There’s this personal finance blogger who often “pretends” to be a jerk to his wife. It’s a running gag with him and he puts in her commentary as editors notes.
For one of these he spent the entire post complaining about how much laundry she does. It read very much like a painful other side of a captain awkward post. So in the comments I told him it wasn’t funny, and explained why.
Two days later we got a bunch of blog hits from him mocking me for calling him Darth Vader (which I didn’t—I was explaining why that humor isn’t funny in the context of Captain Awkward). Turns out he elevated my comment to a post, twisted it, and accused me of reading incomprehension because he didn’t understand I was complaining about his failed attempt at humor.
So, in short, “pretending” to be a jerk to your wife in a public forum isn’t funny. Back in the day more people probably thought Ralph Cramden’s repeated line from the honeymooners about sending his wife Alice to the moon with a punch right in the kisser was funny. Now we are less likely to laugh about threatened spousal abuse. I hope that one day doods like this guy will stop their controlling husband shtick because nobody finds controlling husbands acceptable anymore. Until then, these kinds of posts further the patriarchy by making the unacceptable seem acceptable. And that’s really not funny at all.
Scalzi says the failure mode of clever is asshole, and misogynistic humor fits right in there. Even if the woman is “in” on the joke.