About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (sort of a bad wordplay on Orwell and machismo) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear language'), the umbrella of several of my literary projects in Dutch. This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Minimal effort #1: Stop laughing

"Lighten up, it's just a joke." Criticism that is often directed at minorities and mostly at women when they are made the butt of a joke. "After all," many men seem to say, "we have no trouble being made fun of, so neither should you." Yet, there is a difference between the exchanges that go on between acquaintances and friends, or the self-deprecating comedy a lot of stand-up comedians employ, and the punchline "women, am I right, guys?". In addition, it's hard to be funny if people make fun of other groups who are a few notches below them on the power totem pole.

But, the bottom line is, some jokes are also simply not funny or stale. As a micro-effort to improve overall conditions, here's a thing you can do: stop laughing at them. You don't need to lecture or moralise, you don't need to get up and storm out of the room. Simply don't laugh. People love being found funny, so they will repeat what works well - and the reverse is true, too.