When I grow up, I want to be blessed with a chip on my shoulder, imbued with a sense of entitlement I’ve never questioned or lived without. I want a trust fund so I can look down my nose at people who desire money. I want to show my scorn for a poor man’s desire by wearing thrift-store clothing ironically. I’ll call myself a socialist, a populist. All my friends will be just like me. I want to assume that I am more intelligent than Steve the janitor by virtue of the sort of work I do, nevermind that his mind, unlike mine, is free to think truly original thoughts while he does his work; whereas my mind is occupied trying to figure out new ways to sell the same old shit, office politics, and the bottom line. I’ll invent dumpster-diving, train-hopping, international travel, and be the first person in history to discover poetry and nature. I’ll buy cases of expensive wine, refuse to cross rivers and train tracks, never leave my neighborhood, call myself a philanthropist, consider graduate school, complain about how hard it is to find good help these days.
The two strips above are one of a few recent strips poking fun at (or with?) feminism, and I’m not too sure how to take it. I’ve been one of many anonymous fans of A Softer World for quite some time now due to the quirky, poignant or true (or all three) things I find there, like this:
The mouse-over text for the strip above reads “I contain a factory for producing my own prison,” which is why I am oh-so-ready to take the first two strips as a joke and not a trivialization of feminism.
That said, I’m still conflicted about them, in that I’m not sure how much feminism-based humor is OK. In the end, it really depends on its origin and the motivation of the joker. For example, a slutty bisexual joke out of the mouth of a gay or straight person would sound different to my ears than a joke about their own orientation. But perhaps I’m wrong — hate speech is hate speech, after all.
Who knows whether Emily Horne and Joey Comeau are feminists making meta jokes, or hipsters disguising their disdain with irony. Certainly I will continue to enjoy their lovely art no matter their motivations. But what do you think, dear intelligent readers? Post your interpretations in the comments!