t care. They love him. He is a good man and they wouldn’t trade him for the world.
At the time I started working on this post, about 6:30 PM CDT on April 9th; the joke had been shared 13,610 times and liked 6,053 times, by both men and women. I didn’t count the ratio, but in my timeline, the posts came exclusively from women.
Only a few hours later, another joke popped up, again from a married woman, this time in the form of one of these “your-e-cards”
Men are like fine wine. They begin as grapes and it’s up to the women to stomp the shit of them (sic) until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.
I started browsing through the Facebook pages to look for things I might have missed. I kept finding jokes. Here’s another one, again in one of these “your-e-cards”:
Dear Children: I only take credit for the first nine months. After that you were exposed to your father.
I suppose if I searched all night, I might find more. But I’m done searching. I’m suddenly provoked.
My wife would never post anything like this. She understands I’d feel irritated even if I did get the joke. And my irritation matters to her. Part of the reason I love her is because she wouldn’t expect me “to get it”, and she doesn’t find this kind of humor tasteful. I know women, who’d critique my response to the joke, make fun of me for whining, for being a wimp and suggest I grow thicker skin. I’m not married to them.
I became mindful, however, of my response to the jokes. As soon as I had seen the first one, and it happened automatically, a quiet little voice in the center of my consciousness whispered, “Don’t be offended. Be a man. It’s just a joke.” But then I sensed that I was actually offended, if mildly. My next response really bothered me. I wondered, “Do I have the right to feel offense? What would these women say if I told them I don’t like this stuff?” Of course, this is probably a rhetorical question. Isn’t the action of posting this stuff already a dismissal of male emotions?
I don’t personally know all of the husbands of the women who posted these jokes on Facebook. Perhaps they sincerely do not mind this humor; maybe some of them even celebrate it. I can’t pretend to know exactly what kind of partners they are, but these men are educated professionals who live healthy lifestyles. They play a role as fathers and homemakers, at least on some level, and they contribute positively to their communities through their work and just by being decent neighbors. Their hobbies include things like cooking, gardening and various outdoor activities: fishing, boating, etc. I know one of them has a rather serious video game addiction. However, there are certainly worse asses in the world.
Why should someone’s spouse have to accept being called a name in order to give a partner a little chuckle during the work day?
One thing all (and I mean every single one) of the married men I know on Facebook have in common is this: none has ever posted anything even vaguely similar to these joke as commentary on married life or courtship, at least not a bit that ended up in my News Feed. If anything, when they joke, they poke fun at their own incompetence. If I were to play a game to think of an analogous joke about a survey of men—something I have no interest in doing—perhaps, if it were clever enough, I would tell it in the lunchroom or some bar. Even if some of the men laughed at the joke, I can’t imagine any of them ever posting it in public. I haven’t interviewed them, but I should believe that, similarly with my wife, they wouldn’t expect their wives to have to get it. Why should someone’s spouse have to accept being called a name in order to give a partner a little chuckle during the work day?
Am I dismissing all the tasteless humor pointed at women over the centuries? Hardly. I’m not about to list blonde jokes just for the sake of a balancing act. But can I imagine one of my male friends, many of whom are married to natural (I know a lot of Lithuanian women) blondes (these include a psychiatrist, a sports journalist, a molecular biologist, a load of classical musicians…you get the point) posting blonde jokes on Facebook? I can certainly imagine their wives’ responses if they did. I actually doubt any of my friends would laugh very hard at any blonde joke. These are, after all, the husbands of very well educated women.
The vast majority of these women wouldn’t post this sort of humor. Yet some don’t seem to think twice. And married friends of theirs, also educated, chime in to laugh out loud. Perusing their pages, you find a pattern of it, and 13,619 shares seems a bit much.
I’m on record here at The Good Men Project and on my personal blog, Liquid Ink, asking men to lose their reluctance and share stories about their married lives. One of the responses I get is that men would rather not because they feel their emotions will be dismissed. Of course, it begs a question: where did they get the idea? For some men, it starts on the wedding day when their role is reduced, as I’ve written before, to that of a supporting actor. And now I wonder if it progresses through the years when they find themselves the butt of so many jokes.
Originally posted in the Good Men Project on April 10, 2013
I hope Gint does not mind that I changed the title of his article for this post, but I think both sexes are guilty of this behavior. Many times people look at these comments as just “jokes” but are they really? These “jokes” are made at the expense of their partner, the one they are supposed to hold most dear in their life. The person making them many times thinks the “jokes” are making them superior or better than the other person. Are they really doing that and is there something else boiling below the surface?
In a partner don’t you want an equal, someone that can walk beside you? I know that is what I am looking for in a partner, an equal that will walk with me and catch me when I fall. That will have faith in me and encourage me to take one more step that could make all the difference. I really don’t want someone that will walk in front of or behind me. I want a partner, and when or if I ever find someone, I want us both to view each other as the most unique wonderful person on the planet. To be viewed as someone never to be mocked or allow others to mock.
Something many of you need to understand, these types of “jokes” most times are not “jokes” at all. I have noticed they seem to fall into two categories.
I have noticed in many relationships these types of “jokes” occur, at the beginning of the end of the relationship. Since I started the website so many people have said that their partners were frequently making “jokes.” about them or the relationship and they thought it didn’t mean anything, but it really did. Maybe the partner was trying to tell them they were not happy or justify something they were doing and should not have been doing.
Those of you that know me can verify I had an abusive mother and married an abusive man. They both “only” did physical and verbal abuse. To this day it was all justified in their eyes. I have witnessed first-hand both a male and a female verbally abuse their partner and or children. Personally verbal abuse was second to what I viewed as the worst, and that is being spit on. Both of these things stayed with me way longer than the bruises did. One of the people that verbally abused me went for 10 years with what I thought was no abuse at the time. I have learned through counseling that the abuse was still there just in a “joking” way. It is very common for people that verbally abuse others disguise the comments as “jokes.” They are not doing it in jest. It is done quick and usually regarding something that the victim is very sensitive about. When these disparaging comments are being disguised as “jokes” they most often refer to the nature of the partner, their intellectual abilities, physical attributes or competency (for me it was usually my dyslexia). If the victim says “I don’t think that was funny” or “That hurts my feelings”, the abuser will discount their comments by saying “You don’t have a sense of humor!” “You just can’t take a joke!” or “You are just too thin skinned!” As a response to the victims comments, many times if it is done in a group setting the abuser will start mocking the victim, and then encourage others to join in. They will also try to get the group to agree the victim has no right or reason to be hurt. Eventually, the victim questions their own mental state, and if they are wrong having the feelings they do. After the “joke” is made, the abuser will laugh and smile with the look of triumph. Especially if they were able to get others to agree with them.
So please think twice before you agree with anyone that is joking about their partner you may without knowing or meaning to; be assisting someone in actions you would never intentionally do to your friend. For those of you that make the “jokes” remember what most of us learned very young. When one finger is pointing at someone another three are pointing back at you.
If you are in a relationship that is violent, and remember violence is not just physical but also mental and emotional, then seek help when you are able. Seek out local resources in your area such as the Domestic Abuse Shelter. The most dangerous time for a the victim in a violent relationship is when they try to leave. It is scary, but there are people who can help. The Hotline is a national domestic violence help line. Their number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Domestic Abuse Helpline Services for Men and Women 24-hour hotline operated by staff and trained volunteers to offer information and crisis intervention to victims of domestic violence. They provide information about the issues concerning intimate partner violence. Referrals to community resources. Resource directory for the country including where to find (if available) “male victim friendly” resources in your area. Assistance in filing protection from abuse orders (where available).
Crisis Hotline: 1-888-7HELPLINE (1-888-743-5754)
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Originally posted 2013-05-02 17:21:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter