Blondes are a symbol of both beauty and on the downside senselessness. Media such as television, movies and radio have made countless jokes and stereotypes about ‘dumb blondes’ for years. Starting January 1, there is a new law that makes jokes about blondes illegal. It is a part of a new set of anti-terrorism measures, because according to lawmakers, blonde-haired people may feel marginalized and turn to terrorism as a form of revenge towards the society that rejected them. Charges for not abiding by this law can last up to 2 years for repeat offenders.
The law was initially for authorities, that they can pass laws that avoid promoting extremist standpoints. This new law may be considered as questionable humor or seen as an overreaction or unnecessary. It is also deemed as invasion of privacy and extremely humurous. In reality many people say things due to stupid reasons or bad taste and many people are affected by them and some of these remarks do have a great psychological impact. In fact, there are groups in Budapest, Romania and Russia aimed to fight for the rights of blondes as they feel discriminated especially at work and on the streets.
Apart from blonde jokes, paragraphs 278 and 283 of the Austrian penal code also ban jokes about or against people from the Burgenaland region of Austria, which is an agricultural region in the far east of Austria. Locals in this area are often subjected to jokes or lines similar to how Irishmen were originally treated in the UK.
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