Liza Donnelly: Drawing on humor for change
New York Times Cartoonist Liza Donnelly says the “rules” of society are “constantly being monitored by the culture…and the primary policemen are women.” Donnelly argues that women, who learn societal expectations of their body shapes and behaviors at a young age, constantly judge who does and does not fit into them.
But, these standards are not always right. She argues that the best way to change them is through humor. “Humor relies on the traditions of a society. It takes what we know and it twists it. … Because women are on the ground floor, and we know the traditions so well, we can bring a different voice to the table.”
Donnelly uses humor to make people think about “the stupid rules we’re following,” like conforming our bodies to the American ideal woman who is thin, tan, and wears pink. Using humor to critique unfair societal constructs, women can deny the constructs’ power and recreate values that encourage healthier body types and gender roles.