Sunday, February 15, 2009

Unfunny Cartoons



These are supposed to be funny. The humour was completely lost on me... I mean, what on earth are they trying to say??

21 comments:

Ina Mi Gutumaa said...

I find them funny...in context.

I believe that women and men are equal- in everything that is important. As a matter of fact if it was up to me, gender roles wouldn't exist, for I would scrap the idea of gender all together.

These comics have to be viewed in context through Ruthibelle.

History is a record of man's exploits, and man's accomplishments. Women were marginalized...denied an education...and the works, not because they never had the capacity to work on par with men (as we well know), but because society was ignorant (still is to a large extent).

Despite the huge leaps we have made towards gender equality, we still have very far to go. We live in patriarchal societies where a woman's primary roles is still that of caregiver...and that won't change until we break down the constructs of marriage, and heterosexuality, and the bio- determinist role of procreation for the continuation of species.

I'm saying a lot here...but all I mean is...

it's not as easy as: all humans are equal...so women should not be portrayed in a subordinate/sexualized role because it serves to entrench sexism.

OR

OMG, this islike sooo funny.

The situation is more complex than we'd like to acknowledge...partly because it hurts to concede that we live in societies where people can't see past their own privileges (eg being male) or prejudices that they inherited from past generations.

Still, I don't think the image of women's evolution is far off the mark, in term of the struggle many women in the world face, in overcoming centuries old patriarchy.

I hope this made some sense...I tend to get more incoherent as I go on, so I'll stop. hehe

Rethabile said...

What's funny about the first one is that someone actually thought that up, that unusual and surreal image.

The second one is your usual run of the mill sexism, nothing to make one wonder about why someone dreamed it up, where, why. Nothing, really.

Ina Mi Gutumaa said...

Sexism yes, but I feel it reflects the reality of many women all over the world...

sad but true.

This morning I listened to a woman on Ragashanti's program saying that if her gud-op gud-op man stap sen aan di moni, shi uda tap kuk lang taim...and also, that im uda fain im kluoz dem likl bliich out nex taim shi wash....
sad but true...

My sensibilities are offended that there are still people who think like this, but at the same time, I think we are jumping way ahead of time when we declare that such images shouldn't be made in the first place.

What you se?

Stunner said...

Obviously the persons who did these don't think much of women.

Ina Mi Gutumaa said...

True.

But I am very forgiving...

Will said...

well here's the deal... the humour in these is that they're actually critiquing the treatment that many women receive today...

the artist isn't necessarily saying that women SHOULD clean the spaceship or that they have evolved on all fours since the dawn of time...

i find them funny because they're exploding the stereotype of women as cleaners - taking it to an extreme which shouldn't be taken seriously...

so yeah... they're funny for me...

Ruthibelle said...

I found these cartoons by pure accident one day when I was looking for a cartoon for one of my previous blog posts- I think it was this one.

I looked hard, and I couldn't see the joke. It just was NOT funny to me to see the evolution of man... from primal to erect, yada ya... and the evolution of women: on all fours, on all fours, on all fours... nah-aw!!

I plan to bring them to one of my gender courses and see what reactions they evoke. Hopefully, the material will be such that I can do a substantial post on it!

Have to admit that I have gotten new perspective on these cartons from your comments- STILL hate em and find them very very unfunny... but if they allow people to stop and think about gender roles and how steeped in our culture they are, then I guess--- I hate to say it--- but maybe, just a miniscule and very minute maybe- they might serve a useful purpose.

Ooutside of that, I find them disturbing, degrading and derogatory...

Ruthibelle said...

And JAved, yes I agree... do away with gender roles and sterotypes completely. Allow people to be without having to worry about measuring up to standards set by some far-removed autocrat or elitist... I agree wholeheartedly.

It would eliminate the burden of being which life has become for many persons who don't fall within the clear lines of demarcation!

Ina Mi Gutumaa said...

It wont be very useful to take the cartoons to your Gender class. I could tell you right now that the opinions on it wont be too different from yours...because, in the context of that class, clearly the literal message of these cartoons is outrageous.

But as I said before...they speak volumes to the reality that we live in...and if nothing else, they highlight the huge hurdles of ignorance which must be overcome, if we are ever to live in a pluralistic society founded on respect for all human beings, regardless of their biological sex (which I believe to be inconsequential).

David Tellez said...

I smirked. Okay, I laughed. But I think that's because I'm a laid-back, go with the flow, kinda guy. I agree with Will, that the humor is found in the extreme measures the artists took, in accordance to how history is so male-biased.

But then again, not everyone sees things the same, so not everyone will laugh the same. An example? British humor.

Ruthibelle said...

LOL, David. Funny funny example. And I totally get your point (which in no way negates mine, cause I still HATE those cartoons). Javed, I get what you're saying too, but my gender class is a lot more open-minded than you might think. They see beyond the obvious, and they don't all get into an outrage over gender disparities... they're a crazy bunch I tell yah!

Abeni said...

hmmm..Ruthie, In ami gutamaa is giving me food for thought.

Ruthibelle said...

Yep. He IS bright, isnt he? THat's the product of my very own parish (okay, maybe not exactly) but definitely proud to call that one friend.. he's a real sparky!

Ina Mi Gutumaa said...

Ruthibelle, don't mek mi tell yu notn. If not St. Mary, den is where mi kom fram?

What yu mean by not really? :D

Believer said...

True I laughed at first, but when I took a closer look, it shares the message that women are only good for cleaning that’s demeaning.

Long said...

I agree with Javed -

The cartoons are funny in a snide, sarcastic kind of way. They are a social commentary, not a way of representing what should be true, but represents - in the most reductionist way possible - what is generally true about the division of labour in modern, industrialized societies.

In a broad overgeneralizing way, the cartoons speak to the ways in which the writing of mainstream history and the organization of societies has simply not produced the radical change for women as it has for men, in relation to the work they do.

At the end of the day, although there are some women upright and walking the majority, most women, especially if they are women of color and immigrant women in the global north, or rural and working class women in big cities whether in Kingston or Caracas, are still doing the crappy, cleaning and care work that neither men nor educated upright women want to do.

Among those who got upright and even got to fly to the moon, the definition of their jobs, and the pay that they receive, still defines them as lesser than men; in that scenario, one wouldn't be entirely surprised if the rocket scientist woman also has to clean the damn rocket she's trained to fly; nor would one be surprised if the male-dominated astronaut program made sure they hired a cleaning lady to accompany the astronaut men who were too busy doing the "important work" to attend to removing debris from the rocket's surface.

If one understands these cartoons as a commentary on the structural organization of societies and labour, which I think they were meant to be, then a smirk is in order.

If your gender studies class doesn't get the race and class story that's in the cartoons, then they are working on a very superficial analysis of how gender matters and why. I say that as someone who knows far more about this stuff than I often let on.

Ruthibelle said...

I STILL hate em!! But I get your very wonderfully and eloquently enunciated point, Long :)

Funny. I've been taking a closer look at my Gender courses lately, and wondering if they are really encouraging critical thought on the issues- whatever they may be and wherever they arise- OR critical thought about just one point of view on the issues...

Cause what an indictment on me if I leave UWI thinking I have a good grasp of an issue when what I really have is superficial, surface knowledge... I dont think I could lay full blame for that at UWI's feet... as much as I'd probably want to!

Long said...

I mean, they are kind of passe now; as I noted, things are a bit more complicated now than when these were produced, probably back at the end of the 1980s. I am not a good one to talk to about UWI, that place is a freaking plantation, as far as I am concerned. I do know that you should feel like you only know the tip of the iceberg and really want to know and find out MORE once you leave those classes. If you are feeling satiated already, then you were definitely shortchanged somewhere. But, that's my view of the education process ie. that there are always more questions to ask and to pursue answers to. Alright. Good night. Bed is calling.

ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID said...

Well said Inna Mi Gutumma and Longbench!!!

Red Flashlight said...

B O G G L E

Anonymous said...

Just you are boring...Thats all to it...You look at thing too serious,like this cartoon will ruin women rights.
As about cow and chicken it's supose to have surreal humour,animation is a peace of art and they dont have to brainwash kid's to learn.We have the righ to think our self...So stop whining and faking to be all grown up.