With David Bahati, the Ugandan politician and author of the notorious “Kill the Gays” legislation, taking an interest in her case, Brenda faces clear and present danger if she’s forced to return.
You may have seen this in the news TODAY - the death of Ugandan gay-rights activist David Kato, who was most likely targeted because he was outed by a tabloid that encourages the killing of homosexuals. With the public nature of Brenda’s case, it is very likely that she will be known and targetted in Uganda.
But why? Why is it okay to make sexist jokes when real women, everywhere, are still fighting to have their voices heard, to break gender stereotypes, and to stand up for themselves in places all over the world?
More importantly, why do we feel the need to joke about it? Why is it funny? And why do I feel obligated to pretend that it’s funny to me?
Obviously, a huge part of the humor is that it outrages real feminists, all the time, and when you make a joke like this, you get a reaction. It’s a sick trap. A woman reaches outside her traditional gender role. She wants to be taken seriously in a male-dominated society. In order to do that, she has to make friends with men, be around men, and think the way they think. She finally feels like she’s achieving that. Then they make a joke about her going back to the kitchen where she belongs— and now what? If she doesn’t laugh, she’s obviously just an overly sensitive woman who can’t be taken seriously; she can’t be part of our masculine society after all. But if she does laugh, she’s saying that oppression of women, which she herself has had to deal with, is somehow funny. Whether she realizes it or not, she’s discrediting the feminist movement and doing herself a disservice in the process: she is submitting to the masculine ideology that women’s rights are not important enough to be taken seriously.
So this marks the end of me ranting at people who don’t care to listen. It’s too hard to be so angry all the time. If you’re curious as to why I’ve stopped laughing at some of your jokes, please direct your attention to the above. Peace.
“And it’s not like I didn’t know—and this is more important—that there are people out there who don’t hate women, but who do feel acutely uncomfortable around “bitchy” women. That is, women who don’t ask for permission before speaking; women who don’t just state their opinion and then back off to let you decide if you want to hear it or not, but who insist on having their arguments acknowledged; women who feel entitled to be angry; women who want to be heard more than they want to be liked.”—
(The past few days I’ve been feeling a particular need for some feminist literature.)
TRUTH! I hate these motherfuckers. Actually when I took my creative writing class my prof made us all look them up and give several examples of their proper use so that we could DISREGARD them completely. You know, but know exactly how we were technically raping the English language.