How far can one take a “punch”line?



This morning I was rushing out of the house when I heard a video playing on ABC’s morning talk show The View.  The video was of singer Taylor Swift singing at the 2014 Grammy Awards:  Host, Whoopi Goldberg, asked the audience to view the video and then asked for everyone’s reactions.  Co-hosts, Barbara Walters and Jenny McCarthy, both found the video funny, and Jenny even remarked that it was just a cartoon.  Comedian Jay Mohr, who has been chastised in the media lately for making a sarcastic remark to actress Alyssa Milano, was the only one who stood up against the video.  He said no matter what the comedic intentions, the punch line was still a jab towards women.  Where is the humor in a woman getting punched in the face?   If it had been Rihanna sitting at the piano, would have people found it as funny?  Would Jenny be laughing if the person was an autistic child singing at the piano?  Both are oppressed populations and there is zero humor in pretending to punch either one of them in the face.

            I don’t know what I found more disturbing, the video or the fact that these women I admire, laughing at it.   Did they miss hearing President Obama’s speech last night when he said, “”It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a ‘Mad Men’ episode. This year, let’s all come together -Congress, the White House, and businesses from Wall Street to Main Street – to give every woman the opportunity she deserves. Because I believe when women succeed, America succeeds.”           

            As women, success goes beyond equal pay and needs to include equal respect.  As long as women laugh at parodies of other women getting punched or kicked in the face or these same women quit forgiving abusive men like Chris Brown and Alec Baldwin for their atrocious behavior by excusing their violence because they are talented men and do not need to be held to the same standards of accountability as the common man, our country will never reach the vision that President Obama laid out for us last night for the empowerment of women.

            Jay Mohr, did make a careless remark about Alyssa Milano recently when he referred to her weight; yet, I believe him when he said he was being facetious and meaning the opposite. Anyone who knows Jay Mohr’s comedy, knows he is sarcastic, but they also know he is a supporter of women.   It’s ironic, though, that he was drug through the mud for making a joke about a woman’s body weight after pregnancy; yet, famous women can sit in front of an audience of millions and make jokes about a cartoon that punches a real woman in the face. 

            I love Jenny McCarthy, and myself having a son on the autism spectrum, have always admired everything she has done to bring awareness to the cause.  Other co-host, Sherry Shepard has also been a supporter for adolescents with learning disorders and even diabetes, but activists need to take their advocacy one step further, and be a voice for all who are held back or oppressed.  One cannot stand up for one cause while laughing at hate being directed towards another demographic.   If other women do not stand up against tasteless humor directed towards another woman, how can we expect men in the world to?   At that point, the oppressors win.