Council in Britain bars mother-in-law jokes

Such humour is no longer acceptable, according to officials at the London Borough of Barnet.
Daily Telegraph reported Monday that the order was issued in a 12-page booklet called "Cultural awareness: General Problems".

"Humour can be incredibly culture-specific, and is very open to misinterpretation or even offense (sic) by other cultures. And don’t forget when you don’t know what people are laughing at, it is very easy to imagine that they are laughing at you.

“British mother-in-law jokes, as well as offensively sexist in their own right, can also be seen as offensive on the grounds that they disrespect elders or parents,” the booklet states.

Barnet has the second largest population of the 33 London boroughs and women outnumber men by 170,000 to 161,500.

One of the earliest known reference's to mother-in-law jokes was from the first century AD when Juvenal wrote in Satire VI: “It is impossible to be happy while one’s mother-in-law is still alive.” |

Les Dawson’s stand-up routine in the 20th century had quips like: “My mother-in-law fell down a wishing well, I was amazed - I never knew they worked”. Also, “My mother-in-law said, `one day I will dance on your grave’. I said `I hope you do, I will be buried at sea'.”

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