Comedian Whitney Cummings Says Women Don’t Need To Act Like Men To Be Funny

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Think about it you guys, she has a point. Now that we have a group of insanely talented female comedians throwing it down with the best of the guys on the international comedy circuit AND in major blockbuster films and prime time TV, why act a like a man when being a damn woman can get you all the places you need to?!

If Whitney Cummings’ own show ‘Whitney’ and her hit sitcom ‘2 Broke Girls’ is anything to go by, then there should be no need for idiotic “think pieces” like Christopher Hitchens’ ‘Why Women Aren’t Funny’ anymore (which has mysteriously disappeared off the Vanity Fair website, fyi). Thankfully, as Bridget Christie at the Guardian points out, this statement is as dead as Hitchens himself.

As an aside, everyone should watch Bonnie McFarlane’s ‘Women Aren’t Funny’ documentary on Netflix. You’re welcome America.

Ok so back to Whitney and more on her thoughts about gender in comedy. In an interview with the Examiner to promote her tour for her hour-long special ‘I Love You’ on Comedy Central, she made some pretty convincing arguments about the state of comedy at the moment and why women don’t need to try to copy men to be considered funny.

“Girls in comedy don’t have to neutralize their gender anymore. We don’t have to neuter ourselves or make ourselves more like men. Girls can be traditionally feminine and not have to hide their looks or apologize for being females. Girls like Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer, Tina and Amy…they’re beautiful and funny and don’t have to choose between one or the other,” she said.

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“Essentially, I think we have more freedom to be authentic, whether that’s wearing pants, skirts, make up, no make up, etc. It’s not like one woman represents all women anymore.”

The fact that each of those women she mentioned has their own show is a good indicator of how far we have come as a society.

It’s funny because we often hear thoughts such as “why do women have to talk about their periods so much?” or “why are women so crass on stage?” and this gem “why do girls make fun of other girls all the time?”

And typically our response is: “have you ever SEEN what most male comedians talk about on stage? Here’s a quick run down: sex, penises, relationships, race, sex, and more genitals.

But for Whitney her exploration of sexual topics on stage comes not from a place of trying to compete with men, but from her own strict Catholic upbringing.

“Everyone was telling me natural biological urges were wrong, which seemed suspicious to me. It made me ask questions and want to lean into all that was taboo. Nobody had good answers to any of my questions, which made me want to keep seeking answers, which is what I kind of do in my stand-up. It also made me want to explore shame and how women are shamed in particular,” she said.

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Whitney was part of an ground-breaking show in Vegas recently called ‘Lipschtick-The Perfect Shade of Standup’ which featured other female comedians such as Lisa Lampanelli, Roseanne Barr, Loni Love, Wendy Williams and many more.

“It’s very cool to see so many women selling tickets. Now people have an option to go see women in Vegas performing with their clothes ON.”

In a nod to something that the Bechdel test outlines for films (which, to pass the test and be considered an empowering film for women, it must have at least 2 female characters in it who talk to each other about topics other than men) Whitney is proud of the way her show ‘2 Broke Girls’ is breaking the mold of typical female-driven sitcoms.

“It’s not just about girls obsessing about boys. Contrary to popular belief, that’s not all young women care about. In my experience young girls have dreams, they’re enterprising, and they have goals that don’t involve men. So that’s what the show is about. It’s not about having a guy come rescue you. And yes, sometimes women talk like guys, and we like sex and can have it without wanting to marry you the next day!”

So basically all this to say women ARE indeed funny, and the media needs to stop obsessing over it, stop questioning it, and just enjoy the funnies.

Here’s a snippet of Whitney’s ‘I Love You’ below:

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Comedian Whitney Cummings On Body Image: "Perfection Is BullS**t!"

  2. Pingback: Sarah Silverman On Late Night TV, Free The Nipple & Using Comedy To Send A Message

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