In light of the discussion raised by a thread over in the breakroom, "Southerners will understand" (http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...8&page=1&pp=10
), a few thoughts have been whirling around in my mind & I thought that I'd share them with the group & see what others think about the topic.
I come from a very diverse family. We have family members who are Puerto Rican, Italian, Southern, Jewish, Catholic, Vietnamese, Protestant, Hawaiian, Western European, and Mexican. We have a number of Nurses and Rednecks in the mix as well. We all have a warped sense of humor. However, when I am with any of my cousins (or aunts & uncles for that mater), we don't tell jokes about different groups, only about ourselves.
So I wonder, is it ever okay to tell a joke about a group of which you are not a member? And I mean it, I AM wondering about this. I'm not attempting to bash anyone. This has just been a question of mine from time to time & since the previous post, well, I'm asking. Especially in the light of everyone trying to be politically correct. What's the difference between being thoughtful/considerate versus going overboard on being politically correct?
What do YOU think?
Dec 21, '04
My own experience with this:
I grew up hearing a LOT of West Virginia jokes. Granted there are some on this planet that think they are funny, but try to hear them for 20 years, knowing that the jokes are based on stereotypes and insults, and it gets old really fast. Nor would i even consider telling these jokes myself, with the mentality that 'hey i'm from there, so that makes it ok'. No it doesn't. I don't want to hear (read) that crap, and that includes from myself.
So, no i don't like jokes about various groups, and if the title (or the first few sentences indicate what the joke is about) indicates such, i skip it.
Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Dec 21, '04
Dec 21, '04
We all have varying degrees of what is acceptable to us. What is acceptable in your family may not be acceptable outside your family by others and someone might be offended. Many years ago a respiratory therapist and a nurse got fired for a racial joke, when a secretary was offended. Zero tolerance, you're fired. My gut reaction was "it's a joke, they meant no harm, and as far as jokes go it was mild". But I had to step out of the box and consider if I were African American growing up in this society would I be offended by two European Americans joking about blacks?
I realize it's tiresome in this day of being pc, tiptoing around what is pc or not pc. And it sometimes seems to be going overhand when phrases like "Happy Chriskwannaka" are used. As Jnette said, if we can't poke fun at our varying cultures, what's left to joke about? Just be sensitive and be prepared to respectfully apologize saying you really meant no harm.
I disagree with Jnette that jokes are o.k. if no harm was intended. The uglist of racial or homophobic jokes can be meant for humor only and cause harm. I do however consider the source and the intent before deciding if it's something I want to engage in or let roll off my shoulders, or even laugh at.
I make it my policy never to joke at someone elses expense. Aren't we really trying to elevate our own status by joking about others?
Last edit by Tweety on Dec 21, '04