Iker Casillas: “I’m Gay” Does He Deserve the Media and Social Lynchings for His Joke?


The limits of humor on stigmatized minorities is a recurring debate

Casillas’ joke, who posted on his Twitter Sunday “I hope they respect me: I’m gay,” costs him money. Thousands of internet users found it frivolous and offensive. Everyone has jumped on him: the LGTBI+ associations have shouted to the skies and most of the press are censoring his behavior, calling him clumsy to say the least. Josh Cavallo, the Australian footballer who recently had the courage to come out, is outraged. The Higher Sports Council has itself hastily published a tweet in which it denounces how much more needs to be done to raise awareness in this area. Carles Puyol, who had played along with the joke – “it’s time to tell our story” – has been forced to apologize, as has Iker himself. His justification that his account was hacked has convinced almost no one.

In part, you have to congratulate yourself. The social response, belligerent with jokes like this, shows that civil society and its various institutions are taking responsibility for the discrimination that homosexuals continue to suffer. And that the majority criticize the fact that football is one of the last bastions of the overwhelming heteronormativity. However, the dust of the two controversial tweets is part of a debate that keeps popping up and on which humans are not yet in agreement: that of the border of humor.

Aristotle already wrote that ‘the public does not want the unfortunate to be mocked’. In ancient Rome, Cicero was also aware that acceptable mockery had its limits, but he used his caustic verb to shoot left and right. Today it would be unthinkable for a congressman to make a joke about the disability of Echenique – the deputy of ‘Unidas Podemos’ – but in his public debates in the Senate or in court, Cicero used the mockery of physical defects, something he liked a lot, as long as it was done with ingenuity. Some will say we evolved. But in fact people joke about Echenique online. In fact, the politician himself has played a part in some jokes in which he laughs at his luck in a wheelchair.

For some, only members of a minority would have the right to play pranks on themselves. It’s a self-harming comedy. In the United States, comedians like Sarah Silverman have caused controversy. If there had been more blacks in Nazi Germany, the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened – he assured on a show. And immediately he blew up the audience: “Or at least not the Jews.” While there are those who censor it, another section of the audience tolerates this kind of humor: Silverman is Jewish.

It’s hard to agree. Everyone understands that if you are part of the group that is the subject of the joke and you have suffered, you don’t feel like laughing and that it bothers you. But on the other hand, humor also makes it possible to downplay any problem and even talk about it freely. The networks were inundated with memes and jokes about covid, despite the millions of victims around the world. 9/11 or some other tragedy encourages black humor. For some, everything in life has its funny side. One of the keys to making the joke permissible is that a certain amount of time must pass before we can take some distance. “Humour equals tragedy plus time,” said Mark Twain. It seems that we have only recently come to agree that the suffering of homosexuals is unbearable by our standards of coexistence. Hence, certain jokes cause blisters.

In any case, humor should never be taken out of context. Iker’s performance was a nod to the constant annoyances of the pink press that gave him a new romance every week. Puyol and Casillas have given ample signs of forbearance and example. A gay friend, whose opinion I consulted, wrote me that we are losing our sense of humor, that there is too much tension and that humor is not at its best. I wrote to him asking when we were going to tell our story. “We’re waiting for it to clear up,” he replied gracefully, accepting the joke.

Source: La Verdad


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