After all these years, the joke's on men

July 28, 1992|By Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES — You've probably heard the one about the dumb blonde, the nun, Dan Quayle.

But what about the man? Any man.

Men are the latest target for jokesters these days, under the heading "dumb men jokes."

Q: "What's the difference between a man and E.T.?"

A: "E.T. phoned home."

No author or group has stepped up to take credit.

This is not new, said Frederic Hayward, executive director of Men's Rights, an Oakland-based group. Mr. Hayward said he hasn't heard jokes about men referred to as "dumb-men jokes," although there are plenty of jokes about men out there.

There is a group that doesn't take the men jokes as seriously as Mr. Hayward. The group, the National Organization Taunting Safety and Fairness Everywhere, takes a satirical look at society.

For men, it's just their turn at home plate -- time for them to be batted around a bit, said Dale Lowdermilk, the group's executive director.

"I think every group, including gender, is entitled to a turn," he said, but then he digressed. "Why don't they make jokes about smart people instead of dumb people? I know a lot of smart people I'd like to make fun of, but I'm not smart enough to do it."

Mr. Hayward said he doesn't so much mind the jokes if he can have equal time to joke about women.

"One of the results of the feminist movement is to make women oversensitive to humor," he said. "If you make a joke about women, you're going to get all sorts of claims. Another thing is that men don't have the same hostility toward women that women have toward men."

Some women think that men jokes are a bad idea.

"It's even more dangerous at this stage to have dumb-men jokes with the backlash with men toward feminism," said Suzy Mallery, president of the Los Angeles-based group Man Watchers. "This is not the time to put men down."

Man Watchers presents "Well Worth Watching" cards to men and selects the "Top 10 Men in the World" annually.

Ms. Mallery said the group prefers to give men pats on the back. Men jokes perpetuate stereotypes, she said.

"It's the same as a racial joke. When you start putting down a group of people, pretty soon there are some people who think there is some truth to it."

Here's a sample of men jokes:

Q: Why are all dumb-blonde jokes one liners?

A: So men can understand them.

Q: What is the difference between government bonds and men?

A: Government bonds mature.

Q: What's a man's idea of helping with the housework?

A: Lifting his legs so you can vacuum around him.

Q: What did God say after he created man?

A: "I can do better than this," and he created woman.

Q: What's the best way to force a man to do sit-ups?

A: Put the TV remote control between his toes.

Q: What does a man consider to be a seven-course meal?

A: A hot dog and a six-pack.

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