When God created Eve from a rib he took off Adam's; it sure would not have been the funny bone. Why else would women be glum; be the butt of jokes cracked by men? Indian women cannot comply and unable to have a laugh. Why? Witnessing Sonia G clapping her hands and punching her fists in the air while grinning when India won the semi-finals against Pakistan in the World Cup was a Haley Comet phenomenon.
Well, its premature to mention only Indian women. A Japanese-American colleague of mine shared an incident that happened during her first visit to Japan. Having born and raised in the USA; she could not quite grasp the tradition of being prim and proper. She laughed out loud during a family gathering and the entire group went aghast. She was later coached by her mom. After that incident; she always closed her mouth with her palms while laughing and the noise never came out. We were sharing such similar stories and practices that went beyond geographical boundaries.
To talk about women and humor is an oxymoron. I studied in a girls convent run by Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny. I dont remember having seen the sisters smile or laugh. They seemed dour and pale. I often used to wonder if no-smile was their prerogative. It also sort of fueled in ideas that nuns have had bitter experiences in their life and thus they chose nun-hood and that earlier life has deemed them sullen for the rest of their life :-| I know I was so innocent then.
Politicians - as I am talking about women here; women politicians in
India deserve a special mention. Will they have the heart to laugh if
someone made a mockery of them? Women in power believe they are in
control of everything and hence remain stern.
How often does one hear fearless uninhibited laughter in public? I would think twice before doing so myself. Its a serious matter as men in our society who see women laugh so easily is an easy catch. Almost every other lady would wish for a man who can make her laugh. Why not wish for a man who can laugh at her jokes? Men do not accept a smart women cracking intelligent jokes either; they get intimidated.
Now this does not mean women never laugh. Dont we erupt into a wicked laughter when we hear the neighbor's car had a break down? Our tele-serials have such scenes every other day. This is an ugly trait. Do we lack the lightness to laugh at ourselves? Is our humor hackneyed? Will I laugh it off if someone makes fun of my restless behavior? Is it that we are not comfortable with ourselves?