Achievement in Comedy - The Internet
So when I started this feminiseries, I had envisioned a landscape of frolicking women, all gently menstruating in unison while we voted and braided each other's hair. It would be like a hipper tampon commercial; if the Diva Cup started running ads on TV, we could all star together - Helen Mirren, Robyn, the Prime Minister of Iceland, and me.
But this land of women would be silent of one thing - laughter. Because, as we all know, women aren't funny. It's been widely documented that comediennes and funny girls are a once-in-a-generation sort of thing. Now that Tina Fey has cemented herself as the top of the pile for hilarity in the 2010s, the rest of us can go back to babbling about relationships, clothes, or the best way to get booze-vomit stains off the wall (sidenote: ew). Because there just isn't enough funny to go around.
SNORE. I am so tired of all the girls-aren't-funny bullcorn that gets tossed around like it's scientific fact. Every few years, we get a new crop of funny dudes (I feel like most recently, it's been the Judd Apatow comedy factory, featuring the Rogen/Segel/Baruchel/etc. bunch, but I'm kind of not really following the scene anymore), but in that whole field of funny, there's usually only one or two female voices. I know that men are awesome, and funny, but the Y chromosome isn't the gene for humour.
A few months ago, Leah McLaren wrote this infuriating column about how women aren't funny because we're the primary child rearers - as such, we spend all our talking time discussing chapped nipples and baby kaka, and forget to crack wise about non-child-related things (is there even such a thing? Please!). McLaren claims that we basically just leak all our funniness when we become mothers - not parents, since daddies are still allowed to be funny! - as though maybe hilarity is leached out through breast milk.
My response to this was basically BITCH PLEASE. While it's possible that, McLaren, as an insufferable cocktail of pretension and attention whoring, has gathered unto her bosom a girl gang made up of acolytes and the kind of girly-girl that wore a tiara to prom and posts ultrasound pictures of her unborn child on Facebook. As the rest of know, these women actually aren't funny. It's hard to have a sense of humour when you're fretting about how big your jean size, or if your boyfriend is cheating/proposing. Wise women have given up on all that, and are basically leaning back in their chairs made of ice cream, smoking fat cigars. And we're cracking jokes. Because that shit does not matter, and there's nothing less funny than worrying about stuff that doesn't compute.
In addition to pornography and procrastination, the internet has transformed the way women are funny. Previously, we had to attempt to break into what was inarguably a boy's club: stand-up comedians and sitcom developers seem to be overwhelmingly male, and they get lots of airtime for being funny on TV and in the movies, where funny women are often relegated to bimbo or slut roles. However, online, girls can skip all that nonsense and just spit out some funny business to the masses directly. What we end up with is sites like Go Fug Yourself and The Hairpin, which are totally femme in their voices...but also hilarious. Sites like mine, with an admittedly low readership, still get good feedback for being funny, and Twitter bon mots are as likely to spring from a mouth ringed in lipstick as one wreathed in a beard.
As in most things, what happens on the internet may not be reality in the rest of the world, but it proves that lazy columns like McLaren's simply aren't true. Our voices may not be heard from network television, but it's absolutely impossible to ignore funny women in all the places we pop up online. I search out great female voices on the internet - not because I'm a feminazi, but because I like relating to what I read and consume. When I get my news from a source that privileges the feminine voice, I do it for the same reason I pop over to BlogTO: because it comes from a place I know. And when I can read funny shit on the internet from a girl's point of view (and not, like, a blog about breastfeeding, Leah), it just all the better.