“If we women want men to be more emotionally open and yet tell these demeaning jokes, isn’t that counterproductive?”

There is always a place for humor, but sometimes jokes can go too far and cause hurtful emotional habits for either gender. What do you think of these kinds of jokes? Carol shares her thoughts.

This is a comment by Carol Stephen on the post “The Butt of the Marriage Joke“.

Carol Stephen said:

Women need to speak up about these jokes, too. If we women want men to be more emotionally open, then engage in telling demeaning jokes, doesn’t that contradict what we’re saying we want? As with the old-school “blonde jokes,” you do get what you expect in a way. Would a smart blonde hang out with a guy who told dumb blonde jokes? And would an emotionally intelligent man want to hang out with a woman who told jokes about insensitive men? Thank you for this post. You guys always have the best articles. 

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  1. I truly believe most women (mine included) don’t realize we men feel emotions as much as they do. An example; Good friends of ours (wives work together) have had trouble with their youngest of 3 sons since high school (drugs). He’s ‘strung out’ , goes into rehab, gets clean, and falls off the wagon. This heartbreaking cycle has been going on for at least 3 years now. After his latest relapse, there was a big fight and he left to move in with his ‘Friends’ (druggies). they haven’t heard from him for almost a week and my wife tells me “Karen says it finally got to Paul last night and he broke down.” I told her “No, it finally OVERWHELMED Paul last night and he couldn’t hold it in anymore!” They think because we ‘Put up the Front’ we don’t feel as they do.

  2. wellokaythen says:

    I also highly recommend that we stop emphasizing the “vulnerability” idea about a man sharing his feelings. Telling men over and over that being emotionally open is “letting yourself be more vulnerable” is not really a good encouragement. That’s just feeding the idea that emotions are dangerous and opening up is totally risky. It’s like telling a man, “Don’t worry, it’s just a little bit of minefield. There are fewer mines buried there than you think there are.” Great.

    • Yeah right. Why is it a ‘Vulnerability’ thing when men open up but not for women? I mean, why are we made to feel like we’re ‘giving something up’ if we do that? It’s really quite discouraging.

  3. wellokaythen says:

    When you listen to a man talk about his feelings, don’t immediately turn it into a discussion about _your_ feelings. This is one thing that discouraged me in some of my earlier relationships with women. Any hint that I was about to talk about how I was feeling instantly became a conversation about what she was feeling. And, as the dutiful soldier/fixer who’s supposed to make women feel better and get them to stop crying, I dropped what I wanted to talk about in favor of soothing her feelings. (I was just as responsible for this sick dynamic as she was.) Be prepared to listen to his feelings without reacting right away. Remember they may not be about you, even if they are about you.

    We would make enormous progress in communication between men and women if we stopped assuming that women are better listeners than men.

  4. Women say this but I don’t think they understand what they mean. From my experience they want base emotions shown but nothing too complex and they don’t want it to really affect you; be happy but not ecstatic, be sad but not depressed, be above it all, and never let your feelings interfere with anything. If you do start showing complex emotions and their effect on you, women will run for the hills.
    Similar to bobbt this pattern started with my mother. She figured out i was depressed and her initial reaction was yelling at me and i quote, “why the @#$% are you depressed?” and following this up with a feminist explanation of my privilege, patriarchy, and all that jazz trying to justify here initial comment.

  5. The one ‘lesson constantly repeated to me growing up, in regards to ‘becoming a man’ was to be stoic and ‘take it like a man’. Don’t EVER show hurt feelings. (To be fair, if some guy ‘crossed the line’, it was OK to ‘take him out’).This was taught to me by my Dad, but even more so by Mom. If a woman ‘ragged’ on you, all you really could do was take it and walk away. Many women say they want men to emotionally ‘open up’, and I’m sure some do, but it’s been my personal experience that many really don’t. Maybe some day, but I truly feel that day is somewhere in the future (although it would be nice to see in my lifetime, emotionally open men not referred to as ‘Girly Men’).

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