In her review of gender studies Hawkesworth (1997) notes that their scope includes history, language, literature and the arts, the media, politics, psychology, religion, medicine and science, law, and the workplace (p.650). However, the consideration of gender here need not be so wide, as it is determined by the salient facts relating to the disputed remark which occurs in the final analysis – ‘Margaret Thatcher was a man’. The relevant contextual factors to be considered will be: the notions of gender identities and representations, gender and language, and gender and humour. The investigation of gender identities will be one that deliberately points up the diversity and ambivalence of contemporary gender and sexual identities in order to both show their complexities and display the scope for play they provide. The main concern in the discussion of gender and language will be to demonstrate that though the main schools of thought are those of difference and dominance, at least one recent trend is moving away from this basic divide. And the look at gender and humour will deal with the past exclusion of women from comedy and the debate concerning the similarities and differences between ‘masculine’ humour and ‘feminine’ humour.

7. Some Gender Aspects

7.1 Gender Identities and Representations>

7.2 Gender and Language>

7.3 Gender and Humour>