Battling Sexism with Humor?

In class on Monday evening, the discussion of discrimination and harassment focused primarily on race. One colleague did briefly bring up sexism, speaking about how she is often complimented on her appearance and dress, while males in her lab are complimented on their performance. While I have no answer for overcoming racism, sexism, ageism, etc. after Tim Wise’s presentation on 11/2/15 I’ve been thinking about the role of humor in bringing attention – and possibly change – to these issues.

The first example I have seen recently is a movement called #CoverTheAthlete. It’s purpose is to get media outlets to treat female athletes in a manner similar to their male counterparts, rather than focusing on their looks and love life. To get their point across, the group asked male athletes questions which are commonly posed to female athletes. Watch for yourself!

The second example is a parody account on Twitter called @manwhohasitall: “Top tips for men juggling a successful career and fatherhood.” This account turns advice given to women (sometimes exaggerated) around to be directed at men in order to make the point for how ridiculous it seems. It also re-frames common quotes about women in the workplace to be about men.

For instance:



What do you think – Will humor help, hurt, or do nothing to help decrease various -icisms?




A PhD Student at Virginia Tech. This blog was created as a class requirement for Contemporary Pedagogy - Spring 2013. 

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