Laura Stone (stoney321) wrote,
Laura Stone
stoney321

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On Women, Being Funny, and Sundries

Okay, my brain is ALLL over the map on this one, but this is... everything. For me. Encompasses everything I think about women, who I am, etc. AHHH! You've been warned...


Okay, first, let me be clear on how I define FUNNY.

AMUSING: "You do! You do doodle too!"
FUNNY: "Bunnies! BUNNIES, IT MUST BE BUNNIES!!"

See, I think most of the female species around here find the Doodle line FUNNY. Which, it's just heh. It's amusing. The second? Ha ha ha! Which is why I think funny and fluff get lumped together. And don't get me STARTED on that one, or we'll be here all night. Would you call Animal House FLUFF? No. Caddyshack? No. Divine Sister Ya Ya Yo Yo Fucking whatever? Yep. But is it FUNNY? No, it's amusing, but I digress.

See, it's like we women are given a choice in the beginning of our development. You can be:
A) Pretty
B) Smart
C) Funny
And then there's the unspoken D) undesireable to men. (We don't need to go into the sexual orientation of some of us, this is what SOCIETY imposes on us, not who we are. Which is the point of this rant.)

And what does everyone want? A). The fall back? B). If you are C), you're the funny thing they trot out at parties, but you are really D). Because funny women (really fucking hilarious women) are grotesque. A side-show. So, what passes for funny women, really ISN'T funny. It's amusing. Because men get to be the crazy ones, men get to be silly and not look-focused and taken seriously as funny beings.

Case #1: Lauren Graham on Gilmore Girls. Amusing, but pretty. She has to be pretty, so you'll watch her, and then Jane can sneak in the amusing lines and fool you into thinking she's funny.

Case #2: Amy Poehler as the one-legged WT character on SNL: she's GROTESQUE. And fucking hilarious. But. Amy has to make that character as gross as possible so we are shocked out of our norm and laugh. Because it's REALLY FUNNY to see an angry one-legged woman fart and audition for America's Top Model. But look at her cast picture at the beginning of the show: pretty, air-brushed, stylish. Because we won't watch women unless we can be attracted to them.

And that is exactly why I love Amy Poehler and Amy Sedaris. They take that "pretty girl" and warp it and bend it and make it more along the lines of what MEN find funny, and crush the whole female image Hollywood has beaten us over the head with for decades. Oh yeah, and they are smart, too.

"Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses"

We have to make ourselves attractive. Right? And everything revolves around making boys look at us. (Again, this is what SOCIETY SAYS. There are those of us who don't care if men look at us, 'cause we're checking out the ladies, ourselves.) And vylit has a post (thanks, swmbo) about female relationships in television. How they are NOT like RL friendships where we laugh and snark. Where are they? Read Vi's post about Buffy, etc. and I'll just say that I agree.

As soon as Buffy and Faith become closer, everyone is worried. Then Faith tries to steal Buffy's man, and then we HAVE SOMETHING. And it always comes back to pitting women against each other for the affection of a man. Shit, they made Willow gay, otherwise, I'm sure over time Willow and Buffy would have fought over Riley or something. But Willow and Buffy work because Willow is Smart. She's the Geeky Smart girl who loses to who? Cordy, The Prettiest Girl Ever, OMG. The best moment of that arc was Willow stealing Xander from Cordy. But come on. That isn't real. We all know it. I think this is why Oz is so beloved in fandom, that he chose B) over A). But where in Buffydom is C)?

ANYA. And who do people hate around here? Anya. But she's the funniest female character on the show. But we don't LIKE funny girls, do we? It helped that she was really pretty. But Anya was ostracized from the group, not understood, people were always suspicious of her... And she thought like a man. You plague men for a thousand years with torment, you're gonna think like them. But she was funny and slap-stick, and made inappropriate jokes like a guy, and no one liked her.

"When I tell you I'm broken inside, I'm completely serious."

I was a good girl, smart, quiet, ladylike. Graduated HS. Decided to see the world before going to college. Took a job as a waitress in a comedy club, then decided to join the troupe. They ruined me. I've never been more grateful to a bunch of guys for doing that. I'm sure you've heard of a little movie coming out called, The Aristocrats? I'm DYING. I need to see it. I need my people. :-D The guys at my comedy club did a little something like that for initiation. It's a test, you see. It goes like this:

After your first workshop (en route to joining the troupe, like an audition) they take you out for dinner. The waitress comes, and they use the most foul language possible. "I fucking want some of this cunt-food here. I think your dumb ass calls it a salad? Can you jizz a little dressing on it?" Like that, but funnier. The newbie doesn't realize the waitress KNOWS these guys. Knows the score, and that she gets tipped HUGE for playing along and taking the abuse. So. Will the newbie be able to figure it out? I passed. So I became the Mormon with the Filthy Mouth. And they tested me: could they make sexual jokes around me? Could one guy stand in front of me (while I'm reading the latest Ball Draining Cum Mag in the Green Room) and ask me if I can tell him what this is, and he whips out his dick, wrapped in a bow, right in my face, and can I make a disparaging remark, or will I squeal and get the vapors?

It's disgusting, yes. And hilarious, too. But here's the thing: I was "one of the guys" in a way, but I was also prized for my girl-ness. They didn't objectify me (really), they accepted that I was another species, but appreciated that I had "guy humor." Clit jokes were as beloved as dick jokes. That was the only time in my life that I could really cut loose, say all the stuff that popped into my head, and not be looked at funny. Because where I live (the South), girls aren't supposed to be funny. Witty? Sure, but don't forget your lipstick.

Now, this scenario is unique. Most comedians will tell you that girls aren't funny. Girls can't tell a joke. This is REALLY true of the older comedians. And part of me wants to punch their nuts. And the other part of me wants to scream at the rest of us, because we don't LET women be funny.

And all through school, I was pretty lonely. I had friends, but no FRIENDS, you know? And then came college where you can drop your created persona and really be who you are for the first time in your life. And met chrissykiedis. And she's pretty and smart and quiet, and maybe one of the funniest people on the planet. And NOTHING is sacred. Her beloved dog Freckles died saving her life. Literally. And we cried and bawled and were chicks, then she quotes "Pet Semetary." And we start laughing about Freckles coming back "sour." "A man's heart is stonier, Louis." And she NAILS that accent. FUNNY.

And we were the ostracized girls growing up because of that, and it drives me insane, because I've met more funny females out here in LJ land than I EVER knew in RL. And I wonder why that is? We can't be funny in person, because we're trying to be pretty? Seriously, why is this? There are a lot of us in the world, but we don't SEE it in television and movies. We see pretty women who recline and toss off an amusing anecdote, but FUNNY women are few and far between in the world. Is it because we need really pretty girls to hold our attention? Shit, Molly Shannon lost all of my respect when she quit being insane and tried to make every character pretty and sexy. Watch reruns, and you'll see what I mean. Plus, she's kind of a one-note comedian.

Cheri O'Teri: funny. But generally sexualizes all of her characters. Two of the funniest things she ever did was the crazy lady with the 5000 prescriptions. "See, I take that opium for my corneal-tear, and the hashsih is for my rheumatism." And the "Simmah down, nah!" character kills me, since it's basically my aunt.

Rachel Dratch: funny. Period. But she's grotesque, yeah? You don't want to screw her, right? So she's safe? But she isn't mainstream. Dammit.

So, let's go back to Buffy for an example, because the show was hilarious. IT WAS FUNNY, PEOPLE. And you can tell that Sarah Michelle Gellar wasn't comfortable BEING funny for the first... four seasons. Every now and then she got off a good one, but it took her a few seasons to get the hang of it. Some of her funniest moments are when she's melodramatic. Or when someone asks her if she and Spike are dating and she busts out laughing. That's acting on cue, and she does THAT well.

But watch Anya. Watch season 6, when Buffy comes back, and the Scoobies are outside in the sun, Buffy walks up looking disoriented, and Anya says something about how maybe she's a zombie, then immediately laughs, waves her hand in a dismissive way and says, "You're fine." That, my friends, is comic delivery. And she (to use Joss' words) hits them out of the park everytime.

I think the reason people don't jive with Fred throughout her entire story-arc is because the writers couldn't decide who she was. Was the the crazy smart girl? Ha ha! She's just a nerd, that's great! Because why would anyone (Angel) be attracted to her! Then they sexualized her, and everyone called her Sticks on the fanboards, because black men like a little ass, and all we thought of her was her being with a man - she's no longer the smart quirky girl. And the other man (Wes) wanted her, and we were confused, because wasn't she the smart, quirky nerd and no one is attracted to quirky?

And for my other fandom, Star Wars, everyone hated Padme in the third movie because her snark was gone. And who better represents the pre-pubescent mind of males than George Lucas? Talk about objectifying women... But he didn't use to do that... Leia? Carrie Fischer? That woman breathes hilarity. But the funny, snarky woman was dropped from the movies, and everyone hated Padme brooding and being pretty. Which, kinda, gives me hope.

Now the question remains: when am I going to get my dream job of writing on the Daily Show for Samantha Bee? Or when is there going to be a time when we allow women to be REALLY FUNNY, regardless of their appearance, or better yet, when a woman's APPEARANCE isn't what makes her funny? And not hate them when they hit the ball out of the park? (Anya.)

Okay, I go think about how to objectify pretty men and make them kiss, now. Ha! I think I shot my comedy wad with Connie... *ponders*


And to close this out... from Rocky: WOMEN WEAKEN LEGS. Ha ha ha. Ass.
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