Humour & Offense

It is really down to the type of person.

There is a big problem within society these days in which people seem to believe that humour and offensiveness are anything but subjective. If someone is offended by a joke, then they are automatically right in their own eyes. This is just not the case and it is getting to the point where people are getting oversensitive to anything and everything. In this article, I will be talking about my views on humour and offense.

First of all, to claim something as not funny at all would be absolutely ridiculous. If you don't think a joke is funny then that is subject to your opinion and that is fine, but it does not mean that it is not funny for someone else. I have seen many people on social media and in person who have criticized someone for a joke that they deem is "offensive." Just because you think a joke is offensive doesn't mean that it is inherently offensive. Even if the joke does offend you it doesn't mean that it should not have been told because like I said at the start, humour and offensiveness is subjective. Telling jokes is a form of free speech like I have made clear in my article "Free Speech In 2018," so if you are trying to bash someone for making a humorous remark that you don't find funny then you are denying them the right of free speech. 

I have sometimes seen people who don't agree with jokes told dish out some forms of hate towards the joke teller. This, in my opinion, is completely hypocritical of the person and makes their entire "argument" on why the joke is bad collapse. If you deem a joke offensive and then proceed to try and offend the person who said it, then you are doing the same thing that you are against. Except one's a joke and one isn't. Which brings me onto my next point. OFFENSIVE JOKES ARE NOT HATE SPEECH. I have seen many people misuse the accusation of hate speech to describe jokes they deem offensive so I'll explain the difference here using the definitions of each word below.

Definition of Hate Speech:
Hate speech is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender.
Definition of a Joke:
A thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, especially a story with a funny punchline.

Hate speech is speech with an intent to spread genuine hate to a particular group whereas a joke is speech with intent to be comedic. You may argue the point that some jokes told that are quite controversial aren't funny and are just plain hate. However as we have said, humour is subjective so something you don't find funny may be funny for someone else. This is best shown with comedians who put on shows. I personally don't find the likes of Russell Howard funny. This does not mean he isn't funny for other people, but rather his type of humour doesn't appeal to me. Whereas I am a big fan of Frankie Boyle who tells very controversial jokes, this is my preferred type of humour and other people may think that his jokes are too offensive. This is fine because I can see why people would hear these jokes and not condone them but it doesn't mean that they are not funny.

There has recently been heavy controversy with a group of people who have been suspended from a university for telling jokes about rape. I personally didn't find the jokes funny. I wasn't offended or anything but they just simply didn't make me laugh. However, many people were bashing the group for saying how disgusting they are for making such jokes and that they shouldn't be allowed to joke about things like that. As I said previously, many comedians joke about topics like this and I see no difference. Everyone should have the right to joke about anything regardless of if people see it as offensive because, at the end of the day, they are simply just jokes. Also if people are sending hate towards them for what they did, it shows the hypocrisy of the whole thing. They are angry at them for spreading offense and statements that they deem unacceptable, but then they are sending hate and abuse their way like it's not the same as the hate speech they are accusing the boys of. Yes, the jokes may have been in poor taste and told purely for the sake of being controversial. However, it does not dispute the fact that they were private jokes between friends in a group chat. And unless you can honestly say that you have never told an offensive joke to your friends in person or in a group chat, then your hatred towards these boys is unjustifiable. And even if you haven't ever told an offensive joke, the hatred is still unjustifiable as like I have said many times in this article, HUMOUR AND OFFENSE ARE COMPLETELY SUBJECTIVE TO THE PERSON. 

Basically what I am saying is, if a joke offends you, that's fine but it doesn't mean the joke is wrong for being told. Thank you for reading and check out my other posts.

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