Recently the movie Bridesmaids was released, and invariably I'd always hear the same things about it. It was the female answer to The Hangover. It proved that women can be just as funny as men. Female comedians are underappreciated. And so on and so on.
It made me wonder if funny women was some kind of secret that we've never experienced until now. Why was it some earth-shattering news that women can be and often are very funny? Is this some deep-seated sexism that I was unaware of? Apparently men everywhere have just dismissed women as a source of comedy unless we are making fun of them. This is something I don't really understand.
Granted there aren't a lot of huge female stars in the world of stand-up, and that may be part of the reason. It may also stem from the fact that most funny women usually become relegated to horrible romantic comedies instead of the slapstick and screwball stuff that men gravitate towards. But there are have always seemed to be funny women at the forefront of entertainment. Rosalind Russell and Marilyn Monroe were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and they worked primarily in comedies. Saturday Night Live has always featured very funny women from Gilda Radner all the way to Tina Fey (who is just hilarious by the way). Yet Bridesmaids is some great revelation about women in comedy?
The reason I write all of this: my wife. I didn't need some crappily written review for a movie to tell me that women can be funny (Ye Gads! Never heard of the thought!). I've spent the better part of my adult life with one of the funniest women I know. She is hilarious. She is inappropriate at times (mostly in private). She knows what makes me laugh. She isn't afraid to look a little foolish which is always a key to humor. We don't always agree on what is funny (*AHEM*Anchorman*COUGH), but she is always willing to let something humor her. She also associates with a lot of other funny women who write funny and entertaining blogs.
It's sad that so many people have written off women as a source for humor. I know it worries me that my girls might not be appreciated fully whether it be because of their humor or hard work or intelligence. I don't want them to be short-changed. They will however be brought up in an environment where it is okay to laugh at yourself and joke about things and have a good sense of humor. Hopefully my wife continues to be an example for them. She can show them that women can have depth. They can be beautiful and smart without having to sacrifice their wit.