I greatly enjoy many forms of humor, including some “off-color” jokes. However, I’m generally offended by morbid or disparaging jokes. One does not need to be a psychologist (although I am), to know that humor often disguises “negative” feelings and attitudes, especially hostility and/or harsh judgments, yet sometimes even tender feelings, such as fear or hurt. In psychological lingo, such attempts at humor, including sarcasm, can represent a common form of passive-aggressiveness.
Even though I agree that learning to laugh at oneself can provide perspective and humility, I don’t advocate becoming a “good sport” as a recipient of derogatory humor. Disparaging humor that stereotypes any group disturbs and often angers me.
I selected ten examples of jokes that I regard as “male-bashing” from an internet site, who’s identity I will keep anonymous. The order in which I’m listing these jokes is random or arbitrary. (Note: I was repeatedly unable to undo the “happy face” that somehow replaced #8 below.)
1) Behind every successful man there is a surprised woman.
2) My mom said the only reason men are alive is for lawn care and vehicle maintenance.
3) Women now have choices. Men have the same choice we’ve always had: work or prison.
4) Give a man a free hand and he’ll run it all over you.
5) Men who don’t understand women fall into two groups: bachelors and husbands.
6) A gentleman is simply a patient liar.
7) All modern men are descended from worm-like creatures, but it shows more on some people.
8) There are two things that will be believed of any man whatsoever, and one of them is that he has taken to drink.
9) 80% of married men cheat in America; the rest cheat in Europe.
10) Women don’t make fools of men; most of them are the “do-it-yourself” types.
I wouldn’t fault you for initially chuckling at some, or even many of these jokes. However, if you truly find any of them to be very amusing, I’d ask you to consider your underlying feelings and attitudes.