For anyone in the vicinity of immature pre-teen and teen boys, “Go make me a sandwich” should sound pretty familiar. It’s the “Your mom” joke of this generation, something that’s said after almost any comment. If don’t know what a “Your mom” joke is, the rock you’re under is getting a little dusty. To see an example of either comeback, venture no further than the comment section on a YouTube video or the quotes people “like” on Facebook.
Urban Dictionary describes a Make Me a Sandwich joke as “What you say to a woman when you don’t want to put up with any more of her shit.” For example, “Sara told me to switch off the football game, but instead I told her to shut the f*** up and make me a sandwich.” Herein lies the problem with this comeback. This is not a simple brush off or a witty way to say, “Oh get a life.” Instead, the “Make me a sandwich” comment is most commonly followed with “Bitch.” It’s a boy’s way of saying–in a socially acceptable way–that he doesn’t care what a girl thinks; that her role is not to think at all, in fact, but to serve. Unfortunately, many boys think it’s a great way to get a rise out of girls and women and use it as a mild insult. What most of them don’t know or don’t care about is what they’re really saying.
To be told to make a sandwich is like being told to go back to the kitchen. It is a saying that girls and women don’t contribute and aren’t productive. Instead, they should stay inside and provide food for the men. The saying is not only used as a funny comeback, but also as the butt-end of many offensive jokes–many of them insinuating abuse. They suggest that girls and women who don’t do what they are supposed to deserve to be hurt and beaten up.
This kind of “innocent” joke is exactly what SPARK is fighting against. The more people that think this comeback is okay, the more they will feel like degrading women is acceptable. We’ve worked long decades to fight for our equal opportunities; let’s not let this immature joke go unquestioned. But it’s not just offensive jokes about sandwiches that we need to address. It’s all the hurtful and degrading media and comments that stem from simple jokes. Together we need to work together to point out what’s wrong and educate others. It’s the only way to keep moving forward. So my response to “Make me sandwich, Bitch” will be, “Sure. When I get that 33 more cents compared to your dollar.”