Beloved, in order for humor to “work” there must be a standard or norm in the background. Humor requires reality. Something is humorous when what is expected is reversed, obscured, confounded, or presented in an unexpected manner. Humor requires reality–and objectively true reality. If truth is relative, humor ceases to exit. Take Tyler Perry for example. His name came up this morning in the season finale of a well-known TV show. When I asked my bride who he was, she responded by saying, “You know the man that plays Madea.” I barely was able to place the two together, but I understand that Tyler Perry humorously plays the role of a female character named Madea. Now not having seen any of the shows/movies I have no idea if, in fact, they are humorous–that is irrelevant for our discussion.
It would not be as humorous if a woman played the role of Madea. It is humorous when a man plays an exaggerated role of a woman. For that to work, there must be the truth of (something is true when it corresponds to reality) at least male, female, male roles, and female roles. If there is neither male, nor female…if there is not something that defines the genders as different (a truth so obvious, it takes great faith to deny), then Tyler Perry’s humor would not work. BUT…because there is the reality of maleness and females (and it is not just a social construct–there are real differences that are not subject to preference; indeed, there has always been maleness and femaleness…and there will always be) there is the possibility of humorous reversals of those differences. The next time you laugh at something ask yourself the question, “What is the reality that was just presented in an unexpected way?” Then thank God that there is reality…and humor!
10,000 Blessings in The God Who Is,