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When “smart meets sexy,” or when bad humor happens to good people, or even how hard is it to just apologize and put people first, not stereotypes?

“It’s just a joke.”

“I thought it was funny.”

“Stop overreacting.”

“It’s sparking conversations. It was approved by network Standards and Practices and it uses humor to illustrate the point about how powerful a combination ‘sexy’ and ‘smart’ are. Personally, I think it’s hilarious.”

To a lot of us who have been on the wrong side of a joke, these statements are virtually interchangeable. It may be your friend, your brother, your professor, Daniel Tosh, the CEO of GoDaddy.com- but find yourself brave enough to speak up when you find a “joke” harmful and suddenly you’re about as conspicuous as Carrie starting her period for the first time in the girls’ locker room.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to laugh as much as the next guy. Those that know me well would say I’m a pretty humorous person. I’m not bad at Apples to Apples, I know how to make people smile, how to make them pick my card as the best one. Oscar Wilde quotes thrill me to no end.

But what isn’t funny to me is how humor has been twisted and manipulated into a weapon used by those in power to beat back those who aren’t. Humor has become a way to act out aggression, then turn right around and use that violent act as a shield against blame and responsibility. The twisting of the arm, followed by the abrupt “you’re overreacting” that sounds a lot and functions a lot like victim blaming- the rape culture ...

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