April Fools’ Day is a day people can use the excuse of making pranks or jokes on friends and family. It’s a day that many celebrate to have a good laugh.
As jokes do bring people together, how far can a joke go? What are some of the boundaries we need to be aware of in jokes and pranks?
Joking about controversial subjects, races, ethnic groups, religions and more things that add to a person’s identity is stepping over this boundary. Some people may disagree and say we can’t always be so serious in life, but when the joke isn’t funny to everyone or puts multiple groups into a bad mood, then that’s when we should reconsider and evaluate how the joke affected them.
Certain jokes about race, gender and religion can be especially offensive. The certain boundaries to this is to not be offensive in any context. For instance, joking about the Holocaust in any way shape or form should be unacceptable. This can trigger sadness in a lot of people, whether they had family affected by it or are victims of antisemitism.
Joking about life events such as death should definitely be unacceptable as well, as it tricks people and puts them in unneeded worry and devastation. Joking about pregnancy should also be socially unacceptable, as thousands of women suffer from miscarriages, and some women are unable to have babies. This is unfair to them and we must consider their feelings as a lot of us cannot know the pain and struggle they go through.
Seeing these jokes and addressing them as inappropriate is the first step into helping to lessen the countless memes, pictures and slurs that people receive this day and everyday. A joke and prank is fun to a lot of people and gives a good laugh, but when jokes are made in a way that messes with others dignity, identity and worth, that’s where a strict line must be placed.