Apparently what some folks think funny may in fact be warning signs. Science has found that men who tell sexist jokes are often those with macho attitudes and risky behaviors with regard to the treatment of women.
New research has found a relationship between those who tell sexist jokes and propensity towards domestic abuse. 109 male university students between the ages of 18 and 26 were given questionnaires that showed two series of jokes, one with and one without the type of denigration often found in sexist jokes. The students were then shown a series of scenes with different examples of women being battered, from minor to serious attacks. They were asked how they would react in situations involving these attacks.
Researchers found those who listened to sexist jokes were much more tolerant towards males battering women than those who didn’t like jokes that denigrated women. Researchers believe individuals who enjoy sexist humor show a tendency towards tolerating violence against women.
Some of the measures to assess men’s sexist attitudes included samples like these: “Deep down, feminist women intend women to be more powerful than men”, “Most of the women do not fully appreciate what men do for them” or “There are many women who make sexual insinuations to men and later they reject their advances just to make fun of them.”
So what about a man raping an unconscious woman and considering that funny? Observe and Report’s scene was discussed by film critics and women’s groups, with the critics divided and women’s groups outraged. The publication Wired asked its readers to give their own reactions, since some critics had considered it ugly and painful to watch while others called it “fucking amazing.” Lewis Wallace, the writer of the piece, maintains he is in the “second camp” that believes it quite funny and well done.
A number of women objected to Observe and Report,, underlining how particularly awful the film was for putting a date rape scene in a film as funny. This is the woman’s media group’s response to Seth Rogan, producer of the film Observe and Report:
“Come correct Seth. Put out a statement apologizing for your stupid humor and start working to prevent sexual assault instead of making light of it. Otherwise 52% of the movie-watching population just might stay at home when your movies hit the theaters. “
Sexist jokes, some women say quite strongly, really are not funny, especially when they are about rape.