Once again, we enter the weird realm of offensive or arguably offensive jokes that become public through accident, eavesdropping or betrayal. In such cases, the audience most certain to be offended by the joke learns of it despite the intent of the jokester.
The all-time champion in this category was Nixon/Ford Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz. At the 1976 Republican National Convention (which nominated President Ford, ultimately defeated by Jimmy Carter), Pat Boone asked Butz, then in a three-way conversation with Boone and John Dean, why the party of Abraham Lincoln couldn’t attract the support of more blacks. Butz, who may have been drunk, answered, “Because coloreds only want three things. You know what they want? I’ll tell you what coloreds want. It’s three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit. That’s all!”
As Otter told Flounder, Butz had “fucked up.” He trusted John Dean, who was at the convention as a reporter for “Rolling Stone.” Dean repeated the joke in his published story, and the uproar forced Butz to resign.
The Tiger Woods incident isn’t anywhere near as bad as the Butz episode, but it raised some of the same issues.During the first round of tlat week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 16, 2023, in Pacific Palisades, California, Woods out-drove friend and competitor Justin Thomas. As they walked way from the tee, Woods surreptitiously (he thought) handed Thomas a tampon, a hoary guy-gag meaning “You play like a girl.” But cameras caught the exchange (above), and though Thomas appeared to be amused, others were not. Veteran female sportswriter Christine Brennan’s reaction was typical, as she wrote in part,
I’m guessing most of the millions of fathers and mothers who support their athletic daughters probably have long since retired all their juvenile pranks that were intended to demean the ability of those girls they love and for whom they spend so much time cheering.
But not our Tiger.
No, he employed basic misogyny to insult his good friend Thomas, a knee-slapper of a dig against female athletes: You hit the ball like a girl!…
[W]hen the biggest name in the sport’s history is giddily spreading misogyny down the fairway, it might just confirm a woman’s suspicions about golf and send her to any one of the scores of other sports she can play for the rest of her life without running into a dude playing a juvenile tampon joke.
Woods sort of apologized… Continue reading