Representation Vs Comedy: How We Laugh With Prejudice

Be warned, I am a self-confessed SJW. I would prefer that society has justice and I’m willing to do whatever I can to try and make it happen.

Representation Vs Comedy: How We Laugh With Prejudice

Be warned, I am a self-confessed SJW. I would prefer that society has justice and I'm willing to do whatever I can to try and make it happen. Since I can't exactly ride down any --ist peoples like an avenging valkyrie, I choose instead to yabber on about whatever happens to be on my mind at the time. In this case, it's the justified laughing at people we call 'comedy'.

I use 'justified', here to mean 'socially approved by most without thinking about it' because the meaning is a mouthful and I need to be snappy to keep your attention. Nothing drives the audiences away quicker than a whining SJW going on about injustice, convoluting the language as they go.

We justify all kinds of things by implicit social approval. It is still hilarious to many to see a cis male in a dress. We never ask why it is so, it is just so. The manlier the man, the frillier and girlier the dress, the more hilarious it is. Why this is so is because emasculation in the form of a feminine affect is turning the ideal of manhood into its opposite.

It is funny to imply that the manliest of men could even be thought of as the same as a "weak and powerless" lady. Society agrees because established gender roles say so. Similarly, it is a different kind of amusing to see the girliest of girls kick ass in a meaningful way... but it isn't the same.

Men being put "down" via feminine affect is funnier than women being "elevated" by manly skills. Why? Because the former is allegedly impossible whilst the latter could be alarmingly real. Women cheer when the girly girl kicks Manly McLargehuge's butt, but the men in the audience don't.

The same sort of thing goes on with racism. You better believe I'm going off about that, because people of colour can't win. They're 'hilarious' when they're a walking stereotype, and they're 'hilarious' when they're the exact opposite of a stereotype (or accidentally creating a new one).

Ah, say the white men of the audience, but stereotypes exist for a reason. We know. It's called 'racism'. You pummel black men and women down for close to three hundred years, you'd better believe that you will get the Angry Black(tm) who has zero capacity for bullshit. This one's especially prevalent on the silver screen, and you get hair-trigger sensitivity about issues played for the lols.

It's so easy to do, too. Consider the following:

White Person: [Something easily construed as racist]
Angry Black(tm): What did you say?!
Cue 'hilarity'.

We see it so often, we expect it. Haha, white people have to be so careful around black people, haha. Anything could set them off, haha. Real people don't get into situations like that because real people have more social awareness than the average pickle. Ha. Ha.

Sure, it's great to see a little more colour and diversity on the screens, but... can we please try for something with a little more effort than the Loud Angry Black, the Studious Wise Asian, or the Hilarious Uncontrollable Disability?

No, I don't want to spoil your fun, fragile snowflake white-man. I want you to explore some different kinds of fun. Different can be good.

It's rare for me to see that comedy as written by the minority voices, but when it is, I can tell that it's been written by someone who usually doesn't get a voice. You know how I can tell? The white cis (usually) male in the situation actually learns something. Nobody has to be put down, put in their place, or put in a pigeon-hole for ease of consumption.

Let there be more minority writers. Let there be more minority directors. Let them make comedies that don't rely on the same tired old stereotropes that are easy for the serial killer demographic[1] to understand. Maybe, if there was diversity in the staff before the movie was made, those old stereotropes could go quietly into that good night.

Is it horrible to want to see yourself on the screen? Is it horrible to imagine that there are others who feel like that too?

I don't think so. But then again, I'm a mentally disabled SJW who's tired of seeing the white men win at everything and learn nothing.

No, no. Put that rage down, sir. Listen. It is possible to lose and become a better person. You're just angry because you still believe the world needs to cater to you, that's all. You can't see that you still hold the majority because you're too busy howling about how some 'feminazi' stole your cookie/job/lollipop/whatever.

I don't expect you to understand. You, sir, have never had to sit through representations of yourself being a stereotrope. Even if you can think of a handful of examples, I am confident in betting a dollar that this particular example also made it all the way through the movie whilst hurdling the lowest bar possible.

Men in film just have to accept themselves in order to get the prize. Especially white men. Women have to fit an ideal to get even most of the way there. Even then, they usually have to give up one of their life goals in order to attain 'happiness' with a man who has done little to no character growth.

Hell, in the third act hookup, there's often very little in the way of anticipatory prelude to that. The relationship -such as it is- goes from zero to gonzo in nothing flat and can easily be erased in the case of a sequel. Not that comedic film get a lot of sequels. Just re-hashed plots. I have digressed.

Too much comedy relies on easy elements. Many of those elements are --ist hangovers from the Victorian Era.

Don't you think it's high time comedy did some growing with social attitudes... instead of attempting to tear them down?

[1] Serial killers are almost universally single white men aged 16-45. Co-incidentally, marketers everywhere aim to sell things to single white men aged 16-45. For me, this raises eyebrows.