The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Comedy a useful tool

Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, November 2, 2005

I saw the “Jockular” comic that Kimberly Baker was so offended by in her Nov. 1 Letter to the Editor; yes, I am a woman, and I very much do not want to be reduced to an “instrument for the pleasure of [sex] organs.” However, I found the “Jockular” comic funny anyway. Why? Because as any Notre Dame student who has attended a Halloween party on or off campus knows, it’s not too far from the truth. Comedy helps us to realize how ridiculous we really can be sometimes. That’s part of what makes things funny and also part of its value in society. If The Observer printed an article about how 60 percent of Notre Dame girls plan to dress as a slutty something-or-other for Halloween, it wouldn’t be nearly as striking as a comic taking that fact to the extreme and pointing out just how ridiculous it is to be a slutty blender, or yes, even a slutty Helen Keller. Similarly, Ashley Williams seemed to miss that point in her Oct. 31 letter. Comedy can sometimes be one of the most effective tools to persuade people that things they don’t even think about – where they sit in the dining hall, what they dress up as for Halloween – can actually impact society in a negative way. It allows one to make a point without the potential ugliness of saying directly, “Your Halloween costume is slutty, and as such, degrades all women.” If Baker wants to berate someone for the objectification of women and, apparently, the destruction of humanity, she should have walked around on Halloween and personally reprimanded every girl in a French maid’s outfit – although that would make her a lot less popular than the people who just decided to hand out candy.

Elizabeth DeakjuniorFarley HallNov. 1