What a joke
What do you find offensive? Where do you draw the line? How do you define comedy?
Tell us all about it.
The Reflector gives a voice to students at Mount Royal University and the wider community. It provides a snapshot of what’s relevent, while mixing in the odd dose of irreverent humour.
In the Jan. 19 issue, we published an article on the most overused words in the English language in which the phrase “Does the term ‘baby bump’ make you want to punch a pregnant woman?” was used.
It upset at least one reader who accused the publication of not understanding the nature of violence in relation to comedy and reflecting society’s endorsement of violence towards women.
It also sparked discussion regarding the nature of comedy and how seemingly innocent phrases can unintentionally be seen as offensive and even dangerous.
In short, The Reflector was being The Reflector, a student-driven newspaper with diverse ideas about everything from life and love to comedy.
We are not in the business of condoning violence against women. Period.
In the context of the article in question, the author was using hyperbole to make a point. Of course, disliking the phrase “baby bump” is not equal to punching a pregnant woman, but drawing an extreme comparison was what the author deemed to be funny. You’re welcome to disagree.
Our editors literally spent hours discussing the issue and have reached various — albeit fragmented — conclusions. However, this publication clearly endorses contributors’ rights to free expression, especially pertaining to comedy as it’s so subjective. There are limits, but we’d like to give readers credit for having some common sense.
Society’s fear of being offensive has started hindering free expression. University campuses should be flooding with ideas and dialogue. Must all conversation be mundane, neutral or balanced? There are alternative publications on campus for that.
Comedy gets young people talking about issues they otherwise wouldn’t. Think Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert or political satire of any kind. This form of comedy relies on pundits to point out the ridiculousness of a viewpoint — like banning words.
The Reflector encourages readers to submit their opinions regarding the stories we print.
Comments? Visit thereflector.ca or in person at our office in the basement of Wyckham House.