The No Shit! Department at Spinster HQ brings you breaking news from 2007: Study shows that sexist jokes induce actual sexism!
Two long years ago psychology researcher Thomas E Ford et al authored a paper revealing that when dudes sit around guffawing at dumb blonde jokes, they are more likely to cut funding to women’s organizations than are dudes who are forced to listen to non-jokey statements that depict women neutrally.
The research indicates that people should be aware of the prevalence of disparaging humor in popular culture, and that the guise of benign amusement or “it’s just a joke” gives it the potential to be a powerful and widespread force that can legitimize prejudice in our society.”
You know what else Ford found? Dudes who bust a gut over sexist jokes create cultures of misogyny with other dudes who bust a gut over sexist jokes.
We believe this shows that humorous disparagement creates the perception of a shared standard of tolerance of discrimination that may guide behavior when people believe others feel the same way.
The paper was published way back in 2008. Yet, astoundingly, despite these scientific findings, joke-based sexism — to say nothing of bigotry, violence, and hatred — remain! No government task force has stepped up to recommend that sexist jokes, which clearly cause women to experience anxiety, degradation, and unnecessary funding cuts, be phased out of pop culture.
Where’s that task force?