I had dinner with some people I haven’t seen in a couple of years recently. I say people because calling them friends might be a little bit of a push. They are the people you grow up with, that your parents thought you would always end up marrying and even now, when you say you passed them in the street your mum still says, “Oh how are **** they are such a nice boy you should go for drinks and catch up” even though she’s not seen them since they outgrew nappies and starting thinking with their dick rather than their brain.
Yet, after bumping into one of them in the Aldi alcohol aisle (brilliant) they informed me that they were having a post- uni reunion and did I want to come. I don’t know if it was out of sheer desire to get away from the conversation or I simply blacked out but I said yes, grabbed the closest bottle of red (yuck) and ran for the tills. Never in my life have I been so happy with how erratic and stressful the cashiers are at Aldi.
So, there I was of a Wednesday evening sat at one of their dinner tables like we were in our 40’s and above going to the pub, wondering why I was missing The Apprentice. I had done the whole ‘yes I am out of uni but I am really fine that I’ve not got anything full time right now, I am taking time for my writing’ spiel that at this point I have perfected and was looking into my glass as if it was going to magically refill itself when one of the boyfriends posed a question to the rest of the table. “Guys we had a massive argument last night, **** forced me to watch Katherine Ryan’s stand up show, female comedians just aren’t funny. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Realistically, this was a great opportunity to thank the host for the mediocre uni food and lack of wine/ conversation and leave. But no I just sat there, no one spoke. I felt comforted in the silence, thank god this archaic, false, shitty statement wasn’t going to be given any sort of attention let alone agreement.
But then… two people agreed. “Yes it is gutter talk, they think one night stands are funny and they have nothing else to say so they just draw attention to the fact that they are fat and/or single” one of the girls said. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
After refilling my glass three more times and essentially having a shouting match with the instigator of the conversation about the genius of Tina Fey and Mindy Kalings writing silence fell on the room again and wasn’t lifted until someone decided it was probably time to leave.
Nevertheless, and I really hate to say it, this stupid notion of women not being as funny as men purely because they are incapable of being as quick and witty really got under my skin. It wasn’t just wine rage, it genuinely bothered me.
2017 was a dark year to be a woman and yet they are still breaking the glass ceiling one joke at a time. Take my life guru, Amy Schumer for example. From her book, ‘Girl with a Lower Back Tattoo’ to generally anything that comes out of her mouth, she is smart, so quick and completely hilarious. Her Netflix stand up show and a glass of wine is the perfect remedy to a shitty day or a night in with friends. Also see Aparna Nancherla, Ellie Kemper, Tig Notaro, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jenny Slate, Tracee Ellis Ross, Melissa McCarthy, Michaela Coel, Lena Waithe (I could go on).
It turns out you can be funny and have tits…all at the same time. Mind. Blown. And with regard to subject matter should women avoid talking about their life experiences in case it offends the men folk? Dating, periods, feminism, and sex completely off bounds? Hell no, you turn on any panel quiz show or turn up to any comedy club and male comics will joke about wanking or dating like it is going out of fashion, but mention menstruation once and you might as well book your uber and get back to your housewife duties.
I am so happy that wherever I am I can watch women like Sarah Silverman or Katherine Ryan or see the works of Kristin Wiig or Jenni Konner but I don’t need them to know for sure that you can have a vagina and be hilarious.
I am bias but you only have to scroll up any group chats on my phone- all very aptly named(any excuse for a beverage, cheap dirty whores, hysterical house you get the picture) to see that women are funny. We are surrounded by them (or at least I am) and that is something I am eternally grateful for. Can we throw away this archaic notion that women aren’t funny with the sex pests and harassers of 2017 please?
In the words of our matriarchs, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, “it’s an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don’t like something, it’s empirically not good. I don’t like Chinese food, but I don’t write articles trying to prove it doesn’t exist.”