Thursday, 22 August 2013

Jokey jokes.

I haven't been keeping in touch with the Bradley (Now Chelsea) Manning story as much as I probably should have, but one thing about the resulting media coverage has struck me, and it's not to do with the leaking of documents or the rights and wrongs of Internet surveillance. It's to do with her identification as female (apologies if I've used insensitive terms, I appreciate that terminology is important) and the resulting, inevitable jokes.

Twitter allows users to respond to news instantly, and topical humour is a reason I find it so entertaining. The jokes around Chelsea Manning however make me feel a bit uneasy, especially as a lot of the people making these jokes would be amongst the first to call out any homophobic, sexist or racist 'humour'. It's making me wonder where the lines should be drawn. If Jim Davidson cracked a joke about a black man he'd be taken to task about it, why should it then be ok to make a joke about another section of society?

 Humour *should* have leeway to be offensive, and different people have different boundaries of taste but are we in danger of making trans* people the bottom of the comedian's food chain?

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