This is a real question, dear readers, one I’m not even sure the answer to.
Some of my friends think that menstrual jokes are only funny at the right time of the month. Others think they aren’t funny at all, period.
I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humour, but browsing 9gag, or let me be honest, the humour category on Pinterest, I find myself cringing at some of my fellow females’ depiction of ‘that time of the month’.
‘You shouldn’t talk about that’, I think, ‘it’s gross’. But then I meander back onto 9gag (yeah, I spend too much time dicking around on the internet, you don’t have to tell me), and it’s wall-to-wall fart, boobs and poop jokes.
So, I’m not asking whether period jokes are funny out of context, but rather, if you enjoy toilet humor in general, then doesn’t this bodily function also count?
Menses humor used to be the exclusive territory of Janeane Garofalo and other ‘angry’ female comics on one side, with misogynists on the other, blaming any confusing female behaviour on ‘that bitch being on the bleed’.
But now we have other representatives in the media bringing ‘shark week’ to the fore:
If you’re new to the internet, allow me introduce you to the Queen of Quirk and all things fringed, Zoey Deschanel. The above is an actual quote from her feel-good sitcom ‘New Girl’. Here we have the sweet, funny, super-feminine protagonist complaining about her own monthly visit from ‘ Aunt Flo’.
In reality, this is what she’d really look like if she wanted to murder someone and eat a soft pretzel:
Periods suck. They make us people with lady parts feel sad, angry, super-sore, hungry, sick, gross, bloated and ugly- all at the same time. But in addition to all the crappy symptoms, there’s also the crappy shame and stigma.
There’s definitely still shame attached to gambling on a quiet fart and losing, but even that can produce peals of innocent laughter, unlike the horrified reaction I myself have to many menses-based memes.
So, with this in mind, I’m going to try a bit harder to open my mind and find period jokes funnier- at least as funny as I find fart jokes. Or at least, be less offended by them. If I can’t join in the mirth of my sisters in suffering, I can at least support their right to laugh about it without embarrassment.
There are far more important feminist fights to be had than this one, so I’m just going to say this once and leave it: I firmly believe that if men got periods, ‘Menstrual Leave’ would be written into every employment contract. You guys would brag about how ‘hardcore’ your periods were. You’d laugh and high five. And then you’d double over in pain, weep, and go buy a box of pads and a family sized kit kat.
Okay, so I guess period jokes are as funny as fart jokes. You just need to get past the ‘gross’ factor.
Just don’t ever mock a woman on her period, all that additional testosterone in her system is likely to make her punch you through the heart.
Yes, through the heart.