Re: On Humour

Date: 2009-07-21 07:16 am (UTC)
kathmandu: Close-up of pussywillow catkins. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kathmandu
"It occurs to me that, read quite seriously and literally the meaning of the reading would change completely--for example there isn't anything funny about ripping peoples throats out or breaking someones arm at a party."

This bit of the discussion made me think of Regina Barreca's book on women's humor, where she says: "The writer Kate Clinton has come up with a compact word for feminist humorists---'fumerists'---because it captures the idea of being funny and wanting to burn the house down all at once. Feminist humor, according to Clinton, 'is about making light in this land of reversals, where we are told as we are laughing, tears streaming down our faces, that we have no sense of humor.'" Inventing a word for it suggests this has come up before in feminist humor.

They say sometimes you have to laugh or cry, and Barreca suggests that laughing has more of an assertive element. Barreca devoted a lot of the book to the idea that, while a lot of masculine humor focuses on making fun of the weak and outcast, women's humor tends to poke fun at the powerful, as a form of self-defense or a way to regain perspective.
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