F(un)EMINIST

“If any movement needs satire, it’s feminism. Humour isn’t about appeasing the patriarchy, but rolling over it in an armoured car”

It’s (Not) Funny

Feminism doesn’t always lend itself to comedy. Many would argue that the driving force of feminism is the anger that we carry so well, and that watering down this anger to make it more palatable to a broader audience by making it funny is ultimately going against the movement because “funny feminism is inspired by the fear that feminism won’t get anywhere unless it is likable”

Our feminism is stifled by the belief that we’ve won some battles, that by making feminism likable; we can make it more visible. Feminism can be funny but, in the end, its anger that changes everything. We’re told we’re valued until we accuse a known man of rape. We’re told we’re free until we’re told that burkhas oppress us. We’re told we’re respected until we’re harassed as we walk down streets.

At its core, feminism should be angry. Angry because we’re still being taken for granted, angry because we’re being sold lies packaged in a capitalist wrapping paper with a pretty bow. To put it bluntly, feminism shouldn’t be afraid to piss a few people off.

Knock, knock. Who is it? A funny feminist.

Whilst other political movements use satire and humour as a crutch, apparently, some of us are hampering the destruction of the patriarchy with our jokes. Comedy and satire have always been a part of politics and vice versa. All because in the right light, comedy and satire can be a kick to the oppressive backside of authorities- who by definition don’t have a funny bone in their body. To be funny is to be witty, to be able to push the bully down all while having a laugh.

In the age of new media, where stand-up comedy and sarcasm are the keys to popular opinion, funny feminism is just adapting to the millennial way of living. Visibility is an important part of any political movement. We want to be heard, we want to be seen. And if throwing a few jokes in our political rants does the trick, why not?

If you think about it, being a funny feminist falls right under the dos of feminism. It isn’t fair to pit comedy against anger, being funny doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t care about basic rights or you don’t have strong political opinions. If anything, using comedy in situations related to politics means that the signs you hold up during a rally will be politically correct and also funny.

Hell hath no fury like a (un)funny feminist

Excuse my sense of humour but somehow making jokes about the seemingly endless era of patriarchy we’re living in just doesn’t seem that funny to me.

For a long time now, feminists have been told that their message won’t reach the masses as long as they’re seen as man-hating and angry. But is that what we really want our descendants to learn about feminism? That it should appease everyone, it should be non-threatening and popular. Feminism that lends itself to pop-culture is destined to fail because in a patriarchy-and you should know we’re living in one-things that are popular are the ones approved by men.

When feminists decide they want to appeal to everyone, to make feminism funnier and more accepted, they’re giving in to the patriarchy because in our society what is popular is whatever is deemed acceptable by men. When we joke about feminism, we make it okay for others to joke about feminism. And maybe your need for feminism might not be that serious, there might be someone in a distant country who doesn’t need feminism to be funny but to be angry. Angry on their behalf.

Hurts like hell with a funny feminist

To think of feminist who is funny as not truly political is to once again hold women to different standards than men. Just because our political rants start with a joke doesn’t mean you take it as a joke.

Sometimes, you need to use sarcasm and humour to pierce through the thick skin of people who aren’t feminists. Anger gives them an option to blame your political rants on your menstrual cycle or worse that you’re only a feminist so that women like you. Wherever there is objective truth, there is satire.

We cloak our vitriol in humour” People are often funny because they are angry, satire and comedy amplify and funnels our anger. Humour is powerful and insightful. While it may not help us topple over governments, it is a heavily armoured vehicle. Humour is anti-establishment. Funny feminists shouldn’t be considered as people-pleasers. After all, it is comedy that offends most people.

Might as well have a laugh on our way towards the matriarchal utopia.

“Can feminists be funny?”

One of those questions that have an obvious answer, but still work reliably well as click-baits. Can feminists be funny? Can they take a joke? Is Delhi hot in summers? Are you spending too much time on your phone? Do America’s gun laws need reforming? Does India need to broaden its horizons?

Yes, obviously.

While I agree that movements need to be radical and challenge the society, there is a conflation of a few issues here; the feeling that some feminists are “appeasing” men or the patriarchy by trying to be liked, that feminists who are funny are not being truly political.

Feminists can be funny, they can be angry. But in the end, we’re all feminists, and we all want the same thing. Equality doesn’t mean that men and women will be the same; it just means that the opportunities they get will not depend on whether they were born male or female

Feminism has layers, just like everything in life; it isn’t exactly black and white. The first few layers of feminism are funny, they’re jokes and satire which cloaks the core of feminism; which is anger. Just because someone jokes about feminism doesn’t mean it is a joke.
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