Ask McFartnuggets: “Why Do People Get So Offended By Jokes?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
I made a joke about Bill Cosby at work the other day and a coworker in another cubicle came up to me and my friend and said “Rape jokes aren’t funny! If I hear anything again I’m going to file a goddamn complaint!” This hasn’t been the first time someone has gotten mad about my jokes. I’ve had some issues at parties where people get all crazy about a simple joke. I don’t understand why people get so bent out of shape because it’s just a joke! Just because you joke about something doesn’t mean you support it or are encouraging it! I joke about Bill Cosby to make fun of Bill Cosby. I’m laughing AT rapists, not WITH them, why isn’t that okay? -- Marsha from Glendale, Arizona

Dear Marasha:
There are two kinds of people who get offended. The first kind are people who have actually had the thing you’re joking about happen to them or have had it happen to someone close to them. The other, and more common, are the kind of people who act offended on purpose and want to make sure everyone knows they disapprove of the topic at hand. Some topics people have decided are too evil or uncomfortable to ever be joked about. Their minds can’t really comprehend how someone can smile or laugh while talking about something bad like Bill Cosby or Jared from Subway. To them, these things should never be associated with laughter in any way and those who do laugh are bad or sick people. The truth is, laughter is a normal human impulse and reaction to uncomfortable and awkward stimuli. It’s a way people can cope and try to explore and understand the darkest parts of the human experience. What people don’t understand is that you can explore the darkness without being consumed by it. Someone who finds all rape jokes offensive are like people who completely abstain from alcohol and judge everyone who drinks. Yes, if you drink you do risk becoming an alcoholic, but there are people out there who do drink responsibly and they have a right to as long as they’re not hurting anyone. Offensive jokes are like alcohol, enjoy in moderation and make sure you’re in the appropriate surroundings.

You can get away with saying really offensive things as long as you know your audience.

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