The Problem With 'Female Comedy'
I often find myself wondering why the phrase “female comedy” even exists. It seems that we tend to compare female comedians to popular male comedians. Sure, men and women are different, and one can argue that they find different humor in every day life. So why do we keep pinning hilarious movies such as “Bridesmaids” up against male-dominant casts, declaring it the “female version” of “The Hangover.” Why does it have to be a version of anything? If you ask me, I think “Bridesmaids” is capable of standing on its own two feet. There is no rule saying that only girls or boys can think certain movies are funny. “I don’t think there’s a thing called women’s comedy —I think it’s just all comedy” says Parks & Recreation star Amy Poehler. The purpose of making people laugh is just that, there is no gender role attached to laughing.
“Are women as funny as men?” is the question every female comedian, actress, or writer gets asked in interviews. I mean c’mon, it’s 2014. Let’s also stop asking Kate McKinnon and Lena Dunham how hard it is to get respect in the “man-eat-woman” world of comedy. It’s been done before. Instead let’s inquire about their art and how they’ve worked hard to be successful, without making any comparisons. I would rather read about what they had for lunch than read another article about how hard it is working in a man’s world. Although women are still not getting paid equally, I think society has made some progress for women in male dominant work places. Female comedians, leading actresses, and women-dominant writers rooms are becoming increasingly common. So why are comedians who happen to be female still labeled as female comedians? Men are just comedians, mind you. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, stars of the hit show Broad City on Comedy Central often get compared to other funny female duos. “I don’t think we need to be the ‘next’ anything… People love to compare and come up with the next so and so, but there can be more than two women in comedy — in fact there are many, many, many more!” Jacobson states. To tell you the truth, these queens of comedy don’t care what anyone think and they sure as hell don’t find their gender limits their opportunities. Tina Fey nailed it when she said: “The only disadvantage women have is to keep f******* answering the questions of: Is it hard and are women funny? The men don’t have to answer that question, that’s only impairment.” So let’s do everyone a favor and drop the labels. Let’s let funny women just be funny people. Megan Sweet is currently a student a Michigan State University, and a contributing writer for Her Campus Media. She is an aspiring screenwriter and hopes to one day write for a comedy series. Check out her Buzzfeed posts (megansweet57) and follow her on Twitter & Vine: @megansweet57