First, both sexes tell dirty jokes Even as the mostly male Congress had passed legislation to allow dirty jokes to constitute a hostile environment, female members of Congress were circulating male-bashing humor 24 Example? “What’s the difference between government bonds and men?” "Bonds mature " This was permitted But had the men asked, “What’s the difference between government bonds and women?" and answered, “Bonds are worth more when they mature," they could be sued Similarly, the women were joking, "Why is it a good thing there are female astro­nauts?" and aaswering, "So someone will ask directions if the crew gets lost in space ” Apparently the male congressmen were afraid to ask, "Who answered when the female astronaut asked for directions?"

Although both sexes have their own styles of humor, we often heard during the Thomas-Hill confrontation that dirty jokes were the way male bosses exert their power over women. Hardly. Men share dirty jokes with peers, buddies, and with anyone uith ubom they feel comfortable. A dirty joke is often a male boss’s unconscious way of getting his staff to not take him so seriously and therefore not be intimidated; his way of creating an atmosphere of easier feedback, of gening his staff to bond. Men get confused when women say they feel left out when they’re not included, then sue when they are included!

Ironically, at the same time millions of dollars are being spent learning about the health benefits of humor, we are spending millions of dollars to censor a form of humor.25 Like "dean" jokes, dirty jokes that produce laughter stimulate our system with oxygen Dirty jokes are really no dirtier than clean jokes – they just play to our hypocrisy: the hypocrisy that makes us call sex dirty and then go out and have sex with someone we love.

When a man is attracted to a woman, being expected to take the sexual initiative does not increase his power, it increases his paralysis. The possibility of a lawsuit just intensifies the paralysis. Ironically, the more dangerous the waters, the more joking serves as a way of testing the waters: if she laughs, maybe she’s interested; if she looks disgusted, maybe she’s not. He would feel much more powerful if she took responsibility for testing the waters.

Sexual-harassment consultants are now encouraging women to keep private (ournal notes about hostile-environment behavior such as dirty jokes Most bosses don’t think their employees are intimidated by dirty jokes, but if they are, would like to be told privately rather than discover a woman has kept journal notes and complained to girlfriends on office time, and is now suing them. If a woman is offended, he would like her to tell him, not sue him.