I'm talking to you Facebook 'comedians.' It sucks, we're not here for it, and heres why.
1. It’s not your joke.
An unusual place to start on a list that will include more important reasons like ‘transphobia is wrong’, but hear me out. I think it’s important to start with something basic and easy to understand for the kind of people who think typing the same joke over and over again on different articles constitutes a sense of humour.
This ‘joke’ is EVERYWHERE. Sometimes repeated five or six times in the exact same phrasing, by a lot of you fuckwits, under literally any article or post on Facebook. It’s mind numbingly boring and it only draws attention to the lonely existence of a person who types out this phrase to find some semblance of online bravado.
2. It’s not funny. Yes, I understand that humour is subjective but I truly believe this ‘joke’ is the antithesis of comedy, so lets get scientific about this.
According to Scott Weems, author of “Ha! The science of why we laugh”, there’s a science behind what makes a joke funny. He says the “kick of the discovery” is essential to making something funny: “[it’s about] thinking one way and then suddenly turning that thinking around. Shock and surprise are needed for that turn, but there must be a destination too”
You see where he's going with this.
So, for a joke to be funny, we need discovery, we need shock and we need a destination. “Did you just assume my gender?” contains not one of these elements. And, even if you want to argue that did, in the beginning (fucking years ago), repeating it 42,000 has definitely put the shock and discovery to bed.
3. Ok so this next point is kind of the younger sibling of point 2 but it’s also totally valid. Has anyone ever actually laughed at this ‘joke’? I mean really laughed?
Not just smiled when reading it or ‘laugh emoji reacted’ or even the weird blowing-air-out-of-nose laugh we do sometimes at stuff thats kinda funny.
I don’t believe that anyone has. If I'm wrong, I'm sure you'll let me know in the comments.
4. It’s transphobic. The most obvious reason of all that this shitty ‘joke’ should be cancelled.
Since originating almost 3 years ago on the site Imgur, the primary purpose of this ‘joke’ has been to mock the T, the Q and the + in LGBTQ+. Transphobia is not cool. Mocking minorities is not cool.
‘It’s political correctness gone mad!’ I hear you cry. ‘Cant take a joke, love?’ You smirk.
For a trans/non-binary person, life is hard enough. Dysphoria, bullying, fighting to exist, fighting for healthcare and many other things that cis people could never understand. And if thats not enough to deal with, you still feel the need to kick the TQ+ down on any fucking article you feel like. We create safe spaces to exist in away from people like you. But with these unprovoked comments you take that safe space away.
5. You know all these things and you type it anyway. Its embarrassing, honestly. You can be better. We believe in your ability to be better. So start today and lets live a 'Did you just assume my gender?" free world. What a utopia we could have.