Uteruses Before Duderuses Before Misogynistic Asshattery

07/18/2012 · 27 comments

in Psychological Warfare, Sadist Vagina, What Is Wrong With You?

There’s been a lot of heat about women in comedy lately, and it’s high time everyone calm the fuck down and take a life time out to think about what’s actually going on.

Adam Carolla Says Women Aren’t Funny

I don’t think Margaret Cho is all that funny. It’s not because she’s a woman that I don’t like her. I don’t care for her style or her jokes, but I acknowledge that others do. My distaste for her comedy doesn’t automatically make all women unfunny. On that same hand, I also don’t like Vince Vaughn, Dane Cook, Steve Byrne, Jeff Dunham, Adam Sandler, and Russell Brand–not because they have penises. I don’t like them because, to me, they’re just not funny.

The problem with saying “women aren’t funny” is that if a man isn’t funny, he’s just not funny. It’s not because he has a dick, or a chest blissfully tit-free. When a woman isn’t funny, she isn’t funny because of her lady sensibilities. When you’re a good comedian, you’re really good and everyone ignores your gender. When you’re an unfunny woman, you’re a dumb cunt and because of you no women are funny ever.

I once hit the front page of Fark.com with Oh Good, You Saved Your Bullshit, and got a fair number of replies. I noticed a pattern in the comments: somewhere around 80% of the good ones never stated a gender. 15% straight up thought I was a dude. 5% said, “that’s a funny lady,” or something along those lines. Those who found me not funny were the first to point out I was a woman. The issue is not that they didn’t think I was funny. Not everyone is going to find me funny. Some people are turned away by the language I use or by the jokes I make. Some people just plain don’t like me, and that’s fine. Comedy is subjective.

What bothers me is the idea that if some people don’t think I’m funny, the first thing they will do is attack my gender.

“Women only talk like that to sound like a man.”
“Women only joke about boyfriends and periods.”
“Women only get laughs because they have boobs and men want to fuck them.”

Kevin Hart can tell period joke that is hilarious, but if I were to tell it, it automatically becomes prohibited “bitch comedy.” That’s bullshit. Gender doesn’t matter. Who gives a shit if I’m a woman or not–if I make you laugh, I make you laugh.

I was once told, “Well, you’re not as funny as Louis CK, so women aren’t funny.” Fuck, of course I’m not as funny as Louis CK. I’m also not as funny as Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, Lucille Ball, Kristen Wiig, Nasim Pedrad, Stephnie Weir, Laura Kightlinger, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph and so many other female comedians. Judge comedy on the comedy itself, not on the person delivering.

Look, it’s not fair at all that women are judged on their comedy like this, but that’s the case right now. If you’re a woman in comedy, you have to be good enough for you and trust that others will find you funny. The culture isn’t going to automatically change because you bitch and because it’s unfair. You have to work a little harder. You have to be a little better. You can’t change your gig to make misogynists laugh–good men will find you funny, assholes will be assholes. Fuck ‘em. Be good anyways.

The Heckler and The Tosh

Hecklers deserve 100% of the bullshit they get because FUCK HECKLERS. If comedy is participatory, the performers will let you know. They will call you out, they will make it clear. Other than that, SHUT THE MOTHERFUCK UP. You’re ruining everyone’s day when you heckle.

What made this particular heckler so different is the fact that when she was called out for saying Rape Jokes aren’t funny (most aren’t–very, very few are.) Tosh responded, with not a rape joke, but a call for this woman to be gang raped in a joking manner. That’s not a rape joke, that’s not a rape comment–that’s a half-assed call for rape.

To those who say she deserved it, that it was called for, let me give you this: what if Tosh began a set by talking about a guy getting the shit kicked out of him, and some man in the audience yells, “fight jokes are never funny.” Tosh responds, “wouldn’t it be funny if this guy got the shit kicked out of him by like 5 guys, right now? Like right now?”

It’s innocuous, right? “Oh man, that guy deserves to get the shit kicked out of him because he heckled. Hi-larious”

But then, what if he did get his ass kicked? What if 5 guys beat this man into an unrecognizable pulp right in front of everyone? Is that funny? No, it’s fucking horrific and uncalled for and it’s squarely in Tosh’s hands at that point. Half-assedly calling for a heckler to be raped or beaten or murdered is not okay. Tosh fucked right the hell up. As a coach and successful comedian said this week to me, you have to own what you say and be prepared for what that might cause. Sometimes you say stupid shit onstage because you’re not thinking and it rolls off your tongue and you immediately wish you hadn’t said it. Sometimes that ruins careers. All of the time, we have room to learn from their mistakes.

When things get too tense in a room, the quickest way to diffusion is to tell a joke. Comedy, in that same turn, points out the absurdities of racism, sexism, rape culture, dick culture, war, disease, hate, and every other negative thing about our world. That means talking about scary, potentially offensive things in order to bring them into focus. Comedy has a strange power over people–Jon Stewart is a great example of the good comedy can do from making possibly offensive jokes to get a point across. Tosh’s heckler is a bad example.

Comedians are meant to find the perceived line and cross it. Your offensive line is different than mine, and because of that, not every joke can be handled the same way. Not every comic is the same, not every crowd get the same show, not every heckler is the same. You can’t demand that no one tell any potentially offensive joke ever again because that’s absurd and defeats the entire point of comedy.

Instead of rearing up because you hear a joke that offends you, I want you to think about why it offends you. Is it because you hold those same sentiments and someone called you on it? Is it because it was told poorly and was perhaps unintentionally offensive? Maybe it was just because it was sexist or racist as fuck and it’s a shitty joke to tell (and probably said for cheap shock value). Figure out what you didn’t like, why, and then start talking.

We’re all on this planet together. Sometimes, you’re going to hear, see, do, and experience things you don’t like. We are only going to learn and grow through a dialogue, and not by screaming at a problem demanding that it never ever happen again ever. Misogynists especially will not listen even a little bit when you scream–they’ll work harder to silence you. You have to do your own research, form your own opinion, and be a better example.

It’s the hard truth to learn that everyone sucks–everyone on this planet has something shitty about them. Mother Theresa even sucked a little bit. She probably had a wicked farting obsession and farted on as many people as she could. You suck, your mother sucks, Tosh sucks, I suck. We can all suck less if we all calm the fuck down and talk.

I’ve been fortunate to not be hit by too much sexism in my comedy career. I know others have–any stories? What do you think about these two events?

Favorite Comment From The Last Post:
From Johi: “I still can’t get over that damned Ron expecting his bitch to just buy up that Ranch dressing like that.” 
Mayor Gia July 18, 2012 at 6:38 am

Interesting. The Adam Carolla thing is such bullshit (even though he claims it was taken out of context and yadda yadda yadda). It’s true, women get blamed for BEING WOMEN (as in, being unfunny is a innate nature of our being). Not fair.
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Mandi E. July 18, 2012 at 6:50 am

I actually found you through TotalFark, before it hit the mainpage, so I didn’t really see most of the comments in the thread. I will say, however, that I’ve been a participating Farker for 7 years now and most of those bitches still don’t know I have a vagina. Hence, I must be HILARIOUS.
Mandi E. recently posted..MWF seeks honest, stable, good writer for LTR. Call you, maybe?

Ninja Mom July 18, 2012 at 7:11 am

I have willfully ignored finding out more about the Adam Corolla thing.

I have gleefully laughed at jokes made about LOL Cats. I ignore gender, fuck, I ignore species.

In the same way I think women should ignore the “bitch comedy” thing. Haters almost always pick the wrong thing to hate on because they didn’t get the joke in the first place and the best criticism they have is, “Look at your tits. You’re a bitch.”

Make your funny. Your audience will find you. Maybe it *will* be mostly an audience of women. Maybe it will only be your mom and someone who wandered in expecting dinner theater. Take your audience and carry them to the top of your game.

Equality will come. Equal paychecks for jokes will come. We gotta keep cracking wise and appreciating the laughs we get.

Great piece, Noa.
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Misty July 18, 2012 at 7:55 am

What? You mean . . . you’re . . . you’re a WOMAN? This whole time, I thought Noa was a dude’s name. That’s why I thought you were so damn funny! I feel bamboozled. Damn bitch with your tits and unfunniness and trickery. Boo!! Chicks ain’t funny. Can we talk about penises and drinking beer now? Ok then, all better.
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Jen July 18, 2012 at 8:25 am

I think most women are funny BECAUSE they’re women. There’s only so much of this biological and emotional skullfuckery one can endure before you make the conscious decision to either lose your shit or laugh about it.
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Joe July 18, 2012 at 8:56 am

Your last paragraph not only sums up your point beautifully, it also summarizes modern political discourse in this country. Well done.

Chooplah July 18, 2012 at 9:16 am

To be fair, Jeff Dunham doesn’t think Jeff Dunham’s funny, but I agree with you completely on both fronts.

If you guys get a sec, will you check out my recent post…trying to get the Boy Scouts to open their eyes a bit.
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Eleanor July 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

I agree with this 100%. As a comedy nerd, I have seen and heard a bajillion comics, women and men. To be fair, there are women comics who are insecure, and fill the space with bad period jokes that have no intelligence or set up behind them. However, there are also those insecure male comics who just go for the offensive without any intelligence or proper set up behind it. Unfortunately, Adam Corrola has built his reputation on being an asshole. If you listen to what he says, most of it is pure bullshit. I don’t know if it is because he actually believes it or if he is trying to get people to re-examine thier own shit. I have no idea why this man has any credibility when it comes to judging comedy.

That woman at the Tosh show is a prime example of why you should always know who you are going to see. We all have interwebs now, there is no excuse not to do a quick You Tube perusing before you put money into something you may not enjoy. He is known for not thinking well on his feet. Not that I condone his reaction, but I feel the onus for this is squarely on her shoulders for not arsing to find out what she was getting into.
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Rachel July 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

It’s funny how men say “Women only get laughs because they have boobs and men want to fuck them”. Maybe men only get laughs because “they have penises and women (or other men, I don’t discriminate) want them inside of them”.

Jillian July 18, 2012 at 11:00 am

I am always so sad to think about these things because just as jokes point out views that people hold but don’t often express, so do news stories like these. There are women whose husbands and fathers think that they aren’t funny, can never be funny, and aren’t even worthy of the consideration in the first place. They aren’t just celebrities, but little girls whose brothers and friends firmly believe that their lives are worthy nothing. I know that I wouldn’t have the words to respond to the news stories, but I can remind myself that I am worth the consideration and that my children will be worth the consideration no matter their gender. When I tell them that they can be anything they want to be as long as it is full of passion and kindness, I will mean it and teach them to believe it themselves. Except they can’t be fire hydrants. I had a little boy tell me he wanted to be a fire hydrant once. We had a discussion about physics and biology, and I think we got that one cleared up.
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Cowgirl Red July 18, 2012 at 11:49 am

Daniel Tosh is pretty offensive. I love his show, it’s one of my guilty pleasures, but sometimes it is so over the edge that it grosses me out. And I have to change the channel. Of course the rape “joke” is terribly offensive and what happened afterwards more than offensive. It is cruel and sick. Bad Bad Bad Tosh.

Speaking of bitches …

Yesterday, I was asked my opinion about something. I gave it in a matter-of-fact, dispassionate way. I was told later that I was being a “little bitchy”. Hmmmm that’s what they call it now when someone doesn’t share your opinion….. Terah
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Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd July 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm

All very good points. “Women aren’t funny” is just so stupid. Most people aren’t funny – I’ve met just as many humorless men as I have women. It’s like some men protect humor as something that makes them special, similar to women supposedly being the only sensitive gender, which offends me as an insensitive woman.
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Alica July 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Ive got a joke. Adam Carolla walks into a bar. There’s nothing funny about that because it’s Adam Carolla.

Andi Davies July 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Most rape jokes aren’t funny for the same reason any joke isn’t funny — because they break well-known comedy rules:

1) Inversion of expectation. Elmer Fudd killing and eating Bugs Bunny isn’t funny. Sylvester catching Tweety isn’t funny. The humor is in the inversion of what we expect. Since most rape is a crime of the powerful over the powerless….in other words, exactly how the world works….it’s not funny.

2) Shock of Recognition. When we laugh at sitcoms or movies, this is generally why — a feeling of “I know that person!” or “I’ve been in that situation!” This is why Jeff Foxworthy’s redneck humor is funny to many Americans. Even if you don’t think you know any rednecks personally, you probably know someone who “thinks that potted meat on a saltine is a hors d’ouvre.” Rape jokes don’t work in that context for the same reason that murder jokes don’t work — when you know the person, it isn’t funny.

3) Culture and context. Bronx jokes aren’t funny to me, a West Coaster. Some female comedians aren’t funny to men because they make jokes relating to girl culture….which, if you’re a straight guy, you’re not supposed to know anything about because you might catch the ghey. And yes, it’s ridiculous that some men interpret that as “women aren’t funny” but I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they’re just too brotastic to get it.

Is it possible to tell a funny joke about something horrific? Absolutely! But like any other job, if you’re going to color outside the lines THERE, then you have to make really sure you color within the lines everywhere else. Most guys who want to tell rape jokes aren’t actually telling jokes — they’re bullies and/or class clowns who haven’t learned the difference between uncomfortable laughter and normal humor.
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Monica July 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm

The thing is, if we all calmed the fuck down, then what would assholes complain about on the Internet? America’s great pastime has become bitching about how terrible life is from the comfort of a well-ventilated room while we snack on Doritos.

I think I need to calm the fuck down.
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Lauren@FilingJointly July 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Haven’t experienced any sexism so far in my quest to be a famous humor blogger and quit my job and spend my days blogging with my feet in a tub of water and japanese pedicure fish.

I do get some jobism from time to time with comments like ‘This girl is kind of funny, and she’s an ACCOUNTANT!”

But that doesn’t offend me, because, you know, accountants are fucking boring.
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Jaime July 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm

sexism is extremely rampant in my career choice… the science community is highly infused with men like the guys from Big Bang Theory ..socially awkward dudes who have NO idea how to talk to women… and the few women that are in it are expected to be nerds of epic proportion like Amy Farafowler…. if you’re not a nerd, people assume you must be A) sleeping with your professors or B) getting shitty grades

it sucks and it’s not fair.. but it’s reality… the only way to combat it is to keep on keeping on and hope that eventually the world will catch up with you.

I agree with the comedians you don’t like… and agree that I don’t dislike them because they are male but because I simply don’t find them funny… on the flip side… there are female comedians I don’t like either .. again.. not because they are women, they are just not my cup of tea.
I love women like Whitney Cummings (and not just cuz she has an awesome last name) and Anjelah Johnson … both of those women make me laugh so hardcore I pee a little.
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Laura July 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Obligatory xkcd reference: https://xkcd.com/385/.
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Handflapper July 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

Adam Carolla isn’t funny. Daniel Tosh’s rape joke wasn’t funny. However, I don’t take either of things as a personal insult. Maybe Mr. Carolla and Mr. Tosh are misogynists. There are all kinds of assholes in the world, and plenty of them, after all.

PS You are so totally as funny as any of the ladies you mentioned. Word.
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bschooled July 19, 2012 at 1:54 am

I shit you not, every single one of the male comedians you listed are also on my list of “Entertainers you Couldn’t Pay Me To See Live.” I’ve never understood the appeal of Adam Sandler, his voice alone makes me want to throw the ottoman at the television set. And while I desperately wanted to love Russell Brand, I couldn’t even make it through the first chapter of his book without having countless unrelated thoughts like, “I wonder what I should have for dinner?” or, “Who the hell thought it would be a good idea to create a show called ‘Craft Wars’?” or, “Does an affinity for wearing Hello Kitty Nipples mean you have a Furry fetish?”

You know, things like that.
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Johi July 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, most humor usually offends someone. Usually the offended party will laugh at something else that in turn offends a different party. Welcome to the human race.

For example, if I lost my shit every time some one told a blonde joke or a hick joke I wouldn’t have been considering that colon cleanse that they were selling on Living Social quite so seriously. Everyone has an audience. Lucky for you, you get quality people like myself supporting your comedy habit (ie. blonde hillbillies that publicly talk about things like colon cleanses).
Namaste Motherfuckers! Yeehaw!
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Meg July 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

In general, I hate sexist men. That in itself might be sexist, don’t care. You know the ones. God gave them a dick, so they must be superior? I once had a landlord that listened to everything my husband told him like it came straight from God, but if I called him, I was just a woman, so what did I know. Made things hard when my husband was deployed. I can’t stand men like that. Comedians, bakers, candlestick makers, any of them. As far as Tosh goes, I think a response like that shows a serious lack of grace under pressure. If it’s not scripted, he can’t handle it? Then he shouldn’t be in the business.
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Thoughts Appear July 20, 2012 at 6:36 am

I think the best comedians are the ones who make fun of everyone.

Someone is always offended by comedians because of what you said: they cross the line. That’s their job.

The last comedy show I saw was on a cruise, and there was some drunk heckler up in the front. It was awful. He would not let up. The comedian did a good job of calling him out on it, but someone should have removed the heckler from the audience because the whole show turned into the comedian responding to the heckler.
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Katleen Quinlan July 20, 2012 at 7:08 am

I think the best comedian is that who can make fun to everyone without hurting the feeling of others. Having a good sense of humor and having a talent to make other laugh can be consider a professional comedian. There are some comedians that using insulting words in order for other people laugh. I found some of them in the comedy bars.
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NATurally Inappropriate July 20, 2012 at 8:01 am

I don’t give two fucks if a comedian is male or female. I will say, however, that I’m probably the only person on earth who thinks Tosh is not funny, ever. He makes me so uncomfortable. Lame.
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Trisha Mckee July 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm

A certain comedian must have sense of humor so that everyone will be laughing on her jokes. I really don’t like Tosh and I don’t even believe his capacity as a comedian. I think he is not capable on this sort of field. I don’t like the way he used words for joking.
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