For men, it is a tragedy that the two things they prize the most—women and humor—should be so antithetical.
- Christopher Hitchens
On the heels of this Christopher Hitchens article
which asks why (oh why?) women are not as funny as men, nuggetology
has tapped a handful of ladies to write pieces which are in dialogue with Hitchens' essay. I was gritting my teeth as I read the piece since I have had such a love (Mother Teresa book) - hate (advocacy for the war/ turn to neo-conservativism) relationship with Mr. Christopher, but I must admit that he made some solid points. So I am taking on the task and getting the brain juices flowing.There are precious few women comedians I appreciate. In fact I could count them on one hand, narrow it down to American women and you get even fewer.
As I've mentioned before, my flirtation style has been to play on the quirky, funny, nerdy girl angle. So it is a stab in the heart to read things like this Psychology Today article
(nicked from swayworn
which say things like: "A woman who deploys a typically male sense of humor—one that's aggressive or competitive—is a turnoff to men, says Don Nilsen, a linguistics professor at Arizona State University in Tempe and an expert on humor. Many men feel threatened, perceiving a funny woman as a rival or worrying that they'll become a target of her sharp tongue. "I think every man in the world loves the humor, even the sexual put-down humor, of Judy Tenuta or Joan Rivers," he says. "But very few men want to marry them."
In all honesty, my snap judgement on this matter is that women aren't funny because it is discouraged and underappreciated, there is little reward for female humor, little market for it. But I could be wrong. Part of me thinks that it is a little too easy to look merely at dating and sexual/gender relations. I'm interested to take a deeper look at American humor. What do we find funny? Why? Why do female humorists so often fail to hit the nail on the head? What does that illuminate about our culture as a whole? ... I'm beginning to think a truly funny woman might be seen as a threat for more than the reasons outlined above....
Anyway, I'm gonna do more research and will keep you posted.
Oh, here are some more ladies I find funny. Oddly enough, I have yet to find a woman of color comic that I find funny, much less a black one (Som'more was OK in queens of comedy but not laugh out loud). I find that black women usually are forced to play the tough, sassy voice of reason and it's cliche and unfunny. Anyway, here we go: