What an incredible age of technology, comedy explosion, consumer access, and content creation we #occupy. If you do not appreciate this fact, this convergence of occurrences that are creating this magical age, then I suppose I will continue to implore you to look around a little bit more than you have. That is not to say we cannot or should not make progress because any great mind knows there is room for improvement at all times. And you, my friend, are a great mind.
Throughout history men have tried to prevent women from becoming members of their “boys only” clubs, spanning from politics to organized athletics. The spaces for men to be men and not have women intrude their “hallowed grounds” are becoming increasingly sparse and with good reason. What is this good reason? Because most of these spaces were based on the view that men either have superior minds, bodies, or both. This is not by accident. Rather it is by divine providence that men have been raised to believe in their gender superiority. (Gender! What a concept!)
God did not interrupt his heavenly leisure to come to earth to visit a woman and give the 10 commandments. God did not immaculately conceive a daughter to save his people. God picked a woman who had no choice but to bear his child. God did not tell a woman to build him a boat. God chose man. God made man before woman and will always put him before her. This is a strong message whether or not we noticed it early on in our lives or not. Man should always come first and many of us took that to mean in the bedroom, too – at least most of us did until we hopefully grew up a little bit.
Here’s a quick review of some of the things men have lost and are currently losing* dominion over:
1920 19th Amendment to US Constitution for Women’s Suffrage stating in federal law that women can now vote
1963 Equal Pay Act – stating that there cannot be wage discrimination based on sex (but what’s 50 years?)
1970 Quiet Revolution begins of the continual and gradual flow of women into non-traditional workplace roles
1973 Roe v Wade makes abortion legal in all 50 states (glad that was settled 40 years ago)
2013 US Armed Forces overturns 1994 ban on women in combat roles
So, here we are – women can vote, play golf with us, get paid almost as much as doing the same jobs, they don’t have to be mothers if they don’t want to be, AND they can kill people? Men had the market cornered on drinking, no consequence fucking, and killing for so long. Cue the Man Song:
WE DRINK! WE FUCK! WE KILL! WE DRINK FUCK KILL! WE ARE MEN! WE ARE MEN! MEN! MEN!
So where can men claim their dominance? Where oh where will men go to have their boys club now? Where can men gather to talk about their dicks and fucking and drinking? The comedy clubs – the last bastion of male dominion. The following is from inside the mind of a man:
“Women are ruining everything! We had to let them vote so they’d shut up! At least we could get away at work and then they fucked that up too! Now we can’t even play golf without them around or kill people overseas without them intruding on our fun! Comedy clubs! That’s it! How could women ever possibly invade this sanctuary when they don’t have dicks? You can’t tell dick jokes when you don’t have a dick!”
Seems impossible, right? I suppose if you think dick jokes are the foundation, the golden rule of stand up comedy. Even then, seems like a stretch…like the kind of stretch your dick would do to a woman’s tight…okay we get it.
Funny women are not new inventions. They are not aberrations due to high concentrations of fluoride in the water or worshipping pagan gods. They have been around since the beginning of time, before god. They have been around just as long as funny men have been around. I’m not sure where in the timeline of human history they were discouraged in their funny or deemed to not be funny, but that is NOW the PAST.
I like that. Actually, I love that. NOW is the PAST.
The sexual component of this point of view is very real and certainly more impactful than I realize. Men use their dicks as a point of pride and joke about sex because there is no shame in it for them. How could a woman make sexual jokes? Is she some kind of whore? Shame! SLUT-SHAME! I do not pretend to have a full understanding of it all because I am a man. And I am certainly not a perfect man. Outdated points of view, entitlement, and moments of depravity are just a couple of the reasons that I have mistreated women in my past and I have certainly said unsavory things on stage about women who have hurt me. I would like to think those days are long behind me, but I am not arrogant enough to think the depths of what I’m capable of are now but ghosts. Ignorance is not an excuse. It is a reason, but never an excuse. And I don’t plan on ever using it as one.
For many people who have very little stand up comedy in their lives, watching a woman perform it is different from watching a man because it is not as common a sight…for them. I would argue that on the “scale of things that are different” it is only slightly more different from seeing one person perform stand up comedy than another person. But, in very few years from now, I would like to think that even that degree of differential will evaporate. For me I believe it will be the same as watching a man or a woman buy a cup of coffee in front of me in line at a bakery. They are just one person coming between me and my addiction – never do I see them as a man or a woman, but just at that person preventing me from having me what I want. Okay, so that may be extreme, but hopefully you get it.
Watching any person perform this art is beautiful. I think many people can appreciate that. It is only with time that the unfamiliar becomes familiar and therefore nondescript. I believe we are at the dawn of the era of the nondescript. It is upon us. It is happening all around and it is beautiful. The unique becomes common and therefore indistinguishable from the rest. Maybe that is progress, the inevitable tide of the commonplace washing over the stand up landscape, leaving higher water marks for future artists to aspire.
I firmly believe that people generally are all the same on the macro level of this current existence or manifestation. Maybe because I have had just the smallest glimpse of traveling through space and time, but that’s a different entry. We all want to be loved, happy, and fulfilled. And we can still be individuals in finding out our unique perspectives and sharing the comedic filters in which we witness these thing called life. Wow. It is so exciting for me to watch comedy because it is the exploration of someone else’s mind and thoughts. Pause on that for a moment: someone else is using the same rudimentary tools of language that you also use to share their deepest, darkest, most intimate feelings of what makes them laugh and they are sharing it with me. They chose to share it and I get to peek inside their mind. And sometimes that connection is so strong it causes a gut-buster. It is not a man’s thing or a woman’s thing. It is everyone’s thing. A human thing.
I may at times, have more in common with men because we have innate familiarity in more areas of this everyday existence, so when a woman takes the stage and presents her comedic visions I get a glimpse into a whole new world. First and foremost, it is a glimpse into another person’s world, the secondary addition of the female perspective is an extra bonus. How do others not appreciate that opportunity to laugh and to even learn? It has been said that ignorance is bliss, but education is fucking hilarious. And can bliss exist without laughter? Not in my world it can’t.
Where will the stubborn misogynist go once the all-boys comedy club world has crumbled? I’m not sure, but I certainly hope there are some women there, waiting to piss them off. We’ve come a long way since painting on the walls of caves to express our hearts to the future and we’ve further to go still. But, please don’t forget that the only failure is in giving up.
So sit back, grab a drink or snack and watch the misogynist’s tight grip on the dick joke slip once and for all.
Thank fucking god.
Oh and if you don’t think a woman can tell a dick joke, you either don’t know the definition of “dick” or “joke.”