Pretty Funny

The above is a picture of Phyllis Diller, she was quite the dish. Down-right hot, so hot in fact, she was denied a Playboy spread. See, Playboy did a Mama Cass spread and thought it would be funny to then do an unattractive skinny girl spread. They chose Diller because she made her career on being funny but ugly—except it was a lie. Phyllis Diller was a good looking woman with a curvy body and large breasts. The Playboy spread wasn’t a joke—it looked like a legit spread, therefore it was not funny and scraped.

Phyllis Diller made her mark by being funny but ugly but she wasn’t ugly. Tina Fey makes her mark by talking about how she has no life and eats cheese in pajamas, Whitney Cummings modeled through college but goes on stage in a baggy shirt, no makeup, and a ponytail. Do you want to know why? It’s because women are not allowed to be pretty and funny.

I recently watched a documentary called, “Why We Laugh: Funny Women” and it spent a lot of time discussing this “women aren’t funny” rumor that men have started. I really loved some of the comebacks. Basically, they were saying “women aren’t funny the same way men aren’t good in bed—you would say that if that’s all you’ve had”. The truth is—it’s not that women aren’t funny it’s that men don’t want them to be funny. Women have taken a role in everything and we had to fight for that role—it’s the same in comedy.

This documentary also talked about how the majority of women on the road do not have families. No husband, no babies, no pets. It’s too hard to be gone 39 weeks a year and maintain a family—but men have all those things because they have women at home. Men also get to sleep with their audience. This part really stuck with me. The women in the documentary spoke about how they don’t know one woman that took someone home at the end of the night but every male comic has. When a women is witty or funny she’s not sexy—when a man is he’s attractive.

I experienced this on my first date with my boyfriend. I was “quippy” it’s how I operate. I make snide (what I find funny) remarks. For instance—my boyfriend is 5’7 and he was talking about how he played football and my response was “what were you, the kicker?” My friend kicked me under the table and his friend said, “Wow you’re a bitch”. Now, if my boyfriend would’ve said that to me it would’ve been called “flirting” there’s even a term for this called “negging” and it’s taught by “pickup artists” and Russell Brand. Make a girl feel bad about herself and she’ll have to qualify herself to date you. But turn that table and you are a bitch. Luckily, my boyfriend got that joke and that’s why we’re together.

To be a comedian you have to de-sex yourself. You have to make people relax and they can’t relax if you’re sexy, apparently. The women in this documentary said that women in the audience get mad if you’re sexy and men stop listening because they’re focused on wanting to have sex. It’s a good way to win an audience. I find that so interesting. Why can’t a woman be pretty and funny? Sexy and funny? Or even better: sexy, funny, smart, and successful?  A man can be all these things and more. You can say a man is sexy, funny, smart, successful, a pit of a prick but still a good guy. But you can never say a woman is “a bitch but still a great woman”. She’s always just one thing. A bitch. Sexy. Pretty. Funny. Smart.

I find this interesting since women are expected to be all things: mother, daughter, friend, comforter, gatherer, lover, lady, and sister—but in certain settings we are stripped of these things and made to be one thing: Just A Girl.



You Might Also Like ...

Gay Male and Lesbian Sex Stereotypes: They’re Just Male And Female Stereotypes, Really

“All gay guys are sluts and lesbians are obsessed with commitment.”

Sometimes the first stereotype is used as an attack on the gay community (which is bad, but not as bad as the absurd: “Bisexuals are just really slutty,” line). “Commitment-obsessed” is a much gentler criticism, and less likely to be brought up by conservative pundits.

These are more likely to be brought up by comedians. And I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be—I mean, comedians should joke about almost* everything. I mean, if Joan Rivers jokes: “What do lesbians bring for their second date? A moving van,” I’m not going to accuse her of being anti-gay or homophobic or fostering anti-gay ideas. For one thing, Joan Rivers has been a friend to the gay community for much longer than I have been alive. But also, these jokes are mostly harmless.

In any event, “gay men are slutty,” statements come from the idea that gay men like to have lots of sex, and perhaps with different or multiple partners at different times.

This stereotype is not accurate. There are plenty of gay people who do not have high sex drives, or who treasure monogamy (I don’t know why, but they exist, and in no small numbers). But more importantly, this could be simplified by saying that: “Men are slutty. Men like to have sex. They think about sex all of the time. Men would like to have sex with lots of different partners—sometimes multiple partners at once.”

And that works for straight men just as well. Again, it’s not accurate—it’s a stereotype. In the world of stereotypes, men are slutty (whether they’re after women or men or both). In the world of stereotypes, women crave commitment and monogamy and want to move in together because they are so in love with domestic partnership and the idea of true love—whether with a man or with a woman.

Now, I can tell you with even greater confidence that there are plenty of women who are not after commitment. Or monogamy. Or cohabitation. Strong, empowered women, gay or straight, who treasure their independence (including living in their own place or at least not living with a sexual partner) and enjoy a variety of sexual partners.

So, you know, whenever you hear stereotypes, don’t just remember that stereotypes are often inaccurate. Remember that they may describe a larger group than just the minority. Though I’m probably preaching to the choir, here.

 

*When it comes to comedy, I only take exception to instances in which a comedian makes an “argument” in stand-up that might actually encourage people to commit violent acts. Jokes that perpetuate the notion that women are objects (anything that encourages rape culture) are a prime example. Also, less frequently, comedians will make very poor-taste “comedic” arguments in favor of domestic violence (particularly child-abuse—like the never-funny Carlos Mencia’s “White People: Beat Your Kids” segment). Just because something is upsetting does not mean that it should be off-topic for comedy. They just need to not encourage violence.



You Might Also Like ...

I Implicitly Trust The B In Apartment 23


I put off watching Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 for the longest time. Why? Because I tend to put off things that I know that I will enjoy. Especially comedies—I did not start watching Parks and Recreation until this past summer (so I had four seasons to watch at once, which was neat). I waited for a lull in my television viewing schedule and then I watched everything from the pilot episode through season two, episode ten, which is as many episodes as had aired up to that point.

You guys, everything that the gifsets that I saw on Tumblr promised was true. Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 is fantastic. Primarily, it follows two young women as they share an apartment in New York City.

One character is June, an ambitious, organized young woman from . . . honestly one of those land-locked states that terrify me (no offense). She is new to New York City, but the new job that she was offered goes down the drain when she arrives and so she has to seek a new living situation (and a new job). Thanks to this situation and her roommate, her life is no longer on its original track—but it is clear as you watch the show that this is a good thing.

The other main character is Chloe, June’s fantastic roommate. Chloe is . . . well, an outlandish character, to say the least. Her role and personality is along similar lines as comedic characters Maryann Thorpe from Cybill or Karen Walker from Will And Grace. In other words, she’s basically perfect. She’s a delightful harlot with a wonderful sense of fun (one which June lacks, at least initially). She is wise to the ways of the world (in contrast to June, who is really, really naïve). She is also completely out of her mind. It’s fantastic. (And yes, her bangs are stupid. No one hates bad haircuts more than I do, but even I got past it)

Also James Van Der Beek is the third main character (portraying himself), and you kind of don’t know that from commercials (at least from the commercials that I have seen). In the heyday of Dawson’s Creek I kind of thought that he had a weird face and was old (you guys, in the heyday of Dawson’s Creek, I was, like, eleven). He is so funny on this show and I’m oddly attracted to him on it. Kind of like how I couldn’t have cared less about Friends when it was on, but when I see Matt LeBlanc on the BBC comedy series, Episodes, I find him …

Continue reading



You Might Also Like ...

Leslie Knope VS Liz Lemon


First of all, let me say that this is my fiftieth post on Zelda Lily since I first began in late July of this year. I am so happy that I get to write for this marvelous blog. I hope that you have all enjoyed reading my posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them. I love you guys.

Leslie Knope VS Liz Lemon: this is a contest between awesome, hilarious ladies whom I absolutely adore. I do not even mean the actresses who portray them—whom I love so much and probably equally. I mean the characters—the protagonists of the NBC comedies Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock, respectively.

Both shows are wonderful and hilarious, and provide an endless supply of hilarious quotes. But while both have wonderfully comical views of the world, are portrayed by marvelous ladies, and have a fondness for an overabundance of unhealthy food, I have to say that Leslie Knope has the edge—and here is why.

Leslie Knope’s life is much more together than Liz Lemon’s. Leslie Knope has a rising political career, which has its hilarious ups and downs. Liz Lemon’s life as a writer for The Girly Show is in constant crisis.

Leslie Knope embraces her sexuality. While I am not a Reagan fan, I am such a fan of Margaret Thatcher, and she and her dreamy boyfriend Ben Wyatt roleplay (as we have heard in accidental voicemails on the show) as various political figures while in bed. She also really enjoys making out with Ben, where Liz Lemon seems fearful of sex, sexuality, and willfully ignorant of sex itself. That is just not something that I can understand. And while Liz Lemon has many admirable qualities, that alone makes me wonder if anyone should aspire to be her.

Leslie Knope is a much better mentor, and not just because Liz Lemon is surrounded by pathologically insane people while Leslie is mostly just surrounded by goofy people.

Leslie Knope’s office is filled with portraits of marvelous, strong female politicians. Liz Lemon’s office is filled with cluttered sadness.

Both have their home lives as a wreck. Leslie Knope’s home is a suffocating hoarder nightmare. Liz Lemon’s home, while much more physically orderly, is in chaos because Liz is often unsure of what she wants. Despite the fact that every relationship that she has ever had has failed (which is, you know, normal), she is still pursuing love at every opportunity. And while any sane person would date James Marsden when given the opportunity, she sort of reminds me of a much more intelligent, older Taylor Swift in terms of her hopeless pursuit of romance.

Basically, Leslie Knope knows what she wants. Liz Lemon is always looking to others for life advice. I kind of just wish that Liz Lemon would meet Leslie Knope and get advice from her.

Or, if not, settle down and just allow herself to be happy. She already knows that food is the key to that. So she should go for it.



You Might Also Like ...