Footnotes for "From Peek-a-boo to Sarcasm: Women's Humor as a Means of Both Connection and Resistance" by Linda Naranjo-Huebl

  1. Janet Surrey, "The Self-in-Relation: A Theory of Women's Development," in Women's Growth in Connection: Writings from the Stone Center (New York: The Guilford Press, 1991): 62.
  2. Kate Sanborn, "Introduction" to The Wit of Women, in Linda Morris, American Women Humorists (New York: Garland Publishing, 1994): 5.
  3. Robin Lakoff, Language and Woman's Place (New York: Harper & Row, 1975): 56.
  4. Mahadev L. Apte, Humor and Laughter: An Anthropological Approach (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1985): 70.
  5. Mary Crawford, "Just Kidding: Gender and Conversational Humor," in Regina Barreca, ed., New Perspectives on Women and Comedy (Philadelphia: Gordon and Breach, 1992): 24.
  6. Joe Cox, Raymond Read and Philip Van Auken, "Male-Female Differences in Communicating Job-Related Humor: An Exploratory Study," Humor, 3(3): 288 (1990).
  7. Martin Grotjahn, Beyond Laughter (New York: McGraw Hill, 1957); Betty Lehan Harragan, Games Mother Never Taught You (New York: Warner, 1977); Sharon Crain, "At Work, it Pays to be Funny," Family Weekly, 27 September 1981; Cox, Read, et al.
  8. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (New York: Penguin Books, 1968): 125. In Humane Nature, Hobbes also states: "[T]he Passion of Laughter proceedeth from the sudden imagination of our own oddes and eminency: for what is else the recommending of our selves to our own good opinion, by comparison with another mans infirmity or absurdity?" (London: Anchor, 1651): 102.
  9. See Lawrence La Fave, Jay Haddad and William A. Maesen, "Superiority, Enhanced Self-Esteem, and Perceived Incongruity Humour Theory," in Antony J. Chapman and Hugh C. Foot, eds., Humour and Laughter: Theory, Research and Applications (London: John Wiley & Sons, 1976): 65.
  10. For an excellent analysis of identity theory in humor, see Norman N. Holland, Laughing: A Psychology of Humor (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1982).
  11. See Jeffrey H. Goldstein and Paul E. McGhee, The Psychology of Humor: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Issues (New York: Academic Press, 1972): 13. Some psychoanalytic theories of humor build on this notion of humor as an energy-release function, a tool of the ego (Goldstein, 20).
  12. Sigmund Freud, "Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes," in vol. 19 of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, James Strachey, ed. and trans. (London: Hogarth Press, 1931): 243-258.
  13. See Goran Nerhardt, "Incongruity and Funniness: Towards a New Descriptive Model," in Chapman and Foot, Humour and Laughter: Theory, Research and Applications (London: John Wiley & Sons, 1976): 55.
  14. G. B. Milner, in Norman Holland, Laughing, 27.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Henri Bergson, Laughter: An essay on the Meaning of the Comic (New York: Macmillan, 1911): 27.
  17. Holland, Laughing, 22.
  18. Theodor Lipps, Grundlegung der Aesthetik, 1903: 575
  19. See Mary K. Rothbart, "Incongruity, Problem-Solving and Laughter," in Chapman and Foot, Humor and Laughter; Max Eastman, The Enjoyment of Laughter (New York, 1936); D. E. Berlyne, "Laughter, Humor, and Play," in Gardner Lindzey and Elliott Aronson, eds., The Handbook of Social Psychology, 2d ed., (Reading, MA, 1969, III), pp. 795-852; and Norman Holland, Laughter, p. 30.
  20. Rothbart, 38.
  21. Martha Bensley Bruère and Mary Ritter Beard, eds., Laughing Their Way: Women's Humor in America (New York: MacMillan, 1934): viii.
  22. Alice Duer Miller, from Are Women People? A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times, in Nancy Walker and Zita Dresner, eds., Redressing the Balance: American Women's Literary Humor from Colonial Times to the 1980s (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1988): 203-205.
  23. Martin Luther, The Table Talk of Martin Luther, 1531; cited in Tama Starr, ed., The "Natural Inferiority" of Women: Outrageous Pronouncements by Misguided Males (New York: Poseidon Press, 1991): 178.
  24. La Fave et al., 89.
  25. In Holland, Laughter, 93.
  26. Ibid., 94.
  27. Most contemporary theorists of humor discuss its use as a means of challenging authority. See Ron Jenkins, Subversive Laughter: The Liberating Power of Comedy (New York: The Free Press, 1994).
  28. Nancy Walker, A Very Serious Thing: Women's Humor and American Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1988): 13, and Nancy Walker and Zita Dresner, Redressing the Balance: American Women's Literary Humor from Colonial Times to the 1980s (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1988): xxiii.
  29. There is an important exception to this finding, however. According to Apte's study (fn 3), women are more likely to ridicule men and make sexual jokes within a group of women than in a mixed group.
  30. Bergson claims that "our laughter is always the laughter of a group . . . It must have a social signification," in Holland, Laughter, 31.
  31. Crawford, 31.
  32. Regina Barreca, ed., Last Laughs: Perspectives on Women and Comedy (New York: Gordon and Breach, 1988): 118, 194. One study found that both men and women prefer longer anecdotal jokes to shorter ones, which is interesting considering they are not the ones men are most likely to tell (See Torborg Lundell, "An Experiential Exploration of Why Men and Women Laugh," Humor 6(3): 301 (1993).
  33. Barreca, 2.
  34. Ibid., 61.
  35. Paul McGhee, "The Role of Laughter and Humor in Growing Up Female," in Claire B. Kopp, ed., Becoming Female: Perspectives on Development (New York: Plenum Press, 1979): 183-84.
  36. Alice Sheppard, "Social Cognition, Gender Roles, and Women's Humor," in June Sochen, ed., Women's Comic Visions (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991): 39.
  37. Crawford, 32.
  38. Crawford Tannen and other researchers cited here qualify their findings as generalities and note that exceptions are common.
  39. Mercilee Jenkins, "What's So Funny? Joking Among Women," in N. Caskey, S. Bremner, B. Moonwomon, eds., The Proceedings of the First Berkeley Women and Language Conference (Berkeley: Berkeley Women and Language Group, 1985): 6.
  40. Ibid.
  41. Walker, xi-xii.
  42. Mahadev Apte points out that as women age, the restrictions on their humor are eased. Regenia Gagnier summarizes Apte's findings: "Men fear women's humor for much the same reason that they fear women's sexual freedom -- because they encourage women's aggression and promiscuity and thus disrupt the social order; that therefore men desire to control women's humor just as they desire to control women's sexuality -- to wit, in the public domain." Thus, men's use of sexual humor serves a social-sexual role of oppression. (Regenia Gagnier, "Between Women: A Cross-class Analysis of Status and Anarchic Humor," Women's Studies 15: 137 (1988).
  43. These are findings in the research of psychoanalyst Natalie Becker and folklorist Carol Mitchell (cited in Barreca, Regina, Last Laughs, pp. 12 and 65, respectively).
  44. Barreca, 100.
  45. Ibid., 65.
  46. Michael Mulkay, On Humor: Its Nature and Its Place in Modern Society (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988): 149.
  47. Barreca, 86. Emphasis mine.
  48. Ibid., 100.
  49. Murray S. Davis, What's So Funny? The Comic Conception of Culture and Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993): 276.
  50. Quoted in Davis, What's So Funny.
  51. Dolf Zillmann and Joanne R. Cantor, "A Disposition Theory of Humour and Mirth," in Chapman and Foot, Humour and Laughter, (London: John Wiley & Sons, 1976): 95.
  52. See Sigmund Freud, Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (1905), in vol. 8 of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, James Strachey, ed. and trans. (London: Hogarth Press, 1931).
  53. McGhee, Becoming Female, 199.
  54. Christopher Wilson, Jokes: Form, Content, Use and Function (New York: Academic Press, 1979): 142.
  55. Ibid., 142.
  56. Davis, What's So Funny?, 174.
  57. Wilson, Jokes, 149.
  58. Walker, A Very Serious Thing, xxiii.
  59. Erma Bombeck, At Wit's End, quoted in Walker and Dresner, 371.
  60. Suzanne L. Bunkers, "Why Are These Women Laughing? The Power and Politics of Women's Humor," Studies in American Humor 4(1/2): 83-84 (Spring 1985).
  61. Nancy Reincke, "Antidote to Dominance: Women's Laughter as Counteraction," Journal of Popular Culture 24(4): 36 (Spring 1991).
  62. Marietta Holley, [Josiah Allen's Wife], My Opinions and Betsey Bobbet's (Hartford, CT: 1874): 92.
  63. Fanny Fern, in Ruth Hall and Other Writings, Joyce W. Warren, ed. (New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 1986): 225.
  64. Apte, 81.
  65. Bruère and Beard, vi.
  66. Fern, 229.
  67. Judith Viorst, "Nice Baby," in Walker and Dresner, 375.
  68. Nikki Giovanni, "Housecleaning," in Walker and Dresner, 407.
  69. Walker and Dresner, xxxi.
  70. Elizabeth Janeway, Powers of the Weak (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980): 167.
  71. Emily Toth, "A Laughter of Their Own: Women's Humor in the United States," in Linda Morris, ed., American Women Humorists (New York: Garland Publishing, 1994): 90.
  72. Walker, xii.
  73. Harriett Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin (New York: Viking Penguin, 1981): 209-210.
  74. Although Stowe did not endorse women's political rights at the time she wrote the novel, later in life she came to espouse them. With her sister, Catherine Beecher, she believed in woman's moral superiority and her ultimate spiritual triumph; and she never underestimated woman's ability to change society.
  75. Harriet Jacobs, in Jean Fagan Yellin, ed., Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987): 146.
  76. Regenia Gagnier, "Between Women: A Cross-class Analysis of Status and Anarchic Humor," Women's Studies 15: 138 (1988).
  77. Bunkers, 86.
  78. Bruère and Beard, v.
  79. Gagnier, 140.
  80. Janet Surrey, "The Self-in-Relation: A Theory of Women's Development," in Women's Growth in Connection: Writings from the Stone Center (New York: The Guilford Press, 1991): 62. Emphasis mine.
  81. Daniel Stern, Interpersonal World of the Infant: A View from Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology (New York: Basic Books, 1985). Based on empirical studies, this book has provided the impetus for reevaluation of theories of language acquisition. Stern's assertion, based on experiments and observations, that language is an outgrowth of the many attempts of the infant to connect with the primary caretaker contradicts traditional psychoanalytic theory, which positions language acquisition as the entry into the father's world.
  82. Thomas R. Shultz, "A Cognitive-Developmental Analysis of Humour," in Chapman and Foot, Humour and Laughter, 31.