There are some stereotypes that exist for a reason and are funny to point out that don’t really harm anybody: like all French people wear scarves.
So when Jerry Seinfeld had Gad Elmaleh on an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and noticed he was wearing a scarf, he went on a whole thing about it and it was great, both him and Gad had a wonderful laugh about it.
Finding what’s truly funny about a stereotype in a comedy bit, however, is one thing, especially when a lot of people perceive it to be true. But then there are stereotypes that are just not true and the only reason people refer to them or bring them up are in a cheap attempt to be funny. One such stereotype is the misconception that women are statistically worse drivers than men.
As it turns out though, that perception is categorically false. Now any subject matter could be made fun of, even this unfair stereotype, but what makes this one particularly harmful was highlighted by this airline pilot who shared her experiences of dealing with snarky remarks from passengers who all made the same joke, more or less, about the fact that she was flying the plane and not a man.
Her response to the jokes were on the money: she’s qualified to fly a really, really, expensive commercial airliner, while the people cracking jokes to her are just qualified to keep their seatbelts on until the overhead light turns off.
Charlotte admits that the jokes never really bothered her or got her to think past the lame quip until a fellow crew member got upset.
Charlotte believes that this nonchalant attitude people have towards women attempting careers in male-dominated fields is exactly what so few women become pilots or enroll in STEM programs.
She admitted that her own feelings aren’t of anger or frustration, she’s just sad that the world is still full of people who think it’s OK to say that to a woman who is clearly qualified to do her job.
Charlotte’s tweets quickly went viral, and it got other people sharing their own annoying run-ins with people who felt the need to belittle the work female pilots do.
Like this one guy’s wife who flew for the military but still gets belittled by passengers when she flies.
Other people thought that Charlotte’s response to passengers was perfect and told her not to go too hard on them.
And there were some other people who offered up some suggestions as to how Charlotte should respond next time.
As it turns out, Charlott’s captain had some choice words for some passengers.
Obviously, it’s not just in the airline industry where women face prejudice when it comes to dealing with men.
But since Charlotte was talking about flying planes, there were people pointing out that yes, it’s not uncommon for women to be incredible pilots. Like this guy’s daughter.
Hearing a female captain’s voice also has a profound effect on some passengers, saying it sets an example for every woman on the flight.
So the next time you want to make a joke about stereotypically bad drivers, make sure that you’re at least picking the right demographic to make fun of.