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#43847 - 05/08/05 10:14 PM How to handle jokes?
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
This is a response to Ranger's last post. It's something I have a tough time dealing with, too. When a friend or just someone in the room cracks an altar boy/priest joke, or makes a joke about pedophiles -- usually not funny at all.

They send shivers down me, set my teeth on edge. I just want to sneer, "What do you know?" But usually just bite my tongue.

Has anyone ever "outed" themselves as an SA survivor in a context like this? Or, how do you deal with it?

_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#43848 - 05/08/05 10:23 PM Re: How to handle jokes?
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
i don't have a lot of tolerance for people who make those kinds of jokes -

the person who makes such a joke is someone i would stay away from -

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#43849 - 05/08/05 10:25 PM Re: How to handle jokes?
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
you deserve a better friend -

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#43850 - 05/08/05 10:58 PM Re: How to handle jokes?
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Dear Cant...Yes, those jokes can really get on your nerves. If it is a passing joke, I may not say anything but I don't laugh either. If they ask me if I find it funny, then I talk about SA. If it's a friend or a colleague at work, I generally ay I had CSA as a kid and many other people do as well. We find it not a very funny area to joke about because it is serious!! Generally, they are able to understand. But then, I am not shouting from the housetops I am a survivor of sexual abuse BUT I WILL NOT EVER BACK DOWN FROM BEING EMBARASSED ABOUT IT!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#43851 - 05/08/05 11:21 PM Re: How to handle jokes?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I had more problem dealing with jokes that featured abuse or homosexual content before I disclosed than I do now, it doesn't bother me at all now as long as I believe that the person telling the joke isn't using it as a weapon to belittle me or others, or as a way of revelling in their beliefs that abuse is OK.
That's hard to tell I know.

A lot of humour is used as a defence mechanism, I tell jokes about abuse because for me it's a way of expressing a small part of my many opinions about my situation. I don't use humour to trivialize mine or anyone elses situation, and I can't really explain clearly what my black humour does for me, but in a crude way it does bring certain aspects out into the open. I think it also makes some aspects of a terrible situation more easy to deal with, it breaks it down into small pieces that I can relate to.

The same happens for major public catastrophes such as the tsunami and 9.11, the jokes were circulating within hours. It seems like a first response to something too big to fully understand in one go.

It's not P.C. and it does upset a lot of people without any doubt, but I think jokes do have some role in our understanding of awful situations.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#43852 - 05/09/05 12:07 AM Re: How to handle jokes?
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
I have long had a difficult time with jokes that poke fun of any minority group, any sensitive subject, etc.
If I am in a group of people, I don't laugh. Usually the person will ask me what's wrong.... my reply is flatly, "I find that joke in bad taste and offensive." I don't think that it requires any further explanation on my part and I don't have to divulge any personal information. That's my way of dealing with it.

Sophiesdad

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#43853 - 05/09/05 02:38 AM Re: How to handle jokes?
ShyBear Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/05
Posts: 149
Loc: The American South
I echo what Dave said, but change it a bit : he said "defense mechanism" while I say it's a coping mechanism. I remember the really ghastly jokes that came out when the story broke about Jeffrey Dahmer and I'm convinced that humor was to try to accept & face the existence of hideous evil in our midst.

More recently, there have been lots of jokes circulating about Terri Schiavo - again, folk trying to cope with the idea of being a vegetable on life support for 15 years and the intensity of the legal battles.

So, if I think the joke is for coping, I just ignore it.

However, if I think it's purely to demean a vulnerable person / group, I'm likely to speak up. I live in the Deep South and sometimes still hear queer jokes, told as a pitiful, ignorant stupid-male bonding ritual - those I'm likely to challenge if I feel safe.


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#43854 - 05/09/05 03:35 AM Re: How to handle jokes?
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
I some times walk away and say nothing or tell them I am ofended by there taste. Once two months after I came out about the abuse to my family my brother in law told a joke in front of everyone and I had a total melt down.

I am dealing with things a lot better now 3 years later. Tom

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#43855 - 05/09/05 03:05 PM Re: How to handle jokes?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I think this is actually an extremely important issue. It may be true that a certain degree of levity over an awful situation serves to help us to cope, and perhaps specific instances of joking do little or no harm. But we should bear in mind that jokes about minorities or at-risk sectors of society are all about exploitation, intolerance, and disempowerment. "Nigger" and "fag" jokes convey the message that it is okay to rob someone of their human dignity because of their skin color or sexual orientation, and we have all seen the terrible results of this sort of thing. Where child abuse is concerned I remember hearing a "Michael Jackson" joke in the context of the trouble he was in about ten years ago, the one with the "underwear half off" punchline, and it deeply wounded me that anyone could take amusement in such a situation.

My own approach to this is to deal with it at home and stress to my own children the problems with this sort of joke. One never knows how well this is understood, and I have no doubt that within their peer groups my two are as guilty as the others. But they do know my objections and my reasons for this, and I hope this is something they will take into adult life.

Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#43856 - 05/09/05 04:13 PM Re: How to handle jokes?
wanderer Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 50
Loc: massachusetts
there was a time when i use to love to hear and tell those kinds of jokes, too. now people tell me i'm too sensitive and to "lighten up". they ask me where my sense of humor went. i say "in another direction".

_________________________
"i'm not crazy i'm just a little unwell" (matchbox 20)

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