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Sep 03 2007

Ask a Spinster Aunt: giggling, feminism, and you

totoafrica.jpg

Blamer Alexandra writes:

Q: I was (seriously) wondering: Is it feminist to giggle? I’ve never known a man to giggle. Is giggling a natural thing, or should I blame the patriarchy?

A: You’ve come to the right place, Alexandra! I am Director of Hollow Mirthless Laughter at the Twisty Institute, where I am also widely considered the world’s foremost authority on giggling.

To the extent that laughter generally is postulated by snickersperts to originate from deep within the antique, reptilian recesses of the human brain, it may be regarded as “natural.” It is a primitive vocalization thought to be associated with promoting cohesion in social groups. Individual cultural tradition determines situation-specific varietals, but the universal wheel-greasing message of all laughter is, approximately, “I bend over before your superior magnificence.”

In fact, when startled by sudden improbable ludicrosity, many guffawing adult humans will spontaneously bend over to express their humility. I did this myself only yesterday, when the bagger at Whole Foods eyed me narrowly and remarked, out of the blue, “Hey, I know you. You’re the one who says ‘Africa’ is your Number One Jam!”

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, I was spontaneously overcome with delight that this kid, who sees thousands of identical honky chuckleheads every day, had remembered a fit of ironical clowning to which I had subjected her while shelling out $143 for a couple of tomatoes many months prior.* In involuntarily doubling over, I was acknowledging her generous condescension in commemorating my dorky jest as one of her young life’s golden moments.

“I say ‘Number One Jam’ all the time now!” cried the bagger as I disappeared down the escalator, waving a fond farewell with my 29-dollar bag of organic Cheetos.

I guess you had to be there.

At any rate, giggling is an adaptation of this supplicatory behavior specialized to indicate particularly acute self-effacement. For this reason males are conditioned from the cradle to eschew — and eventually, as they tumesce to the full extent of their authoritative masculine fatuity, to mock — the giggle. Concomitantly, in contemporary narratives giggling is closely associated, pretty much in equal measure, with packs of prepubescent girls, coquetry, vapidity, fits, hysteria, and derangement.

In praxis, among sane persons old enough to menstruate, giggling is a feminine affectation employed almost exclusively to lubricate the egos of higher-status entities. According to Twisty Institute findings published in the Fall 2005 issue of Kackle Kwarterly, the Journal of North American Laffology, giggles most often accompany conscious or subconscious efforts to solicit favor from exalted personages through sexual manipulation. Adult women of commensurate status who are not tryin’ to whip off a piece do not spontaneously giggle amongst themselves.

At least, not those who have resisted the infantilizing pro-giggle conceit of the specious girl-power craze, which craze was invented as a marketing ploy to sell pink Hello Kitty stripper poles to grown women who have been brainwashed to believe that feminism is tacky now that we’ve come so far.
__________________
* It was like this. “Africa” was blurting out of the Muzak system, and I had of course informed the bagger — with the smirk of a recovering scenester music snob — that it was my Number One Jam. Which had cracked her up out of all proportion. The Twisty Institute has found that most instances of spontaneous laughter do not occur in response to actual, formal comedy jokes, but as involuntary expressions of incredulity over the fact that middle-aged spinster aunts wearing golf visors and fannypacks should be so adept at deflection when they are caught singing along with Toto in supermarket checkouts.

70 comments

2 pings

  1. Theriomorph

    I am not giggling right now, reading this post. No, definitely not.

  2. Joolya

    I think I am guffawing right now. “Africa” is totally my Number Two Jam, right after “Everybody Wants to Rule The World”.

  3. Jodie

    My Number One Jam is Fast Ball’s “The Way”, not only because of the tune, but because the escapist lyrics please me greatly. But Africa is right up there, too.

  4. yvonne

    “As they tumesce to the full extent of their authoritative masculine fatuity.” Standout verbiage in an already standout post.

    Is laughter really always about social cohesion, though? My own Authoritative Masculine Fatuity, Paternal Version, once came upstairs to investigate when my mother and I started laughing too hard at a television commercial. And I mean it was not a “Wow, what is so funny?” thing, it was a “What is going on” thing. I have always seen female laughter as inherently subversive. It can be used the opposite way, as a daffy “Look at me, I have no brain or opinion” thing–but its natural state is threatening and subversive. That would be why The Powers use ridicule and laughter themselves, to keep their targets down.

  5. Twisty

    I submit, yvonne, that you and your mother were startled by sudden improbable ludicrosity, and used subsequent laughter to bond over the shared experience.

  6. ::Wendy::

    I often find that I giggle to-myself, when there are no witnesses, when reading funny books and entertaining blog posts. I plan to continue giggling. But I might rename it as ‘chortling’ because chortling seems a little-less extremely genderised…

  7. Pinko Punko

    I giggle all the time, sometimes even unawares to myself when walking down the street. It might even swerve into a cackle.

    My number one super market jam is Carly Simon’s “Anticipation”- a song I think I have only ever heard exclusively in providers of various groceries.

    You should demand that Whole Foods or wherever provide you with the “Africa”/”Rosanna” Toto double shot.

  8. Rainbow Girl

    Laughter is subversive, and even giggling is a statement of freedom, in my ever so humble opinion.

    When women/girls giggle, it is a sign that they refuse to be bound by the stuffy pomposity plagueing most adult men. Giggling in the subversive way makes a clear statement: I don’t have to be an unsmiling, pretentious buffoon to appear smart, and I am more intelligent while joking than you are while serious.

  9. Rainbow Girl

    Plus, who could forget:

    “White FLOUR? What did you say? Oh, WIFE Power?”

  10. wiggles

    I laugh when I find something funny. Whether my laugh comes out as a titter, a giggle, or a guffaw depends on the level of funniness of the thing I’m responding to. If the patriarchy wants to write me off as an hysterical, deranged, prepubescent coquette for responding to ludicrousness of the world around me, well then fuck the patriarchy.

  11. Rainbow Girl

    And another thing: we talk revolution for children, then criticise certain behaviours for being “infantilizing”.

    Certainly, women are encouraged and expected to align themselves with the second largest sub-human group in the world, children. But all of this needs to change. I look forward to a future where people are not judged according to the age and sex traits they try their damned best to exhibit.

    I mean, pretending to be an adult male isn’t even believable when adult males do it. Why should I hop on the stupid train?

  12. Ms.FabulousPitt

    The most feminist giggle, of course, is when we’re peering at a magazine or photograph of the naked “superior” male creature and can’t help but focus on its genitalia. The grrrl power giggling often erupts into teary-eyed laughter. And when one of the poor male creatures unfortunate enough to possess those ridiculous appendages happens to come into the room in the middle ot it all, true feminine superiority is achieved as we watch the embarrassed, angry scowl on the unshaven male face — because he knows we’re not aroused by his nakedness, we’re laughing at it.

  13. SB

    I think it’s “rises like a LEPRESS above the Serengeti.”

  14. Nancy

    “you and your mother were startled by sudden improbable ludicrosity, and used subsequent laughter to bond over the shared experience.”

    My son and I have had this experience as well – and I’ll tell you, it’s one of my most favorite memories. One or the other of us would snicker and soon we were both giggling again. Sounds corny but it was pretty cool. If you ever have the chance, I highly recommend it. I call for giggling to be a part of the general curriculum.

  15. the Omphaloskeptic

    I think Twisty is talking about a different species of giggle than some of the illustrious commenters. Perhaps we can distinguish them as giggling-for and giggling-at respectively – giggling-for is making nice to men, being “coquettish” (ugh, what a word), et cetera. Giggling-at is infinitely to be preferred, and is about social bonding at the expense of the fatuous masculine authorities.

    As such, only the fact that it’s women doing the laughing relegates giggling-at to the much-maligned category of action known as the giggle in the first place. If men were laughing derisively at something, it would be called “laughing derisively,” or possibly “snickering,” depending on their level of pubescence.

    Of course, as Twisty points out, most real laughter is not political at all, just at the sudden improbable ludicrosities of life. Thus, it more easily evades the giggle designation, ranging more into the chuckle, the chortle, and in extreme cases, the guffaw.

  16. TallyCola

    The only thing better than a Number One Jam is a Number One Summer Jam. Which for me, for summer 2007, was about half the soundtrack of Hairspray, which is a little embarrassing to admit.

  17. Rainbow Girl

    Wiggles: hell yes!

  18. Cass

    Thomas Hobbes wrote that the origin of laughter was in pleasure at another person’s misfortune. I’m not sure how this relates to Twisty’s point, but it does

    1. demonstrate how smart I am, and

    2. demonstrate how fucked-up Thomas Hobbes was.

  19. Rainbow Girl

    Laughter is also handy in dispelling the myth of the humourless feminist. Hey, if feminists have no sense of humour, why am I mocking you as we speak?

    Also, we can discuss the various kinds of giggling and I will admit there is a certain kind of hair-tossing, admiring giggle that makes my stomach try to flee, but it’s not the giggle that’s the problem in that case. It’s the apparent complicity with the power imbalance.

  20. Cass

    And Ms. Pitt, I’ve actually had an experience like that. It always amazes me when I hear of men sending penis-shots to women, with the expectation they’ll find it arousing. Sorry, guys, but its an innately silly-looking appendage, when its not outright disgusting.

  21. T

    Loved this post. Thanks! It made me think of hetero male courtship behavior, in which men try to make women laugh. Most of the men I know seem to think that a woman who finds them funny is sexually attracted to them, and that a woman who doesn’t laugh at their jokes is not sexually attracted to them. Don’t know what the subtext may be there, or if there’s a connection between giggling as a submissive behavior and the “she digs me/she digs me not” rubric.

  22. norbizness

    Something to say when you’re on the telephone: “Hold the line! Love isn’t always on time!”

  23. Springy

    Hobbes founded modern political thought, and therefore had a hand in why feminists think the way they do. Cass, saying he was “fucked up” does not make you smart. Hobbes thought laughter was an instrument of social power, like almost all human behaviour. Laughing at someone’s else’s misfortune was inevitable in a society where people fought against each other. Or, in which women laughed to get something from men, or from each other.

  24. Jezebella

    T, you are spot-on. When a man says he “likes a woman with a sense of humor,” what he’s really saying is, “I like a woman who will laugh at my jokes.”

    The insincere “coquette” giggle is, I think, what is at issue here. If something is truly worthy of laughter, then LAUGH. The giggle is, I think, either an attempt to stifle laughter because men find the laughter of women discomfiting, or it’s a fake titter. Neither of these instances is worthy of a feminist.

  25. slythwolf

    I associate giggling with nervous laughter. In my fiction I sometimes write male characters giggling when in nervous-making situations.

  26. Jess2

    Awesome post, Twisty. I bend over before your superior magnificence.

    My five month old baby son started giggling a while back at such things as peek-a-boo and the “stand up-sit down” game. I can find no Hobbesian Schadenfreude at the root of that. In fact, I think at his age, the only thing at the root of it is, “Wheee! This is fun.” Would that more laughter be rooted in such pure fun. I think this is a different category than self-conscious laughter of any kind.

    Oddly, one of the most unrepentant misogynists I know (my step-dad, who would refer to everyone reading this blog as a “woman in crisis”) starts giggling every time he finds himself becoming emotional– like if he finds something in a film sad, he’ll start laughing. Or when he talks about his s.o.b. of a father (now dead), he’ll start chuckling at a memory of some particularly heinous thing his father did. Personally, I think it’s patriarchal self-loathing doubled in on itself: he can only laugh derisively at his own emotions (and emotions are by definition “feminine”) because acknowledging them would upset his “I am a man and therefore I have no girly emotions” self-image. Note, this is a person who hardly ever laughs from the “pure fun” or silliness motive, but quite frequently due to Schadenfreude.

  27. Tigs

    Springy – Whatever, Hobbes was fucked up. Yeah he was important, and I love his articulation of personage, but he was fucked up. His entire conception of humanity makes me want to kill myself.
    Also fucked up were Plato, Aristotle, Augustin, Montesquieu and the rest. I think Cass was, uh, gawd forbid on a post about laughter, injecting some self-effacing sarcastic humor into her post.

    However, I do appreciate your injection of the notation of social power as related to the laugh. That is an interesting point.

  28. Jess

    SB beat me to it: I, too, always thought Kilamanjaro was rising like a lepress above the Serengeti.

  29. Dawn Coyote

    That is one of the most ludicrous bits of lyrical manipulation in the history of music. Every time I hear that Kilamanjiro/Serengeti line on my iPod it makes me smile.

    T said:
    “Most of the men I know seem to think that a woman who finds them funny is sexually attracted to them, and that a woman who doesn’t laugh at their jokes is not sexually attracted to them. Don’t know what the subtext may be there, or if there’s a connection between giggling as a submissive behavior and the “she digs me/she digs me not” rubric.”

    This is the reason I have cultivated my cackle. I hope that it telegraphs: tread carefully or I might eat you.

  30. Dawn Coyote

    Eek – spelling!

  31. kate

    I don’t giggle, having been given lungs like a man and coming from a family where everyone laughs like hell, that’s exactly what I do, guffaw and laugh with my front teeth sticking out at times as well. Not dignified, not coquetry, not sexy, not compliant.

    Twisty, if you ever find yourself contemplating laying down $149 for a pair of tomatoes, or $29 for a bag of cheetos, call me first. I’ll take half that and steal some damn tomatoes for you and send them to you. Same for the Cheetos.

    Tell me what you want and I will deliver. I guarantee your money will go to a very worthy cause, to feed a starving rad fem entrepreneur. To hell with them damn tomato farmers and their hydroponics or whatever.

  32. Twisty

    A “lepress”? Is that a pompatess-non-grata?

  33. Narya

    I don’t giggle so much as completely crack up–or, if I’m not quite that amused, but still quite entertained, blurt out a “HAH!” And sometimes there’s the snort-with-eye-roll. I think there can be a courtship aspect to it, but I think some of that is about discovering whether we find the same things to be funny (if not, forget about it).

  34. chingona

    I don’t even know this song, but I think it has to be Olympus. As in similar to Mount Olympus, in Greece, but in Africa. No?

  35. norbizness

    I’ve frightened of this thing the thread’s become.

  36. Pinko Punko

    In a weekend swollen with Patriarchy, going to movie ices the cake, so I had to come back here for some Toto goodness.

    Is it lepress, or leperous? Maybe that doesn’t fit with the song.

  37. Repenting

    I think we’re all trying to wrap our brains around whether it is demeaning for us women to laugh. The answer is a clear no. Obviously, the day the patriarchy falls we will all be laughing cheerfully and victoriously.

    However, the word “giggle” is used almost exclusively to describe an effeminate action, and thus, in the eyes of the patriarchy, a demeaning one. A “giggle” is when a woman laughs at a man’s not-funny joke. However, if this woman were to “laugh derisively” at the man’s stupidity in approaching her with said dumb joke in the first place, the action would no longer symbolize her submission to the man, but her superior mind and power over him as he attempts his strange little hetero-mating ritual.

  38. Repenting

    A female leopard is a leopard. A lepress sounds like a female leper to me. O_o

  39. Ms.FabulousPitt

    The other perfectly legitimate female giggle — or, rather, horselaugh — occurs when we’re watching a movie and witness any male getting kicked or hit in the balls, preferably by a female. I never fail to guffaw at this and sometimes wonder why. Perhaps it represents the ultimate assault, albeit a symbolic one, on the purveyors of the patriarchy because the male is being struck in a spot where only he is vulnerable; virtually every other assault in society is inflicted by men where only WE are vulnerable. But maybe it’s simpler than that — maybe I just like watching males, any male, writhe in pain. While I neither desire nor accept male affection, even married friends of mine also “get a kick” out of this, so I don’t consider myself evil.

  40. Marie

    My (English, male, hetero) ex giggles. People often assume he is gay because of it.
    Quite a few Chinese men giggle, too – at least, they do in China; not so much here in the UK.

  41. Feminist Avatar

    Giggling probably falls under the ‘damned if you do; damned if you don’t’ category that rad-fems have to deal with everyday, alongwith wearing pink, and having breasts. It is just one of those issues that highlights how much the patriarchy defines our lives, so that the seemingly inocuous becomes political. IBTP.

  42. eldgie

    Marie, one of the hottest men I work with sometimes giggles. He’s Chinese, 6 feet tall, broad-shouldered, super smart, and unmistakeably hetero. I’m sure none of the women assume he’s less of a man for giggling (did I mention he’s HOT?) but I imagine some of the guys have written him off: they’d probably be shocked to know how attractive I (we) find this guy.

    Just shows once again that you can’t assume gender stuff is all biology: lots of it is purely cultural. (Except for that thing about women the world over being irresistably attracted to anything pink!)

    And TallyCola, don’t be embarrassed: the Hairspray soundtrack is tons of fun! Welcome to the Sixties!

  43. TungstenVirago

    I always thought it was ‘Empress’..?
    Awesome site btw :)

  44. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Norbizness, you stop it right now. I’m at work and you’re making me laugh loudly (I know no other way to do it that doesn’t make untoward things come out of my nose) and I can’t explain what’s so funny.

    It’s kinda like being in church when your older sister (she was 32 and I was 25) makes fun of the Black Madonna (an old Polish religious icon). Man, there’s no way you can’t laugh. But you know you’re going to be in deep doo-doo with your mom anyway.

    Which is my too-wordy way of saying it’s even funnier when you’re not supposed to laugh.

  45. Nancy

    chingona nailed it:
    “Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti” (according to lyricsdomain.com)

    Dang, no lepers or leopards or empresses. But hey, they were blamers, too! “There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do” hee hee

  46. Varnish Eater

    My number one summer jam is Brooklyn Summer Ale, followed by my number two summer jam, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.

  47. sun rat

    Favorite memory: chatting with a small town Texas cop. He spies my t-shirt, which says “Now Accepting Phone Numbers”. He GIGGLES!

  48. gentaggard

    There are definitely giggles that are signs of deferrence.

    Did anyone else see “Hardball” with Tweety (that’s Chris Matthews) last Thursday night? He had Naomi Wolf on as part of a panel that was debating the whole Larry Craig thing, and at one point she made the apparently unpardonable mistake of sort of moving the topic on to other Republican abuses (the big ones, like shredding the Constitution, being in contempt of Congress, and so on). Tweety absolutely bit her head off. I was truly stunned. I think he’s an asshole for a lot of different reasons (and had only tuned in while I waited for Olbermann’s “Countdown”), and I know he’s a sexist pig, and he’s often rude and belligerent, but I have never heard him talk to anyone the way he spoke to Wolf. He snapped at her, told her she wasn’t going to change the subject, then a moment later, scolded her some more, saying, “You’re not going to come on MY show and change the subject.”

    Her reaction was to begin giggling. Maybe she was nervous and shocked, and I do believe we may be wired to laugh when we’re extremely nervous. But, trust me, this was about Tweety slamming this woman and her responding by sucking up with generous amounts of male-superiority-recognizing giggling. The net effect was very sexist and not something we would have seen had the guest been male.

    After the commercial break, he came back and announced that all was forgiven between them. On air at least, she never responded or questioned his nastiness other than the giggling.

  49. Zora

    Twisty,

    This is one of the many posts that makes me think, “Gee, she really should compile this stuff into a book.”

    I envision a “Collected Works of Twisty Faster” or “Selected Favorites: The Best of Twisty Faster” on prominent display at Barnes & Nobles across the globe.

  50. Amananta

    Well, I know boys who giggle. But that’s not what I came here to talk about. I came to talk about the draft – wait, no! I mean – in the supermarket the other day, “YMCA” came on and I suddenly started doing my best impression (a very bad one, that is to say) of the male blood elf dance from World of Warcraft in the “International Foods” aisle while singing along, to the great enjoyment and edification (by which I mean, horrific embarrassment) of my nearly-teenage child.

    I know all the words to “Africa”, too.

    My point being that behaving oddly in the grocery store is tons of fun.

  51. Medbh

    The quickest way to wound many men is to laugh at their penis. When I was 10 I was with a friend when a guy called us over to his car, asking for directions. He was masturbating, the little dirty fucker, and wanted to get a rise out of us. I laughed at him with gusto, his dick shrunk, and he drove away.
    Obviously we’re talking about a limited power but it worked.

  52. loosely twisted

    **GuFAW** Medbh I have done that. I thought I was the only one on this board to play WoW. That dance is so funny!!

    I just wanted to agree, I giggle only when I am nervous, otherwise I have different levels of laughing depending on the funniness of said content.

    Does it count that most of the time other people look at me like I have/going to loose my mind when I laugh? I tend to scare people when I laugh. Gives me a nice ego boost anyway.

  53. Edith

    I giggle all the time. It’s horrible. I giggle when recounting tales of, oh, say, abuse. I giggle when someone tells me someone died. I giggle when I pause in a sentence for two seconds after taking a breath.

    It is completely embarrassing. I’m not even going to tell you how many times I’ve gotten into shit for this, too. Random kids on the street enjoy mimicking my giggle, and then I blush. I BLUSH, too. I also say/think, “Oh, I could just die!” about a hundred times a day.

    I find the best way to stop this nonsense is to drink a couple of bottles of Red Stripe and yell at people out the windows of some charming little bistro populated with hipsters drinking $7 soy mochas. Then my giggling turns into real laughter, but kids still make fun of me. I don’t think I can win, there.

  54. Edith

    And yes, I also giggle at not-funny-jokes, authority figures of any stripe saying anything at all (“Can I see you after class?” “[giggle] OK.”), in any situation when I am nervous (like at therapy), or at movies that make sexist jokes. I giggle, and then I stop and go, wait, what am I laughing at? It’s a bad cycle.

    I also “giggle” in other contexts, the ones blamers here have mentioned, but I’m just going to focus on my patriarchy-approved giggling which, indeed, makes me nauseous.

  55. lawbitch

    I was driving when that fabulous tune “Electric Avenue” came on my radio. I giggled alone in the car. “We be jammin’”

  56. michelle

    “I mean, pretending to be an adult male isn’t even believable when adult males do it. Why should I hop on the stupid train?”

    Yay, rainbow girl! Yay for giggling! Tee hee hee, god dammit!

  57. saltyC

    What is that thing again about how
    women are afraid that men would kill them,
    and
    men are afraid women will laugh at them?

    Medbh’s story made me think of that.

  58. Marie

    Eldgie. Do you think perhaps that men write off giggling men such as my ex and your colleague because they take “pretending to be an adult male” seriously – and that women don’t write off gigglers precisely because they don’t believe in it? Perhaps giggling is not in fact snivelling, but a polite refusal of manliness.

  59. orlando

    A suggestion for better categorizing the “giggle-for” or “coquette giggle”, thus freeing “giggle” itself from pejorative overtones: I believe this behaviour is what’s referred to as “simpering”.

  60. Susan

    Medbh’s story reminded me of a Yoko Ono quote I read long ago: “I wonder why men get serious at all. They have this delicate, long thing hanging outside their bodies which goes up and down by its own will. If I were a man I would always be laughing at myself.”

  61. Marcy

    Most of the men I know seem to think that a woman who finds them funny is sexually attracted to them, and that a woman who doesn’t laugh at their jokes is not sexually attracted to them.

    I’m inclined to think that what also happens is that if a woman doesn’t laugh at a man’s jokes, HE doesn’t find HER attractive. Apparently, it indicates that she doesn’t “get” him.

  62. Hedgepig

    One of my favourite Toto lines is “I led some raids down in Africa”. It does seem a bit random compared with the rest of the song’s sentiments, but hey, it was the 80s.

    Now, do you want to know how good this blog is? I was sitting here reading it for the first time and the hugest, weirdest looking fucker with eight legs (at least) sauntered across my desk. Using my non-Buddhist reflexes I grabbed the nearest barely soiled tissue from among the detritus and slammed it down on the scuttling critter. I missed. It disappeared into the dusty labyrinth of crap on my desk. Did I run squealing from the room? (and is a girlie squeal as natural or un- as a giggle?) No way. I am still here reading reading reading these joyous twisty words. I’m kinda shitscared too but I’m still here.

  63. Sally

    My husband giggles–no joke. He giggles like the effin’ Pillsbury dough-boy, especially when he’s tickled. And at 6’5″ it’s a little off-putting to most folk. Don’t get me wrong, he also chortles, snickers and guffaws, but his go-to laugh is the giggle.

  64. warren

    Well, I’m deeply concerned that anyone could possibly be worried about their various oral and nasal expressions of bemusement. I can’t exactly say why. I’m formulatin’ a theory. One minute Ok.

    I find all this categorization of the various manic states in which we momentarily lose control of our breathing, when we are wracked in the spasms of involuntary reptilian muscular responses, the very thought that should we be forced to then categorize and evaluate the appropriateness of our responses, when we are least able to exert control, from our conscious minds, over our behaviour. Well, I’m incensed.

    I propose a new motto,err, jingle, err song for the movement:

    Free to Giggle
    is Free to be,
    Free to Squee
    for you and me
    Oh what a wonderful
    world it would be
    to overthrow this
    laughocracy.
    Freedom to Squee,
    for you and me.
    Oh what a wonderful
    world it would be.

    Warren

  65. Seraphine

    Girls snicker.
    Boys snigger.
    It’s a biological fact.

  66. Cruella

    Speaking as the expert – both a feminist and a stand-up comic, I can assure you giggling is out. Giggling requires being embarrassed to laugh out loud. Fair enough in business meetings but on dates, at the cinema or at a comedy show it’s not necessary – just laugh out loud!

  67. Tina Pajaro

    When I am very nervous and scared I tend to giggle and it is strange inappropriate and I don’t know why I do it. When I reported to police about my ex pointing his sword at me and finally about how he raped me I was scared and nervous and for some reason I giggled at a few points but nothing was funny about it. I think it was because I was determined NOT to get really crazy upset because I thought they might think I was disturbed if I showed how upset I really was about it, I was determined not to cry at all, I think maybe I overcompensated. Nothing got done about it maybe it’s because I waited so long to tell them or maybe it’s because I did that stupid giggle or maybe I should just blame the patriachy.

  68. Tina Pajaro

    In relation to being raped the police said something along the lines of I could go ahead and try to press charges but it would likely be a long, embarassing and pointless exercise and they would end up making me look really really bad. There was a man and woman police officer who came to my house and who I told. They sat opposite and questioned me like an interveiw. They showed no sympathy not in the slightest. They made me sign some peice of paper in which they wrote down their ‘interpretation’ of what I told them and after I said I didn’t agree with the details of how they wrote it they said that I had to sign it to say they had been here and that I understood what they had said to me or they can’t leave. I then pointed out again the areas where it wasn’t accurate. Then they said again it’s just to say we have been here and etc. So I signed this peice of paper (stupidly) that had incorrect details they had written about what happened on it.

    The only help they offered was their suggestion I be more assertive and added “you know ‘girl power’”. (this was the female police officer that used the words ‘girl power’ to me about how I might have avoided being raped.)

  69. Cronedancer

    A couple of folks have posted about giggling when recounting traumatic events. It is quite normal for people who have been traumatized to smile or giggle when recounting the violent or traumatic event. It is not a sign that you are being submissive! Don’t blame yourself for this behavior, blame the patriarchy.

  70. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    Giggling is the coping mechanism of the incontinent. Damn SPAWN, why did she have to have a 14 inch head?

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