Making fun of fat and disabled people

Home Forums Disabilities/Challenges Making fun of fat and disabled people

This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Ginzo 5 years ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #723

    Theresa
    Member

    People often talk about skinny people and it is considered OK, but as soon as you make a comment about someone who is fat, you are being ‘mean.’ Why is that? Also, when you make jokes about ‘capable’ people, it is the most funny thing in the world, but as soon as you make a joke about someone who is disabled, you are again being ‘mean.’ I crack jokes about everyone, so why should I not make jokes about these people? That would mean I was making an exception for them, and they have explicitly stated that they want to be treated like everyone else.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Theresa, Gender : F, City : Columbus, State : GA Country : United States, 
    #42140

    Steve27625
    Participant

    There is a theory that what humans laugh at always involves some real or perceived pain to someone or something. Slapstick comedy is obvious, but the really funny comedians can make us laugh at ourselves, themselves or others. Where we feel safest is when the person in pain is truly imaginary, such as Bill Cosby’s Fat Albert. However, lately poking fun of real people or real groups has lost most of its taboo as well. If the target of humor is something about you that you are sensitive about, it’s not funny, at least to yourself. You have a right to crack jokes about whomever you please, and the rest of the world has a right to think you are a jerk. By the way, have you heard the one about the woman from Georgia…

    User Detail :  

    Name : Steve27625, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 44, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Wasting Time in my Cubicle Office, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #27118

    Linda
    Member

    My dad wondered this same thing about team mascots. He says he doesn’t mind when people use the Vikings even though he is Norwegian, so why should Native Americans mind having the Braves or Redskins as mascots? It is a matter of power and history. He has never been treated badly because he is a ‘Viking.’ He has never been denied a job or been thought less of in any real way because of the category he is in. In many ways I think people are kinder or more likely to hire a ‘viking.’ Northern Europeans, including vikings, enjoy some very real privleges in the United States. On the other hand, Native Americans have been massacred and ridiculed and had their children taken away because of their race. And people make fun of this race in a serious way. Think of the term ‘Indian giver.’ If you or your ancestors have been injured by a category, an extra joke at your expense can bring up layers of pain and reminders of being the despised outsider. The same is true of fat and thin people. Some people have a strong hatred for fat people, and people are denied promotions because of their weight (even when the job requirements do not require a thin or fit person). Jokes about fat people ‘sting’ in a way that jokes about skinny people do not. Jokes about fat people reinforce that little bit of truth some people may believe about overweight people. So a joke about Indians has a very different meaning than a joke about Vikings. And a joke about fat people has a very different meaning and consequence than a joke about thin people. Even when jokes about race, size, disability or gender are very funny, I work hard at stopping them, as they reinforce some painful and damaging stereotypes that we would all be better without.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Linda, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Lutheran, Age : 44, City : Portland, State : OR Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #37096

    N.J. Smith
    Participant

    People in powerful positions, celebrities and thin people are admired, generally speaking. We want to be like them, have power or fame or (in U.S. culture) look thin. We would not like to be disabled or overweight. So, jokes about the former don’t hurt as much, while jokes about the latter are considered mean. Making fun of people is rude. If you want to amuse people with your wit, try using situations as your subjects instead of people.

    User Detail :  

    Name : N.J. Smith, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 46, City : Akron, State : OH Country : United States, 
    #42488

    Mark Ginzo
    Member

    I used to be a stand-up comedian and the general rule to be funny is that you don’t make fun of fat people, black people, women or poor people unless you are fat, black, a woman or poor. It is just a question of what is funny. There was a cartoonist named Callahan who regularly made fun of the handicapped. He believed it didn’t matter who you are – a joke is a joke. But, then again, Callahan was a quadriplegic.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  Mark Ginzo.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by  admin.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Mark Ginzo, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Age : 36, City : Miami, State : FL Country : United States, Occupation : finance, Education level : Technical School, Social class : Middle class, 
    #17362

    siouxZQ27876
    Participant

    You see, sweetheart … when you make fun of people, it hurts them. It is okay to tell jokes about things and situations and lots of stuff but when you hurt people, it is not very nice. It doesn’t matter whether they are black or white, thin or fat, tall or short, bald or hairy, pretty or ugly, male or female. Nor does it matter if your joke is about Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or Taoism; France, Russia, China, Spain, Armenia, Namibia or Croatia. You should not tell jokes that hurt. PERIOD. Understand, sweetie? Now, when you are three, I will remind you again.

    User Detail :  

    Name : siouxZQ27876, City : Merrickville, State : NA Country : Canada, 
    #26562

    Natalie
    Participant

    I frequently use humour to ease discomfort of others regarding my disability and weight. I do not have a problem with people joking about my disabilities. HOWEVER, I am the first to bark when I feel someone is being cruel. The other day, a woman commented on another woman being ‘skinny’. In a crowded room she said ‘Look at her!’ She’s so SKINNY!!!’ I could tell that this very shy and reserved woman was uncomfortable so I responded ‘That wasn’t very nice. That is the same thing as being called fat.’ To which the ignoramus replied ‘Oh, but I would LOVE to be that skinny…but only with bigger boobs’ :S Some people aren’t intentionally mean…just ignorant of other peoples feelings.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Natalie, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Deist, Age : 32, City : Toronto, State : NA Country : Canada, Education level : Less than High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, 
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.