Friday, March 14, 2008

Why Women Aren't Funny?...Why does his article make Christopher Hitchens sound like a real dick?

A much belated response to Christopher Hitchens' Why Women Aren't Funny from January 2007 Vanity Fair. Why the very delayed reaction, you ask? Well, nobody in my peer group actually reads Vanity Fair so we're slow to get word of anything interesting. VF is only purchased for the Hollywood issue and the only parts that are read are the captions accompanying the photos, so we're a little delayed on the uptake. Thanks to Julie for emailing me this article the other day with the subject line...
"this is going to piss you off."

I can’t exactly remember the day or even when the incident occurred, but my loving husband in a moment of slightly mean-spirited jeering once said to me, “You think you’re funny, but you’re really not.” I could feel my face turn red, my insides busting to get out and strangle him in retaliation for this ultimate insult. Not funny? He could have insulted my hair, my ass, my art, my crazy parents; anything and I would have shot back equally and brushed it off. I wanted to kick him in the nuts, watch him fold over with a breathless whimper and say something like, “Well, I think that’s pretty funny. Jerk.” For the record, I did no such thing, but I did throw it right back at him and insult his comedic skills and rightfully so. Adam is not known to deliver a joke very well and wouldn’t be considered by most as traditionally funny, but he makes me laugh every day and is extremely unpredictable with how he does it. I have been known to tell him that he is in fact "funny". But, what does all this mean? Is Adam less accepted as a man’s man because rarely tells crass jokes while smoking cigars with the boys? Am I less of a woman because I am considered by most who know me as “funny”? Why have most funny women indoctrinated into the mainstream been stripped of their sexuality, considered masculine or seen as almost asexual because they are lesbian? Why can’t funny women, just be, well…funny people? Prompted by my only recent awareness of *Christopher Hitchens’ Vanity Fair piece from January 2007 (see link above) and a growing and irking curiosity on the subject, I decided to tackle the problem that is the funny lady. This is part of a larger piece, I suspect, and something I’ve been pondering since the first time I was asked outright by an amateur comedian if I was gay after making a particularly mean and aggressively humorous observation in front of him. I’m starting to realize that it couldn’t have just been because of the haircut.