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Conditions for an Anti-Oppression Joke (via Bitch)
May 15, 2010, 1:37 am
Filed under: comedy | Tags: , , , , , ,

Rachel McCarthy James (RJM) over at the Bitch blog TelevIsm has a great post up on how comedy can expose and work against oppression. Here’s a brief cut from her introduction:

Conditions for an Anti-Oppression Joke

IF a character on a television reflects or reinforces the kyriarchy through problematic/loaded language or actions.

AND the action/language is critiqued or rebutted by another character

AND said rebuttal/critique is framed as reasonable and valid

THEN the joke constitutes critique of kyriarchy in society.

These are, of course, not the only kind of jokes that can be critical of the kyriarchy. This applies to jokes on shows like The Office that are not rhetorically anti-oppression the way that shows like, say, Treme or The Boondocks are.

She then moves to an analysis of a scene from The Office to demonstrate how this can work. Really nicely broken down and useful criteria for thinking about comedy and oppression. Dig.

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