Tea and Sexism

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, women

I’ve always been an anglophile, have always thought British people were a little smarter and more sophisticated than we are. I assume women comics are treated pretty well there, although I had only done one UK spot, in 2013. My first show in the UK this trip was stacked with funny, capable women, and it was great. On my second show, I noted that I was set up back to back with the other woman on the bill, and I made a joke (which is not a joke) about how that wouldn’t happen in LA, because once we talk about our cats and our periods, what’s left?

Backstage Chitchat

The person I was talking to said oh really, and mistaking that for interest I said yeah, Maria Bamford just sponsored a college study reviewing gender and ethnicity in club bookings, finding that women accounted for just 16% of the work. The person I was talking to said, do you think there’s more than 16% of comics that are women? I turned to him and said, yes.

There are some great shows like Women Crush Wednesdays (back Jan 8!), L.A. WOMAN All Female Revue, and The Mermaid Comedy Hour that are incredibly strong and well-attended, but bookers still get asked- will you have enough funny women to fill the spots? And yeah, they do. The person said in a huff, I don’t agree with women showcases. I don’t think they should exist. I think it should just be: comedy! And then he got up and did his set about how he’s from this place and he’s like this, and his girlfriend is from this other place and she’s like that.

Lessons Learned

I learned a lot. I learned who I shouldn’t talk to, I learned that there are plenty of hacks in London, and I learned that it’s important to support talented women. Anyway, I’m honored to be back on L.A. WOMAN All Female Revue on Sunday at 7 at the Virgil, it’s gonna be a hoot- women will dance, sing, and tell jokes, and we’re gonna show these idiots what’s what! Come on out and join us.

Travelling Through The Decades

Posted Posted in feminism, Virginia Jones, women

Travelling through the decades:

30’s: I gotta get my nails and toenails done for my trip

40’s: Doesn’t give a fuck

30’s: I’m gonna take a little bag of jewelry to work with my outfits

40’s: Doesn’t give a fuck

30’s: Brought two styles of sunglasses for different lewks

40’s: Own three pairs of the same sunglasses, Hollis by Oliver Peoples. Does not give a fuck.

30’s: Wait, should I buy a mini of my trademark perfume or should I try something new for the trip?

40’s: Doesn’t wear perfume at home, doesn’t give a fuck

20’s: Brought books

30’s: Brought kindle

40’s: Broke half a dozen kindles, now watches Youtube videos of kids kicking each other in the nuts on her phone the whole trip. Does not give a fuck.

30’s: Brought running shoes, dress shoes, and casual shoes for travel

40’s: Brought one pair Chuck Taylor high tops and cannot possibly give a fuck.

30’s: Need room for my DSLR camera!
40’s: Bringing phone.

30’s: Need to carry on my laptop
40’s: Bringing phone.

30’s: Bringing heavily curated outfits for trip, is heartbroken she can’t bring more shoes
40’s: I don’t know these people, who gives a fuck?

Wait, am I maturing and becoming more comfortable in my own skin- or am I just depressed?

Jackie Kashian and Friends!

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, los angeles, Virginia Jones, women

“BLANK with FRIENDS” is a common name for comedy shows, but it’s nice because Jackie Kashian really is my friend. I had a great show at Dynasty Typewriter with heavy hitters like Kira Soltanovich, Janelle James, Wynter Spears, Zach Galifianakis and of course- Jackie Kashian and her new Ms. Marvel jacket, of which she is very fond. Jamie Flam got a nice greenroom picture of us that I thought I’d share.

Postscript: Jackie and Laurie talked about my set a lot on the Jackie and Laurie show afterwards, and Kashian mentioned that we butt up against many of the same topics (gender issues, feminism) but that we each have our own spin on it. Apparently, my talk about butt stuff (against) led to a lively discussion in the green room between Zach and Laurie that neither of them appreciated. SORRY ABOUT THE BUTT STUFF.

How To Make Comedy Equal (AND BETTER AND MORE INTERESTING)

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, Virginia Jones, women

How To Represent For Women In Comedy

(This is not an edict. This is a list of ideas that are up for consideration.)

Easy: Don’t judge friends and peers for their clothing, appearance, weight, or age. Don’t think they don’t deserve relationships, opportunities, or success because of how they look. If you hear other people criticizing your women friends for their appearance, defend them.

Harder: Don’t judge women you DISLIKE for their clothing, appearance, weight, or age. Don’t do it to strangers. Don’t do it to celebrities. If you hear other people criticizing women for their appearance, remind them that this is a tool of the patriarchy. Remember that the joke behind calling someone a Cougar or a MILF is the sheer absurdity that anyone over thirty could be sexually attractive to anyone when they’re all worn out and shit, and by extension that our looks are what we are worth.

Hardest: Don’t judge yourself for your appearance, weight, or age. Don’t think that you don’t deserve anything because of how you look. Don’t allow yourself to be treated badly. When you truly reach this level, you’ll see how we’ve all been getting less than we deserve.

Vote for Women

Easy: When you’re out at comedy shows, write down the names of women you find funny. Tell them that they are. Tell other people.

Harder: Book those women on your shows. (Still pretty easy!)

Hardest: Support shows with women, queer, trans, or other minority comics on the bill. Let the bookers know you appreciate the way they book their shows. If diverse shows put butts in seats, they will continue.

If woman-headlined shows put butts in seats, they will continue.

You don’t even need whole people at the show. Just butts.

Talk About Booking Women

Easy: When you’re booked on a comedy show and you see that you’re the only woman booked, ask the booker why. Offer to share with them your list of amazing women you’ve started writing down the names of from the last tip.

Harder: When you’re on a comedy festival with fewer than 20% women, ask why? Do they need your help promoting to women to submit next year?

Hardest: When you get booked on a TV show, and you’re on set and you see less than 20% women on the crew or staff, ask why? When you’re hired to write on a TV show and you notice you’re the only woman writer, ask why?

Don’t let men talk shit on other women. Especially if you’re new, you’ll hear men talk about women fucking their way onto shows, fucking their way into festivals. Reject this. Don’t let men tell you how other women are crazy. Don’t let them tell you that you’re the only chill one. They’re trying to pit us against each other so we continue to be divided and weak. Thanks doods!

So you can see that feminism is more than just really, really liking Beyoncé, but it’s not impossible. We can all represent for each other every day. And also Beyoncé.

I watched Iliza’s Special: Reposted from the Interrobang!

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, Uncategorized

I Watched Iliza’s Special!

Virginia Jones is an intellectual, philosophical, comedian whose comedy swings from smart to absurd, and “has a lot of animals in it”. She came up in Portland where she returns to do the Bridgetown and All Jane Festivals, and as a favorite feature at Helium comedy club-with great talents like Arj Barker, Sebastian Maniscalco, and David Koechner. This year, she has also toured with great comics like Myq Kaplan and Auggie Smith. Virginia was a semi-finalist in the 2013 San Francisco comedy competition, a rare achievement for a comp that last saw a woman win in 1979. Her monthly show, Glendalia was covered in the LA weekly, and her first album, Gothic American, appeared on several best-of lists for 2016. Last week, Iliza Shlesinger made headlines for her comments about women comedians- particularly women who perform at the Improv. As one such comedian, Virginia Jones responds.

I WATCHED ILIZA’S SPECIAL AND I COULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT I SAW

Before this week, if anyone ever asked me what I thought about a woman comic whose jokes I don’t personally care for, I would always say, she’s making her space in this business and I respect her for that. This is a hard gig. Then Iliza Schlesinger let us know in an interview for Deadline that lots of us are bad for talking about sex or sexuality, and that we should be SMART like her.

“I could walk into The Improv, close my eyes, and I can’t tell one girl’s act apart from another,” she said. “That’s not saying that 30-something white guys don’t all sound the same sometimes, but I’m banging my head against the wall because women want to be treated as equals, and we want feminism to be a thing, but it’s really difficult when every woman makes the same point about her vagina, over and over. I think I’m the only woman out there that has a joke about World War II in my set.”

Since I’m a woman comic who plays the Improv, this annoyed me.

So I did a selfless thing.

I watched Iliza’s newest special, Confirmed Kills.
I wanted to see how a truly original comedy mind works.

SPOILER ALERT-it’s not even a WWII joke, it’s about a baby boomer coming home from the war to fuck and be racist. THANKS, STEPHEN HAWKING.

Here are my notes.

1. Dog walks across stage in a long ballgown. This is the best.
2. Establish that this is Chicago.
3. There is a Party Goblin in the back of your head and it is your Id. This is a more animated rehash of Larry Miller’s Ten Stages of Drinking from the 80’s. Five-six minutes. She uses this D&D voice and then a sorority girl voice. Those are the two. There is a lot of kicking, I guess so she can fit another workout into her day.
4. Instagram joke
5. People like to talk when they’re drunk.
6. She’s the alpha in her group of friends. OBVIOUSLY.
7. Racist joke about being in Chinatown.
8. Tag from Calgon commercial from before she was born
9. Dudes need to pick girls up on time or else we’ll put on body glitter
10. Not trashy, just doing trashy things
11. One of the difficult things about being a woman is everything
12. There’s four minutes a night where a woman feels comfortable in her own skin
13. Talks about lip-liner, refers to self as a Chola
14. Joke about balls
15. Needed to find lip-liner in a big bag
16. Joke about method of finding lip-liner in bag
17. This is essentially women be shoppin’
18. Oh lord this is about the shit in the bottom of your purse
19. I think Erma Bombeck covered this in 1968
20. If you use an open tampon, you’ll die on the Oregon Trail

21. Dumps out bag on dance floor, makes Helen Keller joke
22. Door guy has to be described as good-looking because she said he’s black, so she doesn’t get in trouble with the PC police
23. Door guy leaves her alone because she’s “white girl crazy”
24. She felt vulnerable bent over on the floor in public
25. Gets an applause break by saying “nay” in fake D&D nerd voice
26. Women feel vulnerable because they are not as physically strong as men, if we were strong, we would never have waited for the right to vote, weakness is why women have to be scared of rape
27. Does an extended and very appreciated series of poses to show off her extremely toned body
28. CrossFit is a cult
29. CrossFit exercises are weird.
30. Women are strong in childbirth
31. Act out of delivery, when your child is in danger you can draw on mother’s strength
32. Second reference to single women being afraid of rape
33. That’s why sexual harassment is a big deal: you can wear whatever you want, it doesn’t give the right for someone to harass you- and it’s about the underlying notion that he could rape you if he wanted
34. Hard to be a woman: when men sexually harass you and you find them unattractive. This is a great message. If he’s hot, it’s just flirting. Super funny and brave and smart. It’s OK for men to comment on your body if they’re hot
35. Women and men shop differently
36. Does a bit mocking women who are trying to be creative or find themselves
37. Personal body goals: never thin enough, wants to look like the starved child on the Les Miz flyer, and other weird ana-positive stuff.
38. Women have to be thin to be vulnerable so men will love us
39. Strong women are told to tone it down- wear high heels so you can’t run from your attacker, smoky eyes look like you’ve been choking on a dick
40. Men aren’t allowed to be vulnerable but too bad (Agree)

41. Some women die trying to be thin
42. You have to be the thinnest in your group of friends, pose-off between women. You want to be the kind of thin where your friends are worried for you. “I wear a youth large” Makes a weird joke about R. Crumb comics but thinner, has never seen a woman in an R. Crumb comic
43. It’s only the last 40 years that women of color have made it OK to have an adult body
44. It’s OK to bully and fat shame white women on Facebook (?) Is it?
45. WASP jokes
46. Black women have good self esteem (three women in the audience of a thousand respond)
47. She said “a black”, OK.
48. Iliza’s “Lean In” moment: you have to take respect, not wait for it
49. Iliza shares that whatever your body is like is OK, while she has spent the whole set demonstrating that it’s not, over and fucking over again. But be proud of your body! Even if it’s not as good as hers!
50. Commanding respect through the way that you speak
51. It’s not OK to talk about sex or sexual stuff and it’s not where your power comes from. If we talk about sex, it lets people know it’s OK to sexualize us (see 34)
52. Mermaid shaming
53. Fourth rape joke at 42 minutes in
54. Fifth rape joke and a joke about how the Japanese would eat mermaids
55. Little mermaid was a liar and a hoarder
56. Five minutes talking about how mermaids would have dreadlocks
57. More mermaid shaming #nomermaids
58. Mermaid anal prostitution
59. Jesus Christ, are we still talking about mermaids? This has been ten minutes
60. WW2 joke: what made America great was military men returning home and growing up, making families, not trying to find themselves

61. Pandering pro military statement gets lots of applause
62. Back to talking about white grandparents, baby boomers, rock and roll, Millennials showed up and invented Instagram
63. People are mean to women when they like themselves on Instagram, only fat girls can be on Instagram
64. Talks about how dumb her ex-boyfriend was
65. Men can date dumber and women can’t. Men will date a Popsicle stick in a wig
66. Makes fun of ugly girlfriend who rescues animals and has a great personality
67. “You want to be a feminist, but we have to get attention”
68. I’ve dated ugly guys who were funny and smart. YOU’RE A HERO ILIZA!
69. Women are chastised for talking a lot, this comes from caveman hunter and gatherer times and sharing of information
70. She will be a feminist and clarify: it means you want to be treated fairly and a lot of women don’t like to say that they’re feminists because it’s not attractive
71. Portrait of an unattractive woman feminist
72. Wage gap: gotta close it-but let’s start with porn, where a woman kicks in a door and demands oral sex. Sure
73. (She says that’s so gross, OMG that’s awful, that’s so off brand)
74. Have you ever been having sex with your boyfriend and gotten excited because it’s almost done and you can go to the farmer’s market?
75. Don’t talk to your boyfriend after sex
76. Goblin impression callback
77. What women think about during sex (lavender, food, your mom)
78. If you’re not happy, don’t stay in a relationship out of fear of being alone
79. We like to label single women negatively and we have to be kinder to women
80. #fuckbitchesgetmoney (I don’t know what this means)
81. Women spend so much time hating themselves and trying to meet someone and men can relax because they don’t have eggs
82. Shark Tank: I want a live episode of Shark Tank. (Giant act out closer)

OK, all in all- I respect her ability to churn twenty minutes of animated stand up out of a premise I have used as a tag.

She refers to herself as a feminist many times while mocking unattractive women, fat women, and letting women know it’s not OK to be sexual. (She keeps saying this word, feminism. I don’t think it means what she thinks it means.)

However, in this special, it’s true that she only mentions a vagina a couple of times.

Jackie and Laurie Rule!

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, Virginia Jones, women

I am a huge fan of Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin and of their incredible insider/outsider comedy podcast. I am beyond tickled to be this week’s featured comic and demand to be referred to as “Jackie and Laurie Show Comic of the Week Virginia Jones” henceforth.  Also, listen to their show! NOW!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-jackie-and-laurie-show/id1071731361?mt=2