I’m quite disturbed by the “killing ex-girlfriend” jokes being just dropped in there like they’re par for the course. Is it only 13 years since that seemed OK to the point where none of the many commenters there thought it worth mentioning? Did none of the (currently) 14 upvoting Lobsters not think it worth mentioning either? Was it really OK back then anyway? Just a bit “edgy”? Wouldn’t just “your ex” have done just as well for an edgy joke, unless part of the subtext was “yes I know it’s dark AF but we’re all boys together here, aren’t we, and it’s cool and funny for boys to joke about which tools are best for killing their ex-girlfriends”? In which case, eesh, no wonder women struggle in the kind of environment which tacitly accepts this sort of thing.
I know in-groups have their own humour and acceptable levels and I’m glad they do, but … doesn’t putting that kind of thing on a public forum have a bunch of problematic implications? And then even more so on another one, 13 years later, when the obvious problems with this kind of stuff have been made manifestly clear? I hate to be a party-pooper because I can’t bear over-engineered factory-factory stuff like it’s bemoaning either, but wow, in a post in a technical forum resurrecting another one, this careless aside sure makes me feel uncomfortable.
People have short memories and a tendency to retcon righteousness into them. Oh, it’s uncool to think that now? Good thing I never thought that way! And suddenly all the formerly bad people disappear overnight.
Yeah I was thinking about that too, because I totally had a WTF reaction as well. I was actually going to comment a few hours ago but I was caught up playing games. Oops.
But when I think about it, in 2005 this wouldn’t have been out of place. I’ve noticed watching movies from the early 2000s has the same jarring effect, for similar reasons.
It barely seems out of place today. These things happen in cycles. Any time there’s a big awareness push that actually makes progress, like this year’s #MeToo, the exclusionary remarks get a little more coded for a few years. As @tedu said, people stop saying stuff, and maybe slightly reduce how they think it… but the same people are still around.
Then when enough time has passed that the recent movement starts to fade in everybody’s memories, the jokes get more frequent and more obvious again.
I want to clarify that these “jokes” never go away. They change to be more subtle, so that people who aren’t the targets don’t spot them as much. And the venues change so that exclusionary behavior happens mostly in places where either no targets are going to see it to call it out, or no non-targets are going to witness it (ie 1:1 conversations).
This particular example is about gender, but a similar cycle happens with all forms of bigotry.