Thanks to Pamie and Gwen for calling out this travesty. In the next Vanity Fair: why girls can’t possibly be funny. Written by one Christopher Hitchens, whose gender alone eminently qualifies him to expound upon the subject of humor.
What century are we in?
As a woman, he decrees that I am going to be slower to get a joke than a man. If this column is a joke, then that’s true. But, unfortunately, I think not.
“Precisely because humor is a sign of intelligence … it could be that in some way men do not want women to be funny.” I would hope that’s not true for all men, but it certainly seems to be the case here.
And no, I was not “taught by my mother that I become threatening to men if I appear too bright.” Because it is not 1947, I am not a “Math is hard!” Barbie, and any guy threatened by me is not one about whose opinion I do not remotely care.
And then you try to tell me that I am not funny because my PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO HAVE BABIES?
You said it pretty – “For women, reproduction is, if not the only thing, certainly the main thing…. For women the question of funniness is essentially a secondary one. They are innately aware of a higher calling that is no laughing matter,” – but that’s what you meant.
And even apart from the misogyny of that… what are you TALKING about? EVERYTHING about reproduction is funny. Sex is funny. Pregnancy is funny. Childbirth is funny (black humor, maybe, but funny). Babies are funny. If you can’t see that, whose sense of humor sucks?
I understand it’s deliberately controversial; I understand he’s doing his job. But that’s what annoys me on top of it all – there’s “controversial,” and then there’s “trying to be controversial but really just using big words and complex sentence construction to hide the fact that you have no sustainable argument.” I know that game. I’m great at that game. Don’t try to sneak that past me.
“For men, it is a tragedy that the two things they prize the mostâ€”women and humorâ€”should be so antithetical.” I suspect the dichotomy lies less between women and humor, and more between you, sir – and a smart, funny woman who would tolerate you.
Pamie and Gwen, by the way? Are smart and funny, and said all this better than me, so you should go read what they said, too. They’re some of the professionally funny women that I suppose shouldn’t exist.