Feminism | Posted by Dara K on 10/15/2009
The Boy’s Club of Comedy
Last night, at a stand up open mike, a kid I’d met just before doing my set told me afterward, “Nice job! I didn’t think you’d be funny!” I didn’t take this offensively. It was a compliment – a “NEG” – but nonetheless, still a compliment.
I was one of two girls who performed last night and the other girl/woman wasn’t there until the second half. So I found myself in a joke-telling sausage fest (please note*: not the kind of sausage fest my parents annually host where they make a variety of worldly sausages for guests to indulge upon. And yes, they refuse to not call it a sausage fest despite me and my brothers’ multiple attempts to explain to them what the phrase sausage fest suggests among America’s youth culture.)
I digress. Back to this joke-telling sausage fest. When I find myself in these kind of situations, i.e. find myself in an uncomfortable minority only because its brought to attention an unnecessary amount and I don’t want to be known as the token girl, I tend not to let out my balls to the walls personality because, simply put, there are already enough balls in the room. Or so I so kindly assume.
The point is, I was myself surprised with the kid who complimented me. I didn’t think he’d be funny based on my first impression of him socializing at the sausage fest. But, he was. He was funny. HOWEVER, would it not be so impolite of me to tell him: “I didn’t think you’d be funny, but you were!”?
There’s no doubt in my mind that he would’ve taken offense to a comment like that. I would’ve stripped him of his manhood in front of his peers. I would’ve been implying, “I didn’t think you’d be funny because your socially awkward tendencies off stage make people uncomfortable, and you look like you’re trying too hard with all the gay jokes.”
My comedy partner and I talk all the time about how we’re over being totally WOMEN CAN DO COMEDY, TOO!!!! Because they can. There’s no question anymore.
So instead of filing this little happening in a boring dissertation on the female comic getting lost in the bowels of the man’s world, I’d rather like to file this under “Learn Some Manners.”
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