12 December 2006

Not Funny

Thanks to Pamie and Gwen for calling out this travesty. In the next Vanity Fair: why girls can't possibly be funny. Written by one Christopher Hitchens, whose gender alone eminently qualifies him to expound upon the subject of humor.

What century are we in?

As a woman, he decrees that I am going to be slower to get a joke than a man. If this column is a joke, then that's true. But, unfortunately, I think not.

"Precisely because humor is a sign of intelligence ... it could be that in some way men do not want women to be funny." I would hope that's not true for all men, but it certainly seems to be the case here.

And no, I was not "taught by my mother that I become threatening to men if I appear too bright." Because it is not 1947, I am not a "Math is hard!" Barbie, and any guy threatened by me is not one about whose opinion I do not remotely care.

And then you try to tell me that I am not funny because my PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO HAVE BABIES?

You said it pretty - "For women, reproduction is, if not the only thing, certainly the main thing.... For women the question of funniness is essentially a secondary one. They are innately aware of a higher calling that is no laughing matter," - but that's what you meant.

And even apart from the misogyny of that... what are you TALKING about? EVERYTHING about reproduction is funny. Sex is funny. Pregnancy is funny. Childbirth is funny (black humor, maybe, but funny). Babies are funny. If you can't see that, whose sense of humor sucks?

I understand it's deliberately controversial; I understand he's doing his job. But that's what annoys me on top of it all - there's "controversial," and then there's "trying to be controversial but really just using big words and complex sentence construction to hide the fact that you have no sustainable argument." I know that game. I'm great at that game. Don't try to sneak that past me.

"For men, it is a tragedy that the two things they prize the most—women and humor—should be so antithetical." I suspect the dichotomy lies less between women and humor, and more between you, sir - and a smart, funny woman who would tolerate you.

Pamie and Gwen, by the way? Are smart and funny, and said all this better than me, so you should go read what they said, too. They're some of the professionally funny women that I suppose shouldn't exist.

Douchebag.

2 comments:

Matthew said...

I'm not about to support this entire article, just his main point. Women aren't dumber then men. But we are funnier. It isn't a sign of intelligence; it's a sign of society. Women don't have to be funny, guys do. Guys don't describe girls as funny, except, in the rare occurrence that a girl is in fact as funny as a guy. The for the most part, girls talk about stupid shit, not to say guys don't. Sports and video games, is not intelligent, I freely admit that. But that is the difference as the author points out. Self-deprecation. I know I'm a molecule of DNA or two away from being a crap-throwing monkey. Women don't see themselves like that. Most of you all want to be princesses and are above a joke about stupid shit. Girls are cute type of funny, not gasp-for-air-you're-laughing-so-hard type of funny.
You want proof? Go into a comedy club or name some female comedians. 90% of them would make me vomit. There are exceptions of course, but for the most part women aren't funny. The funny female comedians are cleaver, safe and for the most part clean. Not to say that to be funny you have to be filthy but sometimes it helps to go over the top. Comics also need to know when to go for the throat, ie dealing with a heckler. Women don’t know when or how to do that and, again, that has nothing to do with intelligence.
It has something to do with upbringing. Guys are brought up getting yelled at saying, “toughen up” or “don’t be a girl”. Girls are coddled continuously their whole lives because there will almost always be a guy who will coddle them. That’s just life. You’ve seen that picture with the hot model on it and the caption says something like, “somewhere, a guy is sick of her shit”. She is full of shit because another guy is waiting in line right after the first guy calls it quits. Once more, I’m not calling women stupid, or here just for making babies. I’m all for equality, just not at the comedy club.
You're right that the author is "trying to be controversial but really just using big words and complex sentence construction to hide the fact that you have no sustainable argument" and he is in fact, quite a large douche bag.
But even douche bags are touch upon truth once in a while.


By the way, I still want my Christmas presents. (<---See that, funny!)

Sarah said...

I agree that our society makes it easier for men to be funny. But the problem with that is that it doesn't follow that women AREN'T as funny. I think some women are sometimes funnier among themselves than in mixed company or around men. And maybe sometimes it's a humor that men don't get. But if you're a woman, I think you would absolutely agree that we can be pretty fucking hysterical.

Like, I find it funny that you think you're getting Christmas presents. You may not.