I’m about to poke a wasp’s nest: not one of those 2 hour old ones with, like 5 wasps on it, but a big full one…. Are women funny?
(I was going to just put “Answer: No… :)” here, but I decided that perhaps some people would stop reading immediately then…)
From anecdotal evidence: I have a funny wife (not just claimed to avoid the couch…) a funny mom and a sister who sometimes borders on the amusing. Naturally, I’m the funniest one (NB ‘Eat the Curds of fortitude’ is exhibit A), but yes. On to the article which was… wrong… on the internet…
The article begins with an anecdote about a TA:
A few years ago, Laura Mickes was teaching her regular undergraduate class on childhood psychological disorders at the University of California, San Diego. It was a weighty subject, so occasionally she would inject a sarcastic comment about her own upbringing to lighten the mood. When she collected her professor evaluations at the end of the year, she was startled by one comment in particular:
“She’s not funny,” the student wrote.
We could start to theorize why this women wasn’t found to be funny by her students, but I think as you read the article (which is interesting on several levels) you will start to form a picture as to what might have counted as ‘a sarcastic comment’. (Also note: sarcasm is hard, you have to be very good natured, funny in other ways, and perhaps even self-deprecating to pull off sarcasm in front of students. Like everyone else, students will find untempered sarcasm to be just nastiness, not humor, from male and female alike.)
The article discusses much interesting research into humor, but the odd thing about this article is the tone… It is hard to place at first, and then one finds increasing levels of bitterness. Somewhere closing in on the end comes the moment of enlightenment for the reader.
“If funniness is an implement of power, women deserve access to it, too.”
Welp… that’s your problem right there. Feminism is fundamentally Nietzschean, where the interplay of the sexes is actually a battle for power over each other. Also, apparently humor is only about power. Women who have spent their lives absorbing all this poison are also women who automatically dismiss criticism from men as sexist and misogynistic. (How can you learn to make men laugh if you assume that the only reason they don’t is that they hate women?) By assuming that every man that doesn’t laugh is a misogynist, these women cut off their learning feedback and so will never actually be funny. They may be adept at mockery and witty spite, but belly laughter will always elude them.
Humor comes from a real desire to have other people laughing and at ease. This can be honed by lots of trial and error, wherein if something makes your audience laugh you do more of it, and if it doesn’t, you take the instant feedback and try something else. Its possible that, if the women who are angry that men don’t think they are funny just tried and tried until they found some things that work… maybe they’d be funny too. If you look at the research discussed in the article, you’ll find that that is how men are perceived to be funny, they just try more times and more things.