Woke humour seems impossible

Woke humour, or politically correct humour as it was once called, cannot exit, according to some. This depends on your definition of ‘woke’, but it usually includes sympathy for minorities. They say humour is always at someone’s expense: whoever is the butt of the joke. Many comedians have targeted women, foreigners, immigrants, people with regional accents, old people, teenagers and people with disabilities. Some still do. Many people assume that if you are woke you have no sense of humour anyway. Who can you laugh at?

Woke humour fights back

Some female comedians and some from minority backgrounds make jokes at the expense of those who belittle them. Sadly, some are little better than a mirror image of the ones they dislike Perhaps that may help the rest of us see how wrong misogynist and racist humour is. Is it OK to caricature wrong attitudes?

Is woke humour as bad as the opposite?

We need to avoid polarising attitudes as we could be reinforcing the kind of thinking that leads to behaviour we deplore. Am I condemning all humour? I hope you find enough in my books and blogs to know that I do enjoy a laugh. What then is the solution? Who can we laugh at? The answer is staring you in the face, especially if you are near a mirror. OURSELVES!  People call that ‘relational humour’ although you can find examples of it from long before anyone coined that expression.

A monk reading a book. Is there woke humour in mediaeval writings?

Is there woke humour in mediaeval writings?

Is relational humour woke?

I don’t care how you define it. I just know that we all say and do funny things regardless of our age, race, gender or anything else. A comedian can point out some of these things and a novelist can have any of the characters in a book behave in such a way. Comic characters just display certain comic characteristics more often than most of us do in real life. I say most. because I can think of a few real people who are unintentionally funny. [If you think I mean you, contact me and discuss a payment for your continuing anonymity.] I have written before about my favourite comic characters and also about the danger of reinforcing stereotypes and how to avoid it. Watch out for more humour in my next novel. I might try a short story first.

For advice on writing humour read How to Write Funny by Scott Dikkers.