The Problem with Fat Jokes

For the most part, disparagement humour, i.e., jokes intended to put down people based on their membership in a marginalized group, is considered offensive.   Usually based on stereotypes reflecting attitudes about "the other", eg., people "not like us", these jokes are intended to make others look ridiculous.   Whether it involves people belonging to a different religion, ethnic group, place of origin, sexual orientation, or economic class, using these jokes in polite company often leads to scorn and anger.   Still, there are some groups that continue to be regarded as "fair game" as far as disparaging jokes go.  Jokes about members of a given profession (such as lawyers or politicians), "dumb blonde" jokes, and sexist humour are still widely used with little of the public anger usually directed at the one telling the joke. 

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.


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