Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Barstool and the Lad/Bro

While reading about 'lad' culture, I was instantly reminded of our discussion earlier this semester surrounding "ironic" portrayals of racism, sexism, or whatever kind of dominant ideology 'ism.' We laugh at Tosh.O because his irony is so blatant and unavoidable, characters like Barney on How I Met Your Mother are funny because they're just so ridiculous, but there seems to be a flip-side to this kind of humor and it is highly noticeable in lad humor.

The words "lad" and "bro" seem inextricably tied in my mind and while men on campuses across the country don't deem there sexist jokes harmful, they can be. What's even more disturbing is that some females have actually begun to take part in this type of humor. Barstool has received a great deal of criticism within the past few months, especially as their Barstool Blackout Tour went across the nation, indirectly encouraging date rape and promiscuity on numerous campuses. Girls can't find Barstool to be despicable simply because "it's so funny, "the stories are so ridiculous," "it's all just one big joke." But is it really a joke?

Barstool's reactions to many feminist groups against the site (or hell, probably just a bunch of girls who are sick of reading rape jokes, watching girls get finger banged in the front row of some dubstep concert, and constantly having to see guys looking at links like "Guess Whose Ass" and "Smokeshow") has been to continually throw more sexist crap onto the web and specifically directing these posts at their haters. This certainly is crossing a line -- if you're undergoing criticism, if citizens are outraged and hurt by the content that is being posted, isn't it time to take it down a notch? There comes a point in time where the "lad" or the "bro" need to realize that while women understand that these are jokes and that they are ironic, that doesn't necessarily make them funny. They still derive from some place that can in fact be truthful in one's mind, and thus hurtful to another.

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