Funny or Die Addresses Women, But Is It Funny?

By Monica Castillo 2011-06-24 18:20:56
The witty gang behind one of the best video sites on the internets, have released a new video entitled “Dear Woman.” Starring Will Forte and Will Ferrell, it is a spoof of an original video post of men also thanking ladies for, um, existing and sticking around? But the new video has confused some folks. Is it funny or inappropriate? Just a look over the comment section shows everything from high respect to disappointment. The original “Dear Woman” is perfect troll fodder, but what do we do with a spoof that pokes fun at white heterosexual male validating the existence of “the fairer sex?”

Answer: we take it for what it is, a joke. Watch it below...



Below is my ridiculously over-explained reason why I was able to laugh at this, guilt-free. In complex sociological terms, of course.

There are so many reasons the parody is actually funny. First off, it presumes that men only relate to women in terms of love and “making miracles together.” This obviously excludes homosexuals and upholds the standard of heteronormality. The Trans population is never addressed, and have too suffered from persecution. No apologies are given to them, as men have only hurt women, according to the Conscious Men movement.The notion of “feminine and masculine energy” is complete joke. Gender is a socially constructed norm, starting from the time that babies are dressed in either blue or pink diapers, sleeping in a color-coded crib, given gender-appropriate toys and games, and placed in either football or ballet when they’re four. Violence is no more a masculine energy than nurturing is a feminine energy. Men are not lesser men if they care for their kids nor are women lesser than other women if they enjoy cage fighting. Those who follow the social norms of American society consider it as such, only because our society has engendered certain emotions to be male or female.

The joke about men that have oppressed and abused women is possibly one of the few borderline moments of the video. As much as I would love to pretend that such transgressions are a part of the past, it is not so. Women are still abused, shamed, and at a economic disadvantage compared to their male counterparts. Add the intersectionality of race and class, and the divide widens. A part of the irony is the fact they act like all this is in the past. They aren’t sweeping it under the rug, but are speaking out of ignorance. By using exceptionalism to elevate themselves from the men of the past, they feel that they can dole out apologies on the behalf of rapists and sexual offenders. It’s absurd and thus, funny.

Okay, difficult sociology explanation is over. Promise!

Then there’s the good old fashion body humor. Apologizing for placing restrictions on a woman’s “pelvic bush” and equating it to a “human swamp” drew some of the biggest complements from commentators. That line is even complete with a zoom out of a swampy river. Yum. Plus, there is an extensive sequence of a bearded lumberjack flanked by Forte and Ferrell apologizing to women for debasing them in pornography and not honoring them in his mind while masturbating. The comedians go to lengths to appreciate parts of a woman’s body we may not actually care too much for ourselves. Someone borrowed their kid’s anatomy text book and found the nether regions of female anatomy and read them off. In a loving, creepy manner of course.

Quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to "make miracles" with any guy that sees me so connected with the earth, but what did you think when you watched the video? Where you offended or did you laugh the whole way through?
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