I enjoy a good joke as much as the next person. I don't like jokes that utilize stereotypes. But what bothers me even more is when someone who should really know better is making the jokes. Take for example the following four jokes.
"Q. When does a person decide to become an accountant?
A. When he realizes that he does not have the charisma to succeed as an undertaker." -- www.sbm.temple.edu/~epress/jokes.htm
"Q. How do you drive an accountant completely insane?
A. Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him, and fold up a road map the wrong way"--www.sinclair.edu/departments/acc/jokes.html
"What's an extroverted accountant?
One who looks at your shoes while he is talking to you, instead of his own."-- www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/a/v/avd1/ajok.htm : also heard at a professional conference for accountants.
"What does an accountant use for birth control?
His or her personality. "--/www.uoregon.edu/~ima/classic.html
These were among a multitude of jokes about accountants on the four sites. They are probably the least of the offensive stereotypical jokes at those sites. And what else do those four sites have in common? They are all sites of colleges and universities that offer accounting courses. Kind of scary when you think about it. What are these colleges saying to their students who are considering accounting as a possible major?
I have to applaud the AICPA and the State CPA societies for its CPA image campaign which is particularly important post-Enron. But I urge them to not concentrate just on the general public, but also the educators. It's sad when educators contribute to and foster this kind of bias.
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