Jokes – United States of America

Why couldn’t Helen Keller drive?

Because she was a woman.

Why don’t women wear watches?

Because there’s a clock on the stove.

Why can’t women ski?

Because there’s no snow between the kitchen and the bedroom.

What do you do when your dishwasher stops working?

Slap her and tell her to keep washing.

Why are women’s feet so small?

So that they can be closer to the stove.

Kathy says that she first heard these jokes from her older brother, sometime when she was in high school. When she first told them to me, there was another female present, but no males were around to hear the jokes.

I’ve noticed that men are often wary of telling these jokes in front of groups of people for fear of offending someone. Feminists often view these sexist jokes as offensive and degrading. However, some women do enjoy sharing these jokes. Personally, I find each of the above jokes funny because they are so ridiculous. I have a hard time believing that anyone would take a single one of these jokes seriously.

Each of these jokes contains elements of misogyny: the beliefs that women only belong in the kitchen and the bedroom and that women are poor drivers. I think the first joke is particularly interesting. Helen Keller should be deemed unable to drive because of her status as a deaf and blind person. However, this joke totally ignores those handicaps and states that the reason she couldn’t drive is merely because she was female. The other jokes all have to do with the idea of men “using” women, and the idea that women are only good for the kitchen and the bedroom: cooking for men and pleasing them sexually.

For me, the non-Helen Keller other jokes held a bit of surprise. When I first heard the questions, the idea that women only belong in the bedroom or the kitchen was not running through my mind at all—I thought the answers would have been something clever and witty, not some leftovers from the Women’s Rights Movement. When Kathy told me the punch lines, each of them was unexpected. Even though she told me five sexist jokes, I was still astonished that the answers would be that narrow-minded towards women. Although they surprised me in this way, I still thought that, overall, the jokes were funny.