A couple days ago, my little brother, who suffers from the telling sexually explicit jokes that aren’t even funny symptom that occurs at age 13, told me a bad joke. Warning: Potentially sacrilegious and just plain offensive.
A man gets onto a city bus. He sees a hot nun and wants to have sex with her. He goes up to her and asks, “Will you have sex with me?”
Of course, she declines, “no.”
After she gets off the bus, the bus driver says, “I know how you can have sex with her. Every Sunday night, she goes to the cemetery and prays. While she’s praying, pretend to be God and she’ll have sex with you. Put on a mask and a robe and have a lot of glitter and stuff.”
So, that Sunday, the man does what the bus driver says. Sure enough, the nun is praying at the cemetery. The man asks, “Will you have sex with me?”
The nun replies, “Sure, but only if we have anal sex.” * So they have anal sex.
After, the man rips off his mask and declares, “I’m not God! I’m actually the man from the bus!”
But then the nun rips off her mask and says, “I’m not a nun! I’m actually the bus driver!”
This joke is horrible in many ways, but especially these three:
- This joke features a man who attempts to deceive a woman into having sex with him. He ignores the conscious decision the woman has obviously made – to remain celibate. Instead, he assumes that every woman should be available to him for sex, including those who chose not to. A “no” should mean “no,” not “how-can-I-figure-out-how-to-make-it-a-yes.”
- The man has so fetishized this nun, or the act of having sex with a nun (Catholic/nun fetish) that he ignores the nun herself. This joke presents this very offensive fetish as ok to be laughed at. On another point, the man dehumanizes the “nun” to the point that he doesn’t realize it’s not the same nun, and it’s not even a woman. He sees only what he wants to see, which is a “hot nun.” This type of deception is not implausible, and was even made into a really good play. It demonstrates how much of this society is constructed around male values. From M. Butterfly:
Song Liling: Comrade! Why in Beijing opera are woman’s roles traditionally played by men?
Comrade Chin: I don’t know. Most probably a remnant of the reactionary and patriarchal social structure.
Song Liling: No. It’s because only a man knows how a woman is supposed to act.
Every “modern” culture is a patriarchy, not just the ones singled out as especially patriarchal and backwards, such as imperial China and its footbinding.
- I’m pretty horrified that seventh graders are telling each other these jokes. It shows that as much as society disapproves of crude jokes or lewd jokes, they proliferate and spread misogyny and ignorance.
* My little brother helpfully explained that this stipulation was because the nun wanted to keep her virginity. The association of true sex only with vaginal sex is a discussion for another day.