Fanlings! Have you missed me? Probably not, but let’s just pretend like you did, mmmmkay?
There are still a number of things I’d like to write about on here, so don’t fret, I’m not leaving this blog to the realm of cobwebs and mothballs just yet.
But before we get to that, let’s have some fun with the Fatling’s mailbag! I’ve only ever received one message, and it’s a doozy!
Women in stand up are often considered to pale in comparison to men in stand up. To segregate “best stand up” award according to gender would further this conception. I thought that the women outperformed the man at the Trump roast, so let that fall where it may.
If there were better female stand up specials in 2010, they would have been nominated. Cummings’ stand up was funny. It was nominated.
And PLEASE stop showing feminist colors by complaining about its title. It was funny. She’s a dirty stand up.
That’s from Tumblr user backseatdialect, who says he’s “21. Male. Late night conversationalist.” He seems to be responding to my earlier post about having a separate female category for “Best Standup Special” at the Comedy Awards.
Last thing’s first, I don’t know how anyone with even a passing familiarity with the Fatling could complain about showing my “feminist colors.” Bitch, those are the only colors I have! I enjoy the fact that this “late night conversationalist” is offended by my dislike of “Money Shot” as the title of a standup special. I probably wouldn’t dislike it so much if Whitney Cummings’ dirty comedy was in any way a subversion of her pornographic references, but it’s not, and I simply don’t care for it.
More troubling, however, is this young chap’s assertion that “the women outperformed the men at the Trump roast.” Really, backseatdialect? Do you mean to tell me Whitney Cummings and Lisa Lampanelli, professional comedians, outperformed such comedic legends as Larry King, Snoop Dogg and The Situation?! Whatever is the world coming to? Thank god Comedy Central chose to roast a non-comedian and invite numerous non-comedians to roast him, otherwise there might have been an opportunity for another female comic or two, and they might have embarrassed themselves by not being as funny as The Situation.
Which brings me to my final point. Yes, people everywhere think female comedians “pale” in comparison to male comedians. This attitude is reinforced by a lack of opportunity for women in the industry. No one thinks less of Meryl Streep because she didn’t go head to head against Ben Kingsley to win her Oscar for Sophie’s Choice. In order for women to achieve parity in the comedic world, there needs to be incentive for producers and performers alike. Creating a gender specific award category would encourage producers to fund more comedy specials for women and seeing those specials would encourage more women to commit to a career in comedy. It’s not that there weren’t enough funny female comics with specials; there just weren’t enough female comics with specials, period.
But, hey, what’s my opinion against the glorious statement of fact by a 21-year-old dude who fucking LOVES Whitney Cummings? Comedy Central would be the first to tell you: bitches ain’t shit. And, hey, judging from this, it must be true!
Fanlings and Fatlurkers, I’ve been procrastinating a lot at my job this week. I am doing it right now. I have been doing it so much that I didn’t even let myself go into the office for bagels and the enormous, glorious snack room. We’re into day two of mainly eating blue corn sesame tortilla chips, and those are almost gone. I also have had a nectarine and two Diet Cokes. I wasn’t kidding about falling off the wagon.
But it’s really, really easy to be healthy, wealthy and wise when you’ve got a lot of time on your hands to make food. Which I don’t at present, unless you count the time when I’m dicking around on Jezebel for six of the eight hours I work on any given day. It’s a sickness. Especially when I could be dicking around on Tumblr instead, dropping Fatwisdom on my 15 official Fanlings!
So here’s what we got for right now. Last night, I was hosting my open mic, like I do. I did a little time at the top and then got into the show. After a while, this dude got up and commented that my jokes which are sexual in nature make him worried about potentially having a daughter someday. I quizzed him on this and I guess the gist of things was that someday he might have a daughter and someday she might talk about sex in front of people? WTF?
This is problematic in two ways. First of all, the (perhaps unconscious) implication that the Fatling should not tell hilarious jokes about sex, which is blasphemy. The Fatling’s sex jokes are some of the finest sex jokes from here to Amsterdam. Second of all, his comment more obviously addresses the MAJOR PROBLEM dudes have with their precious lady offspring discovering she comes equipped with a hole that she can put things in, putting things in it and then having strong opinions about the process. Again, WTF?!
The trope goes that men are so depraved and disgusting in their relentless quest for poon tang that men who then impregnate one of their conquests with lady offspring then get all weird and overprotective of said offspring, because in their minds, she needs to be protected from all the other depraved and disgusting men who want to stick things in her hole. And hey, up until the age said lady offspring can consent to who and what she wants to rent that real estate out to, that’s not such a terrible thing.
But if the thought of one’s grown-ass daughter having sex and/or discussing it in public makes a dude all queasy, then doesn’t that point to a problem with him rather than a problem with his daughter? I mean, seriously, Turdface, let it go! Girls like sex! Some of us love it, and you’re probably not as depraved and disgusting as you think you are. You probably just went to Catholic school.
This incident reminded me of a conversation I had with the Turdface husband of my old boss. Brokeback Mountain had just hit theatres and middle America was clutching its pearls with vigor. GAY?!?!?! COWBOYS?!?!?! The Midwestern mind was positively reeling, no one’s more so than Turdface. I was over at my boss’ house, maybe not getting drunk for a change, because she was either pregnant or had just recently given birth. Turdface brought up Brokeback completely unprovoked and proclaimed that its very existence angered him because he did not want to have to explain to his daughter “why two faggots are walking in the mall holding each other’s crotches.” I pointed out to him that fucking nobody does that, straight or gay. He was unconvinced and chose to continue camouflage his ignorance behind a smoke screen of protecting his daughter from the evils of all sexuality.
What is the Fatpoint? I don’t know. Maybe that I’m tired of people projecting their sexual insecurities onto an entire gender? That seems about right, let’s go with that. I need another round of tortilla chips before I can come up with a coherent argment.
- The Fatling: Oh my god. I hate sexist comedy.
- Adoring Husband: You mean...comedy?
Okay, I need to make this quick, because I’ve almost used up my allotted slacking off at work time. But there’s a new thing this year called The Comedy Awards. It’s produced by MTV, but it’s not actually airing on MTV for some reason? Perhaps because if viewers of Jersey Shore got a glimpse of actual scripted comedy, they would no longer watch Jersey Shore and thus MTV would no longer have the ad revenue to send the guidos and guidettes to Italy? I’m ashamed that I know that much about Jersey Shore.
But we’re not here to complain about the decline of MTV’s once mildly interesting programming or suggest that since they never show music videos, they may want to change their name to RTV, short for Retch TV.
No, the point is that I was scrolling through the nominees for this new awards show, which is pretty standard, with categories for best actor/actress in film and television, writing awards, directing awards, blah blah blah. There are also really fun categories, like best sketch/alternative program and best animated comedy versus best live action comedy, and overall, this seems like a pretty good way to honor successful comedy types.
However. Take a glance at the nominees for best standup special. Notice anything? Yeah, you’re right. Only one of the nominees is a woman, the much disliked (at least on this blog) Whitney Cummings, for her tastefully titled special Money Shot.
My problem with this situation is manifold. First of all, one woman? ONE?! That’s it? Second of all, guess what? The Fatling can’t even recall a single other standup special featuring a woman from 2010. Internet searches have not proved helpful, but I’m also kind of lazy about that sort of thing/I’m not searching correctly. I mean, can any of you think of a lady comedian’s special from the previous year, other than the everpresent Ms. Cummings’? Or is it Cummings’s? Please prove me wrong, internets.
Regardless, this opens up a problem with a potential solution. My immediate thought was that since the categories for best actor/actress are always segregated by gender, why not institute that same policy w/r/t standup specials? But upon searching for those nonexistent other specials from 2010, it’s pretty clear that there aren’t enough hour-long specials being produced by women to even support the creation of a “Best Standup Special, Female” category.
So, again, female comedians find themselves butting up against a Catch-22. Because “women aren’t funny,” women aren’t given the opportunity to prove that they are, in fact, funny. This incredibly frustrating. I mean, I don’t particularly find Ms. Cummings’ (Cummings’s?) brand of humor to be to my taste, but it would be nice for her to be competing in an arena where she stood a ghost of a chance to be recognized for fighting her way to the top of the lady comedian pile. She’s up against Louis CK and Ricky Gervais, and there’s no way she’s winning against either of them (as neither are her other competition, Aziz Ansari and Bill Maher).
I would really, really love to see a resurgence of feminism in the standup arena. The whole boys’ club mentality is really due for an overhaul.
Okay, back to work. Fat, fat and away!
Word, Fanlings, word. I am now entering the jittery phase of my coffee experience. Right, THIS is why I stopped drinking it in the first place. I feel extremely energetic, but it feels like my brain is pinging around 3 feet above and behind me. Caffeine, caffeine, Lama Sabachthani!
Anyway, Kristina, I was trying to leave a note or respond to you or whatever, but Tumblr hates me and it hates my ass face. I need a Tumblr tutorial. Stat!
But you made an excellent point, as per usual, that the onus is always, always on the women to make the changes and lobby for their right to, you know, be treated as people and not window dressing with boobz.
Which reminded me of this article, which was linked to by a sketch troupe I have worked with who once attempted to cast a white person as a black person in a sketch I wrote. Quoth this “female-driven sketch troupe,” “It’s not like we’re going to do blackface or anything! We’re just going to put some brozer on this Jewish girl, she’s totally ethnic!” Stay classy, strawfeminists. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there, I am just still completely floored by the fact that this was suggested to me in fucking 2010.
The point is, the article succumbs to that same old “Women don’t have as many opportunities in comedy and IT’S YOUR FAULT” thinking that dominates any minority’s struggle for equal treatment. To suggest that the disparity between male and female writers in comedy could be fixed if we all just tried harder is like suggesting that illegal immigrants could become legal immigrants if they just try to vote in enough elections. Just like we have safeguards in place to ensure that illegal immigrants don’t get to vote in elections, the comedy industry (and every other male-dominated industry) has safeguards in place to make sure that the female voice remains largely unheard, or at least subdued.
Again, while working with the aforementioned sketch troupe on the aforementioned sketch, the final image was a dude making the cunnilingus symbol. You know, two fingers in a v, tongue darting in and out, you get the picture. They cut the gesture because the audience (and presumably the producers) found it off-putting. What stayed in? An extended bit in another sketch featuring a male corpse making the jerking off symbol. You know, hand in a c, vigorously pumping an imaginary dick. What makes that instance of necrophiliac self-pleasure any less off-putting than the cunnilingus gesture? Oh, I don’t know, maybe the fact that we as a society have been taught and continually accepted that female sexuality is gross and male sexuality is hilarious? Or maybe the fact that the dude in question in the sketch was the artistic director of the parent theatre company and the ladies didn’t feel comfortable, you know, taking charge? Boosville.
Sarah Schneider, the author of the article in question asks,
Do women still think that they can’t succeed in the “man’s world” of comedy? More specifically, are women intimidated by the lack of women in comedy and therefore don’t see the possibility of their own success? A self-fulfilling prophecy, where women don’t see other women succeeding, so they don’t try themselves, so they then aren’t able to succeed? God, I fucking hope not! That would suck.
Sarah, these are exactly the reasons why women aren’t succeeding. The patriarchy exists. It exists to keep women down. It exists to keep you spouting platitudes that blame other women for women’s lack of representation. The Fatling is a strong lady with strong opinions and the intelligence to back them up. The Fatling also frequently feels alone, inferior and as if there is no point in trying to make a difference or an effort in comedy if my viewpoint is going to continually be whitewashed and watered down—even by other women. If my viewpoint is hated on at the amateurish, rudimentary level I’m on now, why the fuck should I expect the person reading my spec script or watching my audition reel to feel any fucking different?
Again, without people who are going to dedicate themselves at every level to creating opportunities for women and only women, where the many varieties of female viewpoint can floruish, comedy is going to stay a “boys’ club” forever. And frankly, I just don’t think I can take any more necrophiliac masturbation jokes.
PS—Not to totally deride the SplitSider’s “Women in Comedy” coverage. They featured my favorite female standup of all time, Judy Tenuta! Judy is like Roseanne on crack. Do yourself a favor and check her out!
Oh, my scrumptious little Fanlings! How are you? No, really, how are you?
I’m fine, although my cursor just disappeared for a few minutes, and that was extremely disconcerting. Without my cursor, I am nothing. Nothing!
I’m not really sure what we’re discussing today, but I just drank a cup of coffee for the first time in weeks, so it seems prudent to attempt to capitalize on my sudden burst of insane, manic mental energy.
I’ve had a pretty decent week, Fanlings. I’m coming up on the end of January (as if you’re not. Oh, but I am self-centered!), which means that I’m coming up on the completion of my monthly goals. It looks like I may well indeed have lost a total of 10 pounds by Monday, which is my next weigh-in. I will have successfully completed EA Sports’ 30 Day Challenge on my Nintendo Wii, which is the very first time that’s happened since I purchased that game over a year ago. I have walked to and from and attended all ice skating classes. I have not been entirely successful in swearing off dairy and I’ve had a few cigarettes, but overall, I am happier, healthier and hotter than I was a month ago.
My standup comedy goals haven’t been achieved, sadly. See, my goal was to finally submit myself to the weekly supplication at the local Big, Important Comedy Club. It’s like church for aspiring comics. It happens every Sunday and you have to go and listen to a bunch of blowhards talk vicious, misogynist smack about teh ladiez. I hate it.
But I have to get over my hate. These are the channels one must go through. Every once in a while, there is a lady comedian, at which point, lots of people get up to pee or have a smoke or fall asleep. I don’t get it. This is pretty common at the open mic I run as well. People will sit through all kinds of horrible bullshit (which, at an open mic, is never in short supply) but as soon as a woman gets onstage, whammo. The audience disappears.
I have these fevered dreams, Fanlings. Oh, I dream them often, but never so much as when my pulse is quickened by delicious black coffee. I dream of an all-woman comedy circuit. I dream of other women coming forth to support the female comics. Like the old consciousness-raising rap groups of the 70s, but with booze and jokes. I dream of a world where I don’t have to put up with being hit on constantly, all the time, by awkward dudes who try to hug me to rub up on my (admittedly fabulous) boobiez. I dream of a world where period jokes are as commonplace and as frequently laughed at as jokes about jizz.
I dream of a world where I am a PERSON first and a FEMALE second.
I dream of a world where I feel worthwhile.
But I feel terribly alone. I feel like the women who are moving up the ranks through the traditional channels have taken the tack that they have to sacrifice their womanhood before the altar of success. That they disdain people like me, who want a safe space, a funny space for women.
I get that feminism is supposed to be about “all people being equal” and blah blah blah these days. Great, fine, that’s swell. But we’re not to that point yet. There are deficits to be accounted for, opportunities that have been denied women for generations, back and back and back. If we’re living in a world where Tina Fey has to announce in 2010, “Only in comedy is an obedient white girl from the suburbs a diversity candidate,” some fucking thing or other has to give. Because as a fellow obedient white girl from the suburbs, I’m tired of only seeing female comics who are white, a handful who are black, and very, very few Asians and Latinas.
Check out a quote from this LA Times article. Lydia Nicole, an LA-based Latina comic says, “There are probably only 20 female Latina comics in the country, of which 12 work regularly. It’s not so much prejudice as oversight,” says Nicole, recognizing that comedy remains a man’s arena.”
It’s an accurate quote, and a good quote. But we must understand that oversight is prejudice. There’s that consciousness raising again. Women didn’t get the right to vote, didn’t get the right to control their sex lives, didn’t get the right to work outside the home by just saying, “Oh, they’re just silly and they forget about us.” We have to fight to make men remember that we’re here and that our viewpoint is just as valid as theirs. We have to make ourselves important and forget about being “fair” or “respectful” to men’s interests. Men’s interests have been catered and seen to by us since the dawn of time. It’s time for us to take care of ourselves for a change and to support one another in that effort.
Sigh. See, Fanlings, this is why The Fatling can’t have coffee anymore. It gets her all riled up and revolutionary, and then people are like, “Oh, we like the status quo, let’s not talk to her anymore.” Plus, I feel like I made a crazy leap somewhere up there, but whatever. I totally stand by it.
Viva le Femme!
Good evening, Fanlings! Fanlings? What do you think? I feel like maybe I can do better. But that’s what I said about Adoring Husband, and my laziness usually trumps my creative ambition, so maybe Fanlings is it.
Goodness gracious meatballs, it’s been days since I posted on here! Days! I’ve been working my butt off at jobs where there is no possibility that I can dick around on the internet in any significant way. So, you know, sorry.
But not to worry! I am not working off my actual butt and negating my Fatling status! I am still chubby enough that all my dress pants are too tight. I believe I had semi-cameltoe today. That is significantly more cameltoe than The Fatling is comfortable with, but I really, really didn’t want to wear the same pants two days in a row. I’m so vain. But not vain enough to correct semi-cameltoe.
It’s weird, actually, because I am the token girl on the team at my very fancy, very corporate job with the palatial, well-stocked break room. So I am hyper-aware of my appearance all day, which sucks, because in addition to the cameltoe, I am breaking out like a motherfucker after I stopped taking my birth control because it made my boobs so fucking enormous.
Oh! Good news, everyone! The Fatling will not be producing any Junior Fatlings anytime soon! Yes, we all pretty much knew that, but now we have it confirmed. Don’t worry, I’m sure there will be plenty more pregnancy scares in our shared future, and I did eventually make Adoring Husband pick up a value pack of tests, so the turnaround on pregnancy scares will go way, way down.
Anyway, back to being the token girl. I feel very inferior and unqualified compared to my male colleagues, but that is how I feel even when I am just a regular-ass non-token girl, so I am going to take AH’s advice and ride this affirmative-action gravy train all the way to Mashed Potato Mountain. As we all know, that is where all certified gravy trains wind up eventually. Yum.
I’m also happy to report that The Fatling is now up to five followers after the robotic snafu of last week! Two of you are on serious calorie restriction, which I admire to a weird degree, and have a number of strange and conflicting thoughts on. I am too tired and peckish to address this right now. Please note that I am not on calorie restriction, except in the sense that I haven’t been to the store in a while, so there isn’t anything in my apartment that I actually want to eat. That is to say, I am very low on Corn Pops and Gushers.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what this blog is supposed to be or talk about or address or whatever. The Fatling is a fickle beast, and shallow, so it will probably be mostly about whatever The Fatling wants to yammer incoherently about. In the pipeline right now are a post about my fucked up relationship with the Gilmore Girls (tentative title: “Off-Topic Topical Humor”), 47 different posts about why Black Swan is the best movie ever, an itemized description of aforementioned break room, posts about television shows and rants about why come the fuck are women still an oppressed minority in the United States of Fucking America. It’s a mixed bag, because The Fatling likes to shake shit up.
So do a sister a solid and recommend this blog to your friends. Fat friends, calorie-restricting friends, happy friends, sad friends, lady friends, dude friends, Republican friends, Democrat friends, Star-Belly Sneeches, Sneeches with no stars upon thars, whatever. The Fatling is for everyone.