Funny is Funny

by Tessa Tapscott

Funny Bitch

Although my foray into feminism is still in its infancy, I have already encountered many of the stereotypes people project on feminists that I stated earlier in this text. Another, to add to the list, is ‘not funny’ and this I find to be most bothersome.[1] This stereotype is not limited to feminists, but women in general, which is massively debilitating in a world in which comedic forms of media are highly valued. As of late, this stereotype has been viciously battled by the likes of Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Caitlin Moran, Lena Dunham and many others in the entertainment industry. They promote feminist ideas using humour as their gilded shield, upon which the blade of misogyny ever dulls.

Humour is a powerful weapon for many women, including myself, in battling issues of gender inequality. It is a way of stating the facts, while at the same time, poking fun at patriarchy. It is a way to highlight misogyny in daily life. It is a way to counter sexist remarks. It is a way to retain dignity in a society that constantly tries to strip it from you.

Though I do not always seek it out, I often employ elements of humour in my work. This raises piece from the drudges of pedantic, academic, and often monotonous conjecture to a place where it can be regarded beyond its physical elements and classical meanings, but by its social pertinence as a visual illustration of frustration. While some might argue that this softens the blow, humour gets the point across to an audience without putting them on the defensive, which allows for an open conversation about the issues at hand.

 

[1] Christopher Hitchens, Why Women Aren’t Funny, Vanity Fair Online, January, 2007. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701