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.