Few are strangers to the edgy stand-up male comedian who always has that one, adult-only bit, that subjects the audience to a nervous giggle or two.
Sex is often a comedian’s go to topic when it comes to getting a few good laughs, but when is a joke too inappropriate for laughter?
Stand-up comedian Artie Lange recently tweeted about his sexual attraction to ESPN sports news anchor Cari Champion. He talked about having slave fantasies for Champion where he was Thomas Jefferson and Champion, his slave.
Receiving backlash from social media, getting fired from his midnight show on Comedy Central, and banned from ESPN, Lange defended himself saying he would not apologize to the “awful PC groups ruining the country” but if Champion was offended, he would apologize to her.
Lange’s entitlement was not surprising. He had a slew of supporters who argued “it was a joke” and, “it wasn’t racist or misogynist, he was rightfully showing his desire for the woman.”
These people (mostly men) have made Lange’s cruel and sexist remarks acceptable. Men often objectify women, no matter how successful she is, saying she is always a possession of a man.
Misogyny seems to be a societal norm now, so many people don’t see the problem with it, or even how some comments are misogynistic.
The problem with misogyny is not the issue of hurting women’s feelings. Feminism is not a pride thing. The problem with misogyny is that is allows for the exploitation of women and the difference in class.
When men make remarks like Lange’s and get away with the remarks, the behavior opens the door to further the degradation of women. This nurtures the idea that women are less than men.
It seems to rationalize that women should get paid less. It seems to say women don’t work as hard as men. It reinforces that women are frail, fragile beings and should be protected, not allowed to fight their own battles. Women are possessions.
Champion was simply a tool used to express a desire, rather than a human being with feelings. Champion was simply a slave to the sexual thoughts of a comic.
The women’s rights movement may have allowed women to work and claim equal rights, but it has not brought us equality. We still live in a world where men aren’t equal to us, they’re greater than us.
And that’s no joke.