Dear me! Colour me surprised, girls and tiny minority of boys, but I was not expecting these results. Evidently those Seraphic Singles readers who like to vote are a clean-speaking, clean-listening bunch!
Now, I forgot to vote, so we had 179 voters. A whopping 165 were women, and 14 were men.
Of the women, 28 thought it was okay to make bawdy jokes (e.g. "One more drink and I'll be under...") in mixed company. Only one woman thought it was okay to tell these jokes to all-male groups (but not women). But 63 women ruled that it was okay to tell bawdy jokes only to groups of women. And then--to my amazement--73 women (40% of all voters, male and female) did not think it okay to tell bawdy jokes in public at all.
Of the men, four thought it okay for women to tell bawdy jokes in mixed groups. None thought it okay for lone women to make these jokes to groups of men. However, four thought it okay for the lassies to say these things to other lassies. But six did not think it okay for women to make such jokes in public ever.
I do not know what to make of these numbers. They would certain startle a pollster: "44% of women nix saucy jokes for women." And they in no way reflect American, British and Canadian entertainment media, that is for sure. They might not even reflect Shakespeare's plays, though I suspect such bawdy jokes as told by women are left up to characters like Juliet's Nurse.
I suppose one conclusion we could make is that it is a very bad idea to channel Dorothy Parker at coffee-after-Mass. Possibly we all know that, though. The danger zone isn't coffee-after-Mass but drinks-after-lunch-after-coffee-after-Mass when a girl thinks she can let down her hair, roll up her sleeves and tell one or two hot ones to keep the party spirit following. This is particularly true when the jokes are flying thick and fast--at least amongst the men--and you want to join in the fun yourself.
Sometimes this works beautifully, but sometimes the equivalent of the "gold standard" dinner party sketch occurs. (Alas, I cannot access youtube, so if you haven't seen the "gold standard" sketch ["Women, Know Your Limits!"], off you go to look at it.) The male recipient of your witty sally does not laugh but instead looks at your with dark, puzzled eyes, like a confused pug dog. The female recipient gets a horrible frozen expression, and swings her shoulder in your direction--like a door in your face--and makes a remark to someone else.
Tonight I am going to an Important Cocktail Party, so I have to go to the hairdresser and have no more time to blog. So please, dear readers, especially the 179 voting readers, feel free to discuss the results in the combox. Are you prim, or are you proper? Do women entertain or disgust when we acknowledge the sexual realm in our jokes? Is it inherently unfeminine to channel Oscar Wilde? Is it simply un-Catholic? Is it a sin? And--a very important issue to many readers--does it make men think we aren't wife material? What role does context play? Please get the ball rolling below.