Wife Joke

This, uh, lady was asking her-her husband that, uh, “which one do you like more, do you love more? A pretty woman or an educated woman?” And he says …“none of them, I love you”. (laughter) 


The speaker was sharing a joke to their family after everyone was each sharing a joke they thought was funny. As the speaker spoke, they paused at the end, making sure there was an emphasis on the punchline. 

Personal Thoughts:

This is a very interesting joke to dissect, as it not only is structured in a way to have a humorous punchline, but it also can be used to understand gender roles. The structure itself leads up to the punchline in a way that subverts audience expectations. Rather than the husband picking between the two, he essentially chooses neither, which leads him to imply that his wife is neither pretty nor educated. What this does, is also reveal how gender norms are regarded with this joke. In this case, the wife asking if her husband prefers beauty or education shows that there is a pressure for women to be one or the other, and that men may have a preference. By the husband responding that his wife is neither, it is essentially making a point that the wife did not achieve either goal that society places on her, meaning that she would not be seen as the “ideal” wife in Western culture. That being said, an optimistic view of this joke could interpret that the husband does not care for either and his wife is someone special to him. However, by looking at the sexist gender roles placed in this joke, it is making a point about what Western society views as important for women to have, and to not have that makes them a “joke”, as shown by this specific joke.