GUEST BLOGGER – CONNIE CHURCHER
“Women just aren’t as funny as men.” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard or read that sentence. Most recently I read it in the comments of this Guardian article about the increase in higher profile female writers and female driven comedy, and the debate on twitter about Banter.
To anyone who has ever said, nay even considered, that women just are not made to be funnier than men I say this: funny is subjective doofus! Isn’t it wonderful that we all have such a rich and varied idea of what is funny? If I laugh until wine comes out of my nose when watching NewGirl (written by a woman) does that make it less funny than Ricky Gervais calling people mongs, for example? I’ll take Zooey any day.
However I would not dream of imposing my taste on others so for those of you who really do not find women funny you can take all the Achmed the Dead Terrorist and Roy Chubby Brown you want.
I’ll be over here enjoying Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican until wine shoots out of my nose, thank you very much.
Subtle sexism.The boring sweeping generalisations that women all display certain personality traits, want pink phones and are all looking for fulfilment through a fella.
“You run like a girl.” Ah, like Kelly Holmes then, thanks!
“Women are more nurturing than men.” I don’t know about that, all my house plants die pretty quickly.
“Her biological clock is ticking.” Personally I think I have a biological cheese deficiency. I only get urges towards grated parmesan.
This subtle sexism hides something more sinister: women are slaves to their hormones, merely existing in order to sprog up, and are worse than men in anything that counts. If boys and girls grow up hearing the word girl as an insult, what does that say about what we think of girls? Watch this short talk by Tony Porter from TED. He sums this up much better than I can.
These small infringements on women lead to big scary things infringements before you know it, like the bill currently mooted in Arizona which would require women to tell their employers why they are on the pill. Why? So that they can refuse to pay for healthcare if you are taking the pill as a method of birth control.
Let’s scare the women! Don’t wear your skirt too short. Don’t get in a cab unless you have it via one safe number. Don’t leave your drink unattended. Don’t walk anywhere after dark. If you wear your hair in a pony tail rapists will use it to pull you down a dark alley. A friend noticed the pub she was drinking in had posters up in each of the ladies cubicles: about not getting in minicabs; calling your friends to make sure they were safe; not leaving your drinks unattended. While I don’t think this advice is invalid – we all need to keep safe – are there posters
covering the men’s loos telling them not to drug women; not to sleep with women when they are too drunk to say no; not to rape women?
If anyone can tell me I would be interested in finding out.
In answer to your question:
No, there aren’t any posters in the men’s bathroom telling us not to drug or rape women. This is because they would be ineffective. A man who would do these things isn’t going to stop doing them because he sees a poster telling him not to. If he’s that kind of cad, he’ll go ahead anyway.
On the other hand, a poster in the women’s bathroom advising her to take defensive measures against rapists might well prompt her to take the advice. That poster wouldn’t be wasted.
I apologize if I’ve taken a rhetorical question too literally.
This blog makes the dangerous assumption that Ricky Gervais is funny. Tests involving samples of his wit mixed with rabbit urine and pH indicator solution have shown this not to be the case.
Susan Calman trumps Sarah Millican every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
I totally agree! My experience in improv class was that the moment i did some comedy, improvising – the men no longer were flirted with me from that point on, they saw me as a threat or something they didn’t understand – as i was one of the better improvisers and no longer deemed a female trying to have a go; which is weird in today’s world surely? I found it quite sad actually. ho hum.
statistically, aren’t men more likely to be assaulted than women? so often the ‘facts’ don’t match the stats…
If I say something funny to a dreary man they look surprised and actually say “oh, that was quite funny”
I dont know how you did it, you got in my head and put it on paper.