Humanity And The Sense Of Humour

Hugo has heard it said that women have no sense of humour. At first blush, this seems too much for even a misogynist. If funny women are not generally as famous as funny men (there are, for example, no Marx Sisters), one does not need to be a SJW to wonder whether this is for the same thoroughly bad reason as there are no top female chefs or conductors.

On the other hand, even were the majority of women to be found truly unfunny, this would achieve nothing but to reaffirm the fundamental equality of the sexes. For the majority of men are not very funny either.

This is something we need to think about in the hope of insight into what this regrettably non-universal quantity, a sense of humour, actually is. To me it seems intuitively obvious that a sense of humour must be connected with not taking oneself too seriously, which excludes narcissists, the unflinchingly ambitious and all fanatics. “The devil is a prowde spirit,” said More, “he cannot endure to be mocked”.

A sense of humour must then exist at a tangent to one’s own advantage and to one’s own prideful place in the scheme of things. One cannot be calculating one’s advantage and maintaining one’s place at the same time as one is finding them intrinsically absurd.

Now, there will never be many people who step aside from the struggle to rise in the social hierarchy of their sex, because this is very serious business indeed. And this applies to women as much as to men, and more so the moment we regard the species as actually controlled by the female hierarchy, like elephants but under false flags.

Some individuals do step aside, of course, including but not limited to monastics and those with a secular vocation to serve. Are nuns funnier than women still “in the world”? I have no idea, but someone who moves in those circles might know. If, of course, a nun is utterly consumed with trying to become abbess, then she will have no more sense of humour than the woman utterly consumed with becoming the boss female in any other hierarchy. Analogous to a genuine religious vocation might be caring very deeply about art, or music, or gardening, or indeed about anything at all, provided only that it is cared about for its own sake and not for any social dominance it might bring.

Suppose, purely for the sake of argument, and I repeat suppose, that most women, wholly absorbed in the game of poking one another in the eye, have less of this sense of humour even than male cutthroats. If that were to be the case, an entirely new question would then arise: why do women of this kind, who cannot create humour, still appreciate, reward and even demand it in men? The humour must be some kind of signal of biological superiority. It has long been suspected that wit or word-play, being a by-product of intelligence, is such an evolutionary signal; but why should that apply to a sense of humour, which requires a stepping-back from vicious social competition? That is not at all the same thing.

That humour is socially valued even by people of both sexes who do not actually understand it is only too clear. Whenever people are out “enjoying themselves” they exhibit the infamous Stadium Effect. That is, the noise level rises as everyone attempts to be heard above it. The men roar with what they call laughter, as loudly as they possibly can; and the women squeal as loudly as they can, both competitively intent (with total lack of real humour) on demonstrating that they themselves can do this thing called humour and are therefore proper human beings. Even when they can’t and aren’t.

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 16:53 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: WHAT WOMEN WANT, On Sovereignty And Hierarchy

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