SF Talking Points: Funny Women Taking Things Into Their Own Hands, A Gay, Feminist Republican Is Running For President

New Women’s Comedy Site Launches: A woman’s version of male-slanted humor sites like Funny or Die and CollegeHumor has arrived! In the midst of the debate over why women represent such a small population of the comedy world comes Comediva, hoping to cater to the different sense of humor that women have compared to men. Erika Cervantes, founder of Comediva, writes in her opening post:

“What makes up a girl’s sense of humor is complex and varies from lady to lady, so it deserves to be explored further in a future column.  However, at the risk of making sweeping generalizations, I did learn a few reasons why girls are just different from boys when it comes to funny:

-    Boys use humor to one-up each other.  Girls use humor to bond with each other.
-    Despite our abuse of the phrase LOL, it’s harder to make girls laugh out loud than boys.
-    Girls enjoy irony, wordplay, and subtlety, and favor storytelling over joke-telling.”

Oh, it’s not that, “women, bless their tender hearts, would prefer that life be fair, and even sweet, rather than the sordid mess it actually is”, as Christopher Hitchens claimed in his then old-fashioned, now antiquated (but still widely referenced) argument that women aren’t funny? Or because, “For some reason, women do not find their own physical decay and absurdity to be so riotously amusing, which is why we admire Lucille Ball and Helen Fielding, who do see the funny side of it,” even though Lucille Ball, though extremely funny on camera, didn’t actually write her own stuff? Not sure who Hitchens was referring to in that first statement, or why he was excluding the many contemporary female comedians who “find their own physical decay and absurdity” amusing (see: here and here) but it’s not as though that’s the only place where humor exists. [Read more...]

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...]

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