Batting Clean-Up…: How does humor express differences btwn males & females?

Home Forums Comparison Batting Clean-Up…: How does humor express differences btwn males & females?

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  • #4231


    In his piece “Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out”, Dave Berry employs subtle humor to emphasize the differences between males and females. The use of such humor is particularly utilized when the author’s wife asks her husband to clean her son Robert’s bathroom. He dutifully scrubs it, and then unknowingly, the wife responds at his attempt to disinfect the premises with, “I hate to rush you, but could you do Robert’s bathroom? It’s really filthy.” This subtle use of humor contrasts men and women by showing that what may appear spotless to a man appears filthy to a women. Barry’s internal response, “If I tell her I already cleaned the bathroom, she gives me this look that she has perfected, the same look she used on me the time I selected Robert’s outfit for the first day of school…” shows how women can act superior to men in times of masculine ignorance. By using diction that is not blatantly funny, but that adds understated comedy, Barry is able to subtly establish a contrast between men and women.

  • #4235


    Barry uses subtle humor to contrast Men and Women. In the beginning he mentions that “babies of both sexes have a very low awareness of dirt.” Barry is the comparing the observance of men to that of babies who don’t know anything about dirt other than “it tastes better than food.” He is lightly implying that men are not very intelligent. There is a subtle tone of humor in this comparison. Barry also says that “the women were behaving as if nothing were wrong.” Clearly there was nothing actually wrong; the priorities of men are much different from those of women. The humor in the situation is that what men find to be extremely important, the women don’t even care the slightest bit about. This humor helps to lighten the tone of the piece while making the contrast between men and women.

  • #4243


    Barry uses humor to emphasize differences between men and women that he may not have stated as explicitly. For example, he sees one of the differences between the sexes to be their ability to be aware of dirt but he is also implying that women have an eye for detail while men can be ignorant and not as detail-oriented. This is shown when Barry refers to how he collected his “Standard Male Cleaning Implements” because he does not specify them to be more than “a spray bottle of Windex” and a “wad of paper towels.” His lack of specificity show though humorously ignorant and simple language that he neither pays attention to these types of details nor cares for them. This ignorance can be seen once again when Barry refers to how he returned to his “important project on the Etch-a-Sketch.” Though this humorous example, Barry shows that his activity is not very important by specifying it and emphasizes that men see the importance of useless things but nevertheless cannot see dirt. By using humor, Barry emphasizes the more subtle differences between men and women.

  • #4254


    Barry is clever with his use of humor when contrasting men and women. He uses the ability of women to see dirt that men will often miss as the primary contrasting element in the essay. He humorously states that women can “see dirt that men cannot see, dirt at the level of molecules, whereas men don’t generally notice it until it forms clumps large enough to support agriculture”. This exaggeration humorously implies that women are more observant and aware than men are, to the point where it seems as if they have super powers and are able to see molecules of dirt.

    Barry also uses the ancient city of Pompeii as an “example” to support his claim when he says that “Modern people ask “How come, when the ashes started falling, the Pompeii people didn’t just leave?” The answer is that in Pompeii, it was the custom for the men to do the housework. They never even noticed the ash until it had for the most part covered the children. “Hey!” the men said (in Latin). “It’s mighty quiet around here!” This is one major historical reason why, to this very day, men tend to do extremely little in the way of useful housework”. Barry jokingly implies that men are so unobservant and clueless to dirt and grime that they will not notice it until it covers most of their children, and that this is the reason they do “little in the way of housework”. He offers a funny story to show that he understands that men are not as keen on picking up small details as women are, while preventing his words from assuming an offensive and degrading tone towards this inability of most men. While his examples are greatly exaggerated, they are in a way true. The light, humorous tone he uses makes his readers realize that he is right, and instead being ashamed or offended, the readers are amused and accepting.

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