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Submitted on
November 11, 2011


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Where to draw the line?

Journal Entry: Fri Nov 11, 2011, 2:42 AM

Some what controversial, so beware ...and something that has been on my mind for a while... I actually want to talk about two things that are quite interlinked.

What is okay to joke about? Are there things you see as off limits? do you believe joking about something ' e.g death, murder, drugs, rape, homosexuality, gender,  religion, historical events etc' is good or bad?

Do you believe jokes supply relief, help soften attached stigmas and make issue easier to talk about? or do you believe they minimize the issue and do more damage than good? 'e.g referring a girl as a 'bitch', simply because she is a girl, implying someone getting beaten at something is getting 'gang raped', using the word 'gay' to describe unpleasantness or someone being an idiot/lame.

I myself joke about everything, there is little I won't joke about but I am sensitive to whom I tell these jokes too, usually close friends or people I know won't be offended by them. (obviously there are some topics I consider worse and others I consider minor and would joke about in public.)

How do you feel about it? should people be more sensitive/politically correct, or should people toughen up and stop taking everything so seriously?

That brings me to another topic? No matter what you do/say, there will always be someone somewhere who will be offended...this is just a fact of life. So tell me what is the strangest thing that someone has become offended by? whether you have witnessed it or have heard about it from someone else?

I remember someone getting offended by a conversation me and my friends where having ( can't quite remember what it was about? but I think it was just talking about stuff on the weekend and fanfiction or something? not sure), and being promptly and quite heatedly interrupted by a girl telling us" to stop talking about complete shit, you guys always talk about complete shit"? Just note, this was a personal conversation between me and a bunch of friend not involving this person at all...who later went on to talk to her group of friends about having orgasms while giving birth and about how sexually arousing Edward Cullen is... ( I am not making this up I promise!) ...:iconfacepalmplz:....

Asides from that, someone got offended at me to the point of it becoming physically violent because I told them "horse meat is actually edible"

(Speaking of political correctness...NZ is awful when it comes to this! I heard while I was back in school that the nursery rhyme 'bah bah black sheep' in primary schools and kindergartens was banned and now they have to say 'bah bah rainbow sheep' because the other version apparently promotes racism?... Also a garbage man is referred to as a sanitation engineer and these are only the examples I can pull of the top of my head at the moment. (please share if you know of any from your area/country)

If you have opinions on either/both of these matters feel free to share them.

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Navrasend Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Student Photographer
Well, of course you are right, you never know who might be offended with anything) But it doesn't mean people should not joke. Our life would be very boring without jokes.

But still I believe there are some of the topics, you counted them yourself, that possibly can offend many people. Maybe, it would be better then, not to make this themes as a subject of jokes.

About political correctness, well, I think that sometimes it is really too much.)) When it becomes, absurd already, maybe that's the line) We can't change the history, songs, etc))

Anyway, the nicest position of me is not to be offended with anything and take it easy)
Hedgehogian Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't like death jokes. They are offensive, but it's OK to slip. Some girl I used to be friends with told a Jew/Death Camp/dead baby joke everytime she saw me. It's rude. I don't like rape jokes either.

Other than that I tell pretty much any joke e.e;
but I've had a situation kind of like yours!
Except me and my guy friend were talking about religion, and she (girl from above) stomps over and yells at us because she doesn't want to hear what we're talking about...then she goes on to talk about the porn she watched that night and penises...
jadeshadow Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
It's a pretty fuzzy line. Unfortunately someone's bound to get offended (even if they're just being completely irrational about it). I stay away from "rape" jokes, because rape isn't at all funny. Other than that, pretty much everything is fair game.
M-G-Studio Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
You have to be careful about the jokes you say to people you may not know so well or who don't know you so well. We all have a different style of joking. See my joking style is dry sarcastic so I tend to make fun of people without actually meaning what I say.. some VERY close people like my siblings get that and they laugh when I say (what would be considered as being offensive) with a straight face cause they know I'm joking but people outside that circle don't understand my joking style and they find me offensive.

The thing is, you never know what people have been through, so by not getting to know someone very well, you may hurt them by joking about something that triggers a painful or sad memory. So it's not really about what you say, it's about who you say it to and what kind of views they have. You have to really know someone on a personal level to joke about something big.. cause joking about rape to a rape victim isn't a funny thing.
zookimer Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
(forgive me, this may get long.)
For most things i'm pretty lenient - For crying out loud, my friends and I make racist jokes about each other! Our Hispanic friend is "mexican buddy," Our well-endowed half-black leader is "Chocolate Milkshake" and I myself, having not much of a background in that area besides a little Cherokee about six generations back, am simply "White Trash," Just to name a few. We all make some pretty bad jokes, most of them would have other people shaking their heads in disgust, but there are lines we dont cross, and it's all in good fun.
Everyone in my high school makes some pretty bad jokes once in a while, most of us cuss at least once in a day and most of the time it's calling each other "bitch" no matter the gender, and once upon a time someone even gave - better sit down for this one! - decent reasons to federally legalize marijuana.
And while I can stand for all this, it still pisses me off when people start in on "faggot." That's just too far.
For Godess' sake, using "gay" for something you dont like is stupid - Being gay isnt a bad thing, and using the word in such a way only says to me that you arent confident in your heterosexuality to appreciate whatever it is. Calling someone "faggot" isn't funny - It's just rude and it crosses that line that I mentioned earlier. It is probably one of the most derogatory terms for a person i can think of, right up there with "nigger" and such.
....Tirade over. Sorry for adding one more to the stack piled up in your inbox.
W0lfxer0 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've actually been threatened by someone for telling dead baby jokes. There's not too many lines I won't cross.
13th-ZodiaK Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ba ba gay sheep...

^Nothing is sacred... :iconeyebrowplz:

I joke a lot and about pretty much everything, since nothing is sacred. It helps me "deal" with reality. I say "deal" because my "dealing" with reality is by ignoring reality and by living life in denial of all things cruel and unfair. When confronted with them, I will react, usually negatively (sadness, guilt, anger, fear) but I try to ignore them, mostly. And even though I say nothing is sacred, this isn't exactly true. As a kid, I did a lot of embarrassing stuff, and to this day my family still jokes about it, usually just by saying the punchline: example, "I demand a piece of chocolate!" and "I vont to suck yor blod...." After a few years, I got used to it, and the only joke they continued using was the chocolate one (long story). But the vampire joke, with the blood, I have never gotten over. The reason for this is because when I was eight, I had the most terrifying dream of my life, and I have never had a worse night than that one. I dreamt I was being chased by Dracula and he was threatening me with terrible things, things a relatively sheltered eight-year-old girl would never have encountered, using strange words I'd never heard before. Despite these new words, I clearly understood his meaning. When I woke up, I went to my mom and told her about it, and I was going crazy trying to remember what he'd said. In the end I gave up and said "He said 'I vont to suck yor blod.' ", which made my mom laugh. The next day, she told us all about it at breakfast and it became the new joke. At first I was mad, as usual, and eventually I got over it. But then, when I grew older, I suddenly remembered what it was he'd been saying, which was giving me gruesome details on how he was going to kill me and eat me and drink my blood, but what he kept repeating over and over was that strange new word: "rape". He kept repeating that he was going to rape me, and since then I've become very sensitive to that. So that and Jesus are the only "sacred" things.

Other dangerously controversial conversation topics include Justin Bieber and Twilight.

Since nothing is sacred, I often joke about things being gay if there are rainbows involved. This is not because I'm anti-homo, it's because I think it's funny.
CookieMonkeyPoney Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I can make light out of anything, but I can/can not tolerate the "N" word.
GRANTdotcom Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
Honestly, some people don't even know what they're talking about when they make jokes about being 'raped' by thier friends when hugged or stuff like that. Does that make it bad? Depends on the audience. They're just friends having a good laugh- go for it, joke about it, it doesn't hurt you. If there's someone genuinely offended- apologize, explain yourself and move on. What they do after that is their business. If you take it too far, usually someone has to tell you because I sometimes don't realize the things I say until someone comments.
sietai Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've written papers about this.
I believe that the line exist where you aren't actually hurting anyone.
as long as nobody is personally targeted, the joke is usually ok.
there are exceptions, but as the model goes:
-If I make fun of a group of people in a way that it's obvious I'm joking, nobody should be offended.
-If I make fun of a group of people in a way that it's obvious I'm joking and somebody decides to take offense [ESPECIALLY if they do not belong to that group of people!] the person being offended is often causing more disgruntle than the person who made the joke.
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