One of the many challenges of being a parent or a teacher is helping kids and young people learn how to treat others with respect. It’s certainly not easy, especially when we’re surrounded by (among other things), disrespect masquerading as humor.
One of the most effective ways to get away with saying hurtful things is to follow them up with “just kidding” because it then makes it seem like the folks who take offense are humorless and can’t take a joke. Powered By Girl has a post about “go make me a sandwich,” which is an unfortunately common way for boys and men to get a rise out of girls and women. As in: “Bitch, shut the fuck up and go make me a sandwich.” (from this site)
This oh-so-charming line is a way to reinforce the notion that women are supposed to be in the kitchen, serving the menfolk. And when it gets a reaction girls, boys can just pretend it’s a joke. All too often, though, it becomes the foundation for this sort of thing:
You might think it’s a harmless joke, and it’s true that not all boys who use it will be physically abusive when they grow up, but it still creates a culture in which women are expected to serve men or face punishment. If that’s going to change, we need to deal with it at the root, and one way to do that is to challenge the “make me a sandwich” joke.
The author of the Powered By Girl post says that her response to “Make me sandwich, Bitch” will be, “Sure. When I get that 33 more cents compared to your dollar.” What other responses can you think of? (and anyone who says something like “what kind of sandwich” is getting permanently blocked from commenting.)