SF Talking Points: Ladies Who Make Us Laugh, And Ladies Who Make TVs So We Can Watch The Ladies Who Make Us Laugh

Female Comedy Writers…Show Yourselves! It’s Women in Comedy Week over at Splitsider, and Sarah Schneider of CollegeHumor looks into the reason why the ratio of male-to-female writers on primetime sitcoms and other comedy outlets is so skewed. Her conclusion? It’s not that not enough women are funny — it’s that not enough funny women are trying to break into the biz. She puts it best herself at the end of the article:

“…there is SO MUCH ROOM for women to write comedy! Holy crap! The comedy marketplace is completely over-saturated with men and under-saturated with women. We just need to realize that the lack of female representation falls primarily on our (strong yet breathtakingly elegant) shoulders, and no one else’s. If you’re a strong female writer, now is the time to get noticed. The generations before us did the tough part, fighting hard against the misconception that women weren’t funny. Now all we have to do is not make it awkward for them.”

But perhaps all of the funny females out there aren’t entirely responsible for their small presence in the comedy community. Irin Carmon at Jezebel argues that there are still plenty of obstacles for those women trying to break in — specifically, the fact that many comedy outlets still only cater to men. Probably the most obvious of them is Comedy Central, whose unabashed target demographic is exclusively male. As Carmon points out, “The very first thing the channel lists under ‘benefits to advertisers’ is ‘Comedy Central Is A Destination For Young Men.’” Yet men only make up of 60% of the people who watch the channel. OK, 60% is a lot, but so is 40%! And that 40% — nearly half of CC’s viewers — are women. One commenter on Schneider’s article even wrote that she had submitted a pilot to the channel and they loved it — but told her that it wasn’t “male-centric” enough. [Read more...]

SF Talking Points: Real Little Miss Sunshines, The Female Midlife Crisis

What Are Beauty Pageants Doing To Young Girls? We’re all for sexiness, but maybe not when you’re two. If you’ve ever watched an episode — hell, even just a commercial — of the TLC show “Toddlers and Tiaras,” you know that dressing up like mini Madonnas can’t have anything close to a healthy effect on these children. Sexuality should be celebrated at the right time — not when you still think the stork brought your baby sister. But there is still no definitive scientific evidence to prove that toddlers might have an adverse reaction when they’re older after being forced to gyrate on stage in skimpy ruffled dresses. North Carolina Rep. Annie Mobley tried to set up a committee in 2009 to study the effects of beauty pageants on children under 13, but the law supporting it didn’t pass. Fortunately, now Senator Barbara Mikulksi and Change.org are trying to look into the lack of regulation in the child pageant industry — click the link to sign the petition to support their efforts.

The New Female Midlife Crisis: While in the 1970s women who felt stifled by the lives carved out for them often fled — their families, their homes, their countries — their daughters are now fleeing elsewhere: to yoga. But the feelings attached to this need to escape haven’t entirely changed. Judith Warner writes,

In a sense, it’s a measure of how far couples have evolved that women in midlife are facing the same realities that men have always faced: you can’t take off to “find yourself” when a family depends upon your salary and health benefits. Given the constraints of most family’s lives these days, there really is nowhere to go but in.

It’s interesting, sad, and at the same time, exciting, to see that at middle age, now that we have so many choices, the same feeling of being trapped arises. Because it no longer emerges from the sense of shackled dependency, but the stress of having people you love dependent on you.

[Read more...]

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