Opinion: You really think that joke is funny?

The year is 2014. We have a black president, brought troops home from Afghanistan, witnessed a marriage between a royal prince and a commoner. We have done some really amazing things as a human race. And yet, some people still find degrading women funny.

I know some of you must already be thinking that I am an “angry feminazi” and that I need to “calm down,” but I am sure that other girls will definitely agree with me when I say that I am sick of just brushing off the jokes or being expected to laugh at degrading things said about me that are somehow still socially acceptable. It is time to stop being told to “calm down” and “just take the joke.”

I cannot tell you the number of things I hear throughout the day that make women seem weak and lesser than men. It makes me very angry when I hear teachers say things like, “We can just make logical assumptions about this instead of figuring it out completely. That will be easy for the boys, but good luck girls,” or “Let me just point out that when I tossed that ruler at (insert boy’s name) he caught it, but (insert girl’s name) couldn’t catch a ruler when I chucked it at her.”

There are countless stereotypes about women not being as good as men, or weaker, or less intelligent. People brush off these stereotypes and laugh at them.

Jokes about a woman’s place being in the kitchen are not funny. That would be as ridiculous as saying a man’s “place” is in the garage. A woman’s “place” is wherever she wants to be.

Something that many people do not understand is that men’s expectations should not drive what a woman chooses to do with her body and her life. No one (women or men) should have any assumption or expectation about what a woman should and should not do with herself. Women should be able to make their own choices without other people’s opinions being shoved down their throats.

Jokes about women not being able to drive are not funny. Being good at driving has nothing to do with a person’s gender. I will never understand why jokes about women’s ability to drive is funny.

Jokes about women being less smart than men are not funny. Some of the most intelligent and inspiring people in history are women. Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, Anne Frank, Jane Addams, Sacagawea, Hillary Clinton, Mother Theresa, Jane Austen, and Eleanor Roosevelt are only a few of the amazing women who have shaped history in politics, humanitarianism, culture, and literature. So, no, women are not less intelligent than men.

Sometimes people make sexist jokes without realizing it. Next time you are thinking of making a joke or remark that downgrades women in even the slightest way, stop and think. What if the roles were switched? What if making sexist jokes about men were the social norm? Would it be socially acceptable then? The answer is a definite no.

Women are humans, just like men. It is not funny when women get degraded as weak and stupid. The next time you hear a sexist joke, I encourage you to stand up and call the sexist person out. It is not okay to offend 50% of the population simply to make people laugh.

Do not forget that a woman went through hours of pain to bring you into this world. There are a million and one things to make jokes about; degrading half the population is not one of them. At the end of the day, making offensive jokes says more about the speaker than it does about the victim.