Friday, December 08, 2006

Woman hating is the new funny

Christopher Hitchens certainly thinks so, and I'm inclined to think that agrees with him wholeheartedly.

In perusing the "Odds and Ends" section lately, I have been noticing a disturbing trend for some time now. The tone of the section is supposed to be light and humorous, and yet many of the articles in the section involve violence against women or sex work or other realities of our lives that are decidedly un-funny - at least, when viewed from nearer than, say, a million miles away> It can only be even more of a laugh riot when the women aren't from a first-world nation.

This story is just one example. "Sex worker" Sa Rida allegedly stabbed "client" Suon Da because he refused to wear a condom, or so the article avers. I know, it's already a hilarious premise. But the true comic genius, well, she's in the details.
[Deputy Police Chief] Koam Roeuy said Suon Da had paid Sa Rida $1.20 to have sex with her. But after Suon Da repeatedly refused to wear a condom, Sa Rida gave up and left the room.

Suon Da chased after her, demanding his money back and slapping the woman, Koam Roeuy said. Sa Rida responded by stabbing Suon Da in the stomach, he said.

"The woman was trying to prevent the transmission of diseases such as HIV," Koam Roeuy said. "But now it will be up to the court to decide her fate after she inflicted injuries on another person."
Could it be any more amusing? I mean, I don't know how much $1.20 buys you in Cambodia, but you know, it can't really be all that much. So that's just rolling me in the aisles already. And despite the articles bizarre focus on the stabbing, as if that was the crime, it would seem that Sa Rida was protecting herself against rape and/or further violence against her person when the alleged stabbing was committed. Hilarious! Suon Da's entitlement to do what he wanted and when and how to Sa Rida because he paid her for sex...well, I have to stop, I am laughing too hard to keep typing.

And the giggles just keep on coming.

In looking over recent articles, it seems that even the most innocuous articles in "Odds and Ends" can't seem to refrain from dabbling in some thigh-slapping misogyny. Let's see - just today, we have an inept shoplifter, female, a hysterical mother who couldn't handle a mere rodent in her Christmas tree, and a pregnant woman who delivered her baby on a plane - but don't worry, an ob/gyn was there. Look a little futher back, and you'll find a father who drives a car into a school building, a cat-murdering ex-boyfriend moving back in with his ex-girlfriend and her remaining cats, and a man who is in jail for threatening three 15 year old kids and their parents over the phone. Further on still, you may find the tale of a carjacker whose plans were foiled by a quick-thinking woman who sprayed the assailant with gas. (How long will it be before this ends up on one of those horrid women's crime prevention e-mails, I wonder? "If approached while pumping gas, be sure to douse everything in sight with it!")

Seriously, could it be any funnier if it tried?

As Borat's comedy instructor might say at this point: Not!

So I think I'm starting to understand Hitchens' point after all. I guess being the punch line kind of precludes me from getting his jokes.


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