N. 2 (2016): Humosexually Speaking. Laughter and the Intersections of Gender
Articoli a invito

Politically Incorrect Lesbian Humour

Christie Davies

Pubblicato 2016-11-15

Come citare

Davies, C. (2016). Politically Incorrect Lesbian Humour. De Genere - Rivista Di Studi Letterari, Postcoloniali E Di Genere, (2). Recuperato da https://www.degenere-journal.it/index.php/degenere/article/view/43


Humour gets defined as politically incorrect if it has certain easily recognizable characteristics.   A key one is the use of a comic script that can be related to demeaning stereotypes of excluded, marginalized or low status groups.  The level of political incorrectness is even higher when the humour itself is perceived as a kind of put-down of that group, particularly one that emphasizes the low regard in which its members or patterns of behaviour are held by society and seems to endorse this view. The most incorrect humour of all implies that the negative qualities assigned to the group and its members are innate and unchangeable and perhaps even biologically determined. This article is an empirical study of lesbian jokes from lesbian websites and of longer humorous items published by lesbian authors writing in English which  demonstrates that a substantial part of lesbian humour is politically incorrect.  This lesbian  humour is not mere benign self-mockery but a case of the members of one group of lesbians savagely poking fun at those from a quite different group.  A large part of such humour emphasizes the distinction between ‘butch’ and ‘femme’, thus defying the politically correct feminist ideology of androgyny.  Those who occupy these two contrasted categories are also treated by the humourists as unequal and their differences as rooted in nature, a position that defies the politically correct emphasis on equality and on the social construction of roles.  There is also present in lesbian humour a strong class element with the more privileged and educated lesbians ridiculing the crude ways of their working class counterparts.  There is a biting vitality to the best lesbian humour.

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