I spend a surprisingly little amount of time thinking about gender in comedy. Of course, that's in part because I spent a tremendous amount of energy when I first came around to try to make sure no one else thought about my gender in relation to comedy. But I do frequently feel my gender in a variety of ways, many of them positive, on a regular basis. I'll have something thoughtful to say in a little bit, but it's been in the media a lot lately, so to whet your appetite, here are some choice links.
Of course, the debate was kicked off for me by the brilliant and bloviating Christpher Hitchens in his Vanity Fair article Why Women Aren't Funny. There's probably a petrabyte of rebuttals in newspapers, magazines and blogs if you want to go looking.
More recently, there was a scuffle over whether The Daily Show is sexist or not, with a very sharp rebuttal from the female staff.
As far as I know, there hasn't been any particular bombshell lately, but for some reason it's in the zeitgeist. First my friend forwarded me this post about the paucity of women comedians at SXSW (*ahem* a certain group could have brought the Comedy Groupie along). Then I went home and watched the really thought-provoking (and of course, hilarious) episode of 30 Rock that addressed the sexualization of women in comedy (among other interesting gender-work themes). And finally, I stumbled across this article that attempts to explain why so many female comedians are lesbians. That one's a little dry, it could use a kick from Dana Dearmond, who gave a great explanation about why she doesn't want to go into comedy on a recent Naughty Show podcast.
So, kids, there's your homework. have a read & a watch a I'll be back with some thoughts of my own in a little bit.