Soft Violations: Humor, Misogyny & Death

Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Jude Lewis

Second Advisor

Laura Heyman


Contemporary Art, Death, Feminism, Humor, Sex

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Fine Arts | Women's Studies


The aim of this thesis is to explore the use of humor in a work of art to challenge social norms and ask open-ended questions. First, this thesis illustrates my understanding of the complicit role I have played living in a patriarchal society and how this affects the way I see the world. The paper then explores how social media has inadvertently developed practices of policing female bodies and how I begin to use humor to counteract this. Next, this thesis explores the use of humor to combat unsolicited dick pics, moving on later to explore the conflicted feelings I have from using my late father’s images and their inherent misogyny. Finally, the thesis concludes that in investigating taboo subjects such as sex and death, there are more questions than answers, but that humor is the opening to this research.


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