Women In Comedy Have to Be Double Threats to Be Taken Seriously

1743 Words Jan 26th, 2018 7 Pages
In the entertainment industry, as well as every other profession in America, we see women struggling to be taken seriously. Fueled by the media’s obsession with appearances, women are under extreme pressure to look and act a certain way to please the men around them. In the world of stand-up comedy, there is another layer to that pressure. I’m talking about the pressure to be funny. A post circulating the internet displays a triangle with the points labeled “intelligent”, “good looking”, and “emotionally stable”. In the center are the words “pick two”. Replace “emotionally stable” with “funny” and you have the dilemma that female comedians are faced with. In a male dominated industry, they are forced to decide whether they want to reject today’s idea of beauty and play up their wit and intelligence, or highlight their appearance and play the “dumb blonde” for laughs. It is only recently that comediennes are refusing to comprise their integrity to succeed.
Christopher Hitchens famously argued in a 2007 Vanity Fair that women aren't funny – or haven't developed their comedy skills – because they don't have to. Comedy, he said, was a mating tool and women don't need that particular arrow in their quiver because they are pretty and make babies. But men, Hitchens said, get fat and bald so to attract women they either need wit or wealth. Ergo, men have evolved their comedic skills to a greater level. Women are socialized out…