In such a harsh world, what better way to ignore it all than by laughing all your troubles away? When I’m feeling blue and need a pick-me-up, I know the first thing I do is watch The Cosby Show- one of my favorite childhood sitcoms that I stayed up until 9pm to watch on Nick At Nite. Back then, staying up until 9pm was a huge thing…it also meant that anything after 9pm was considered inappropriate for children. I know you’re probably thinking, “but really…The Cosby Show? Inappropriate?”. Watching that show today, there are a very scarce innuendos that a child shouldn’t hear but the great thing about it is that if a child didn’t know, he/she wouldn’t understand the joke. Also, there was always an underlying life lesson in every episode despite how “mature” the content was considered to be. For me, Bill Cosby became a huge role model in my life specifically my dancing skills.
However, let’s not go without saying that raunchy comedy did not exist in those days. Oh, because it did! Sex, booze, racism, swearing, misogyny…I’m pretty sure Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor’s careers depended on all these topics. The great thing about this though, that after 9pm…you can turn the TV and not have the hear this stuff. Some people found it funny, others found it tasteless. But what feels like way back then, we had the option to choose what tickles our funny bones. These comedians knew they were rude and offensive and if you didn’t like it, simply don’t watch. These days, it’s not really the case anymore.
Perhaps a result of Murphy and Pyror, almost all of modern day comedy is incredibly tasteless and offensive. Not only that, it is everywhere and you can’t really escape it to find innocent comedy anymore. This is one of the reasons why I still watch re-runs of I Love Lucy or Boy Meets World…to run away from the disgusting, uncomfortable language that people consider hilarious. It’s not funny to me, I don’t want my children to watch this kind of stuff and I definitely don’t want it to be labeled normal.
I have only two examples of how misogyny in particular is so desensitized in modern comedy and the ways comedians attempt to justify it. This word, in particular, offends me beyond belief and what offends me even more is how comedians defend themselves for using it. Two instances that took place on Twitter bothered me most when I got sucked into the turmoil because I lashed out at comedians who used it.
First: the word. How many ladies have ever been called a c*nt? To some, it may not hurt because it’s popular in the culture. To others, according to Wikipedia, it is considered “the most heavily tabooed word of all English words”. According to The Free Dictionary, the word “c*nt” is “offensive” and “used as a disparaging term for a woman“.
I know this word has been used to describe me many times, whether it’s because I condemned people for using the word or that one time I said The Killers were my favorite rock band (I wish I was joking about the latter, but someone called me a c*nt for having “terrible taste in music”).
Back in May 2013, Arab-American comedian Aron Kader fell into hot water for calling speaker/author/activist Max Blumenthal a c*nt after a Twitter argument. Many people tweeted in condemning Kader while he still continued to defend himself and call it “comedy”.
He also resorted to even more misogyny:
I condemned him publicly and well…you can just read all that here and make your own judgement.
Another fall out happened recently, when a more popular UK comedian by the name of Frankie Boyle used the word to describe Cory Monteith , Glee heartthrob who died recently of an accidental drug overdose. (If the name sounds familiar, I blogged about him before his shocking death). Not only is this offensive to the deceased, but again, another comedian stupidly uses a misogynistic term.
When I brought it up, Boyle immediately blocked me and many others who told him it was cruel. I also got a few hate tweets myself from Boyle fans. I was accused of not having a “sense of humor” and that “it’s just a word that can be used for endearment”. I don’t know what parts of the world these people come from, but calling me a word to describe a part of the vagina doesn’t really sound like a term of endearment to me. I should also mention that no one has ever called me that word and meant it in a good way. Also, what struck me with both comedians is that they tried to lessen the impact of the word by saying they used it to describe a male. I’ll let that one sink in a bit.
I’m not quite sure what I am trying to make of this blog. Perhaps I am “confused” or not “hip enough”. Or maybe I’ve taken a word that has been used as a tool of degrading women for centuries way too literal. But you and I know that modern comedy is getting way too out of hand when they using these words to describe nine-year-old girls.