The Politics of Humour: Danielle Bowler on Bic's Infamous Women's Day Advertisement
Danielle Bowler, one of the contributors to Ubuntu: Curating the Archive, a written an article for EWN in which she takes Makhanya to task for his dismissal of the sexism presented in the advertisement.
In the article, Bowler points out “what is funny is political, not neutral or unable to be a site and source of harm”.
Read the article:
Tswanas are stingy. Xhosas are duplicitous. Sothos swear too much. Zulus are violent…Indians are cunning and love the Golf GTi. Coloureds don’t like school but love the bottle. Boers are thick…Jews are money grubbers…’
Thus begins Mondli Makhanya’s piece, published in last week’s City Press. A litany of stereotypes that he declares ‘are the staple of jokes that we tell about and to each other’. Commenting on the response to last week’s now infamous BIC advert, he remarks that ‘humour is coming under attack from what some have labelled the tyranny of political correctness’.
The message is clear: “Why you mad, though?” It’s just a joke. There is no harm done.