The paradox of disparagement humor: An analysis of whatsapp jokes on women in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Simon Vurayai
Keywords: jokes, COVID-19, women, disparagement, homor


This qualitative theoretical paper hinges on literature and content analysis on the paradox of disparagement humor evoked by WhatsApp jokes that target women and are related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper employs the functionalist and feminist theory of mass media and the  justification suppression model of prejudice as the bedrock to the debate and analysis. Although humor helps us to cope with pandemics, the paper finds several jokes on COVID-19 departing from this function and promoting dysfunctions such as humiliation and social exclusion of women. Inferences are made that such jokes that are derogatory and denigrating can elicit feelings of self-doubt and reduced physical and intellectual performance of women. The researcher advocates for assertive media polices and reforms that promote gender equality and freedom for all.

Keywords: jokes, COVID-19, women, disparagement, homor


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9231