Jackie Kashian and Friends!

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, los angeles, Uncategorized, women

“BLANK with FRIENDS” is a common name for comedy shows, but it’s nice because she’s really 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 here, to keep.

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, 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,  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.

My Funny Valentines

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, Uncategorized

The amazingly funny comic Lisa Best maintains a list of women comics on her website, as a counter to both the assertions that women aren’t funny or that there aren’t very many funny women. I am picking up her practice because I think it’s awesome. This is a list of women who I personally find to be hilarious.  It is ever growing and one day I will link all their websites.  Check any or all of them out.

LISA BEST

CAITLIN WEIERHAUSER

BONNIE MCFARLANE

APARNA NANCHERLA

JACKIE KASHIAN

MARIA BAMFORD

JACKIE FABULOUS

MARY MACK

liNATASHA LEGGERO

BRANDIE POSEY

PAIGE WELDON

AMY SCHUMER

KATHLEEN MADIGAN

RHEA BUTCHER

JANINE BRITO

LARA BEITZ

PAULA POUNDSTONE

CAMERON ESPOSITO

KATE BERLANT

BETH STELLING

RITA RUDNER

ELIZA SKINNER

LEAH KAYAJANIAN

ERIN FOLEY

MORGAN MURPHY

RACHEL FEINSTEIN

EMILY HELLER

REBECCA CORRY

LISA LAMPANELLI

MARINA FRANKLIN

WENDI STARLING

AMBER TOZER

KRISTEN SCHAAL

FORTUNE FEIMSTER

CHELSEA HANDLER

AISHA TYLER

JANEANE GAROFOLO

HANNAH GADSBY

ALI WONG

BRETT BUTLER

LAURIE KILMARTIN

JEN KIRKMAN

NICOLE BYER

EMILY MAYA MILLS

KAREN KILGARIFF

SHARON HOUSTON

ANDY ERIKSON

LAURA KIGHTLINGER

MARGARET CHO

CARMEN MORALES

WANDA SYKES

CHASE BERNSTEIN

GINA YASHERE

MO WELCH

SARAH SILVERMAN

TIG NOTARO

TAMMY PESCATELLI

KIRA SOLTANOVICH

DEBRA DIGIOVANNI

CAITLIN GILL

CANDY LAWRENCE

BARBARA HOLM

SUSANNA LEE

STACEY HALLAL

LOGAN GUNTZELMAN

DANIELLE PEREZ

MARCIA BELSKY

MADISON SHEPARD

LAURA HOUSE

DANA EAGLE

ADRIENNE AIRHART

ERIN LAMPART

AMY MILLER

JOANN SCHINDERLE

SAM JAY

AMBER PRESTON

MICHELLE BILOON

EMMA WILLMAN

OLIVIA HAIDAR

MAGGIE MAYE

RENEE GAUTHIER

IRENE TU

MARLENA RODRIGUEZ

MEGAN KOESTER

KYLE MIZONO

SUSAN JONES

KLEE WIGGINS

DINA NINA MARTINEZ

ALLISON MICK

KATE WILLETT

CANDICE THOMPSON

SARA SCHAEFER

CHRISTINA WALKINSHAW

CLAIRE BROSSEAU

VALERIE TOSI

MARCELLA ARGUELLO

LEAH DUBIE

CAT RHINEHART

MARIA SHEHATA

KRISTEN STUDARD

JENNY ZIGRINO

JULIA PRESCOTT

LYDIA POPOVICH

BARBARA GRAY

ERIN LENNOX

LIZZY COOPERMAN

HEATHER TURMAN

CALISE HAWKINS

PHOEBE ROBINSON

LAURA CRAWFORD

JENA FRIEDMAN

KAT YEARY

JESSICA MICHELLE SINGLETON

DANIELLE RADFORD

HEATHER THOMSON

EVER MAINARD

ALISON STEVENSON

ANNA SEREGINA

TESS BARKER

NAOMI EKPERIGIN

KELLY ANNEKEN

SAMANTHA GILWEIT

KATHLEEN MCGEE

NATASHA MUSE

LARA BEITZ

From Love.Tv: The Unicorn Charmer

Posted Posted in feminism, love and dating, Uncategorized
Hi, my name is Virginia Jones and I’m a comedian and writer. I made a girlfriend six years ago who was beautiful and smart and kind and fun to be with, and at one point she told me she was a still a virgin in her late 20s, and I was pretty surprised. In the years since we met, she has transitioned into non-virginity, and she agreed to sit down and talk with me about it. Historically, virginity has been so important in religion, in vampire lore, and in marriage, but now it doesn’t seem as significant, and I wondered what her thoughts were on the topic. In this interview, I’m calling myself by my initials, VJ, and I’m calling her Unicorn Charmer, because in Medieval times it was said that a unicorn would only lay his head in a virgin’s lap.

 

VJ: At what age did you lose your virginity?
UC: I was 30. When did you lose yours?
VJ: I was 15, which at the time I felt was ancient and now I am totally grossed out by. When I see 15 year olds, I think, well, these are children.
UC: Oh myyyy.
VJ: How many partners have you had since then?
UC: I’ve had five sex partners — spread out over the past five years. Two long-term boyfriends, three shorter term. You?
VJ: Some multiple of that. Have you ever had a one night stand?
UC: I tried to have one in Europe with a sexy European man, but he kept in touch and it became an affair that kept going for a while — so I still haven’t successfully had one. I guess I maybe had one with someone I had been in love with forever — but that feels more like a continuation of our friendship. Once I had sex for the first time, he was someone I wanted to circle back and have sex with.
VJ: What was the original motivation for keeping your virginity, and did that change?
UC: I was raised in a very conservative Baptist household and was definitely taught that sex was for married people, and lots of scary stuff about STDs. When a boy first kissed me, I was quite sure I had AIDS. I was engaged for three years starting at 19, and when that engagement ended, I decided, well, I don’t have to be married, but I’d like to have sex with someone who loves me and who I love back. So, that only took… another seven years.
VJ: That’s a minute.
UC: It was. It wasn’t all the guys’ fault. I’m sometimes… fickle.
VJ: Have you ever lost partners or relationships because you didn’t want to have coitus?
UC: None of them ever admitted it, but looking back, I think, yeah. I think it’s not something you want to say is the reason.
VJ: It’s not a good look. Do you regret anything about waiting?
UC: I don’t regret my age or the timing when I lost my virginity — but I would have liked my first to be a different person?
VJ: Why is that?
UC: I thought he loved me and that he was the right partner, but it turned out that he wasn’t faithful and didn’t care for me the way I thought he did. Later, I felt like I was a conquest. It seemed like the right person at the time, but looking back, could have been better
VJ: I think most of us feel that way.
UC: Ha! But I don’t regret waiting, either. All I missed over the years was sex with people who weren’t in love with me, which I feel is missable.
VJ: What are some positive responses people have had to your sex history? UC: Women have been 100 percent positive, girlfriends all think it’s great. Lots of men, friends and ex-boyfriends have been respectful of my decision. One man I did sleep with said it made him feel extra special. Which he is! “I had built a lot of my self-image on being a virgin, on being that girl”
VJ: What is something that you changed your mind about after having sex?
UC: Strangely, I have changed my feelings about oral sex, which for years was my main sexual activity — now it seems VERY intimate and kind of more precious than sex — like, I can have intercourse with someone way before oral sex. I have to trust them more.
VJ: I’ve heard that’s the feeling a lot of millennials have, that sex with a condom you can have with anyone, but oral sex is more intimate. It’s the opposite of when I was growing up. What were you surprised about after the first time you had sex?
UC: I thought it would be really bloody and painful, and it wasn’t. I was surprised that it wasn’t actually that big a deal — I wasn’t a different person, I wasn’t transformed in one way or another — it was strange, I had built a lot of my self-image on being a virgin, on being that girl, and I had to figure out who I was again!
VJ: Ha! Right, part of our worth as a woman is your sexual purity — It gives you the idea that you will be a different person once you have sex, but you’re not. Like a button is pressed and POOF you are a different being.
UC: I guess so! But I just had to train myself out of thinking of myself in relation to what I hadn’t done, and think about myself in the context of what I have.
VJ: Have you had any negative feedback on staying a virgin for longer?
UC: Unfortunately, yeah- it usually gets thrown in my face by partners or men when they’re angry with me or want to hurt me? Stuff about I’m frigid or not normal or can’t come during sex, which I can — Lots of men want to tell me that because I waited, I’m gonna have hang-ups or other issues, that I’ll never be normal in bed.
VJ: That’s cruddy.
UC: It is. One guy in particular has hit that one same note over and over, that I’m not normal, normal people just hook up a lot and don’t put a lot of importance on sex, but you know, I know those people, and they don’t seem that happy to me.
VJ: Maybe not.
UC: And I know that I’m worth more than that.
VJ: Well, I think everyone is worth more, both women and men. But we believe what people tell us, which is that the only thing available to us is hookup sex, so we’d better take it, or get nothing. (laughs)
UC: Ha! Right. “I was relieved that a penis didn’t feel like a giant finger inside me.”
VJ: What were you relieved about when you lost your virginity?
UC: I was honestly glad not to worry about it anymore. Also…Oh, god…
VJ: What?
UC: I was relieved that a penis didn’t feel like a giant finger inside me.
VJ: Haaaaa!
UC: Well, I wasn’t sure.
VJ: Well, how could you be? Thank you for sharing your sex history with me, babe. The Unicorn Charmer has just ended a serious relationship and is currently out meeting new dates and potential partners in her new city, and is having fun, mostly!

Meet The Never-Readies

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, women
What Does It Mean When He Says He’s Not Ready?

We never had a conversation about this, casual or otherwise. Is he hallucinating?

I recently got two questions that had a good amount of crossover, so I’m going to publish them both and address them.  I wish I had a cutesy columnist name to go by rather than “Virginia”, like “lovey hearts” or “agony aunt”, but I guess it’s too late now.

Lady 1 says:

Dear Virginia;

I’ve been seeing a man for six months, and recently I spent a holiday with his family.  We have never had a conversation about the state of the union or where we were headed.  In the last few weeks, I noticed that he was frequently not returning my texts, and when I asked him about it and said it hurt my feelings not to hear from him, he said, well, I’m not ready to be a boyfriend, didn’t we agree that we could just stay casual?

We never had a conversation about this, casual or otherwise.  Is he hallucinating?  I am furious that I’m the last one to know that I’ve put six months into nothing.

Also, do I absolutely have to stop sleeping with him?  I’ve gotten used to him.

Lady 2 says:

Dear Virginia

I’ve been dating a guy for five months, and when I had an accident on the streets of NYC last month, and broke my arm and was rushed to the hospital and called him, he wasn’t sure what I was talking about- the first time I needed anything from him at all, he shrugged and wandered off, telling a nurse that he wasn’t family, he was “just a friend” and he “wasn’t sure he could help.”

When was I supposed to find out I was sleeping with someone who regarded me as only slightly closer than a workmate?  I am furious.

Dear Ladies;

First of all, I am so sorry.  You ladies have been, either directly or indirectly, misled.  One thing about the hookup culture that these guys are missing is that: it is, by its nature, temporary.  To sleep with a nice person once to half a dozen times with no expectation of a future is sort of normal, but to drag it out over half a year and introduce her to family members in an attempt to look like an adult is kind of cruel.  I’ve been thinking for a while about drafting a list of things you can’t get in a supercasual modern dating relationship:

You don’t get exclusive claims to weekends
You might not even get to sleep over
You don’t get a date to weddings
You don’t get input on important decisions such as: what to name the dog, what tattoo to get, or whether to go to grad school.
You don’t get to take anyone home for Christmas
Actually, most major holidays are out for you: Valentine’s day, Thanksgiving, New Year’s. You can go out with your casual hookup on Halloween, St. Patrick’s, and Cinco de Mayo: the drinking holidays.
But!  Neither of you get to continue dating without some communication.  If you have expectations in the relationship, you have to keep clear on what they are.  If you want more and they say they’re not ready, you might ask what that means.

Here are some possible things they mean when they say there’s not ready for a serious relationship:

They’re not ready. When you leave, they’re going to go find another girl to annoy for six months or however long they put up with it, and then they’ll look for another one.
They are ready, but not with you. They might be ready for the next girl they meet, which sucks and which is why it might be a good idea to drop them on social media.
They (and this comes up more than you’d think) Will Never Be Ready. They will always be Single and Ready to Mingle.  I have met men in Los Angeles who’ve had longer relationships with a car lease than they have with a lady, and find this to be Super Normal.  I call them Never-readies, but unlike batteries, they’ll just drain you dry.
They’re ready, but they won’t know it until you leave them and they have a chance to think about what a special person you are and they’ll cry into their pillowcase and think about how nice your pillowcases smell and they’ll come running back, tripping over their untied shoelaces because they pretty much just woke up and came running over to your house.
I know that number 4 sounds very romantic, but it’s probably one of the other three.  I’m sorry.  I’d like it to be number 4.  Keep in mind that whatever the number is, it’s not your fault.  It’s not the way you wore your hair or how good you were in bed or how interested you pretended to be in fantasy football or garage rock.  You can’t make him ready, and you can’t trick him into being ready.  If after being with someone as quirky and wonderful as you are for half a year, if he says he’s not ready, 1. He’s an idiot and 2. He probably isn’t going to be ready.

In any case, your only option is to set them free, back into the dating pool and out of your hair and, lady number one- DEFINITELY stop sleeping with him.

– See more at: http://www.lovetv.co/what-does-it-mean-when-he-says-hes-not-ready/#sthash.wSwFqCLk.dpuf

Why Are All My Comedy Heroes Scumbags?

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in comedy, feminism

First of all, this article is based on my own opinions and extrapolations from nine years performing in comedy, and many years before that of being a woman.  If it annoys you or makes you angry, I’m not surprised, but nor do I really care.

When Woody Allen married a child he helped raise, it threw us for a loop.  Some people stopped watching his films, and many of us continued but couldn’t enjoy them without any thought of his personal life.

Nothing prepared us for the Cosby allegations, spurred on by the comments of Hannibal Burress, and yet, the stories had been circulating for years and nobody paid attention to them.  There couldn’t have been a more shocking division of the private and the public versions of one man.

And now we have the Louis CK story.  Like Cosby, stories about Louis had been around: in 2009, I heard the account of two female comics being forced to watch him masturbate at the Aspen comedy festival, who were then advised it was in their best interest to keep quiet, but with Jen Kirkman’s podcast (now removed), it no longer sounds like a one-time poor occurrence.  And let’s be clear.  It’s no Cosby case.  It’s not serial rape.  But nor is it a kink.  He’s not getting outed for having a fun little fetish.  It’s for subjecting women to his cock who didn’t want to be sexually involved with him.  Why do men whose work we enjoy and respect keep letting us down?

There are a couple of forces at work here.

One is that women are garbage, and that women comics are even worse than that.  Cosby apologists let us know that women were liars who wanted money and all the kind of great attention you get from being a rape victim, the same happened to #yesallwomen.  So, that’s part one.

Louis CK defenders are pointing out that the only way women comics get ahead is by having sex with people in power.  A male comic friend of mine let me know that if a male comic asked me to go on tour, I should assume it’s because he wanted to have sex with me, because otherwise he’d just tour with a dude, like a normal person.

It’s irresponsible to say something like all comics have mental issues or depression or emotional problems or are full-grown man-children, but I have had friends who never dated before they did comedy, and for whom road ass is part of the payment of road work.  So, that’s part two.

If I stopped speaking with every comic who had been unfaithful to his girlfriend or wife, who’d sent unasked-for dick pics, who’d been predatory to new women comics, who’d felt entitled to sex with their female friends in comedy, who’d shit on their comedian ex onstage, who’d punched their wife, who’d tried to have sex with an unconscious friend on their couch, who’d laughed with their friends about passing women comics around like jizzrags, who’d judged women for sleeping with male comics but had never judged male comics, who’d had different women in every town before Facebook made the world transparent, I would have about five friends.

Part three is that when people get more powerful, that does not lead to being a better person.  You feel protected.  You have people.  You have representation, legal and otherwise.  Why would bad behavior improve?

Lastly, people are not entirely good or entirely bad.  That’s movie talk.  It is possible to enjoy someone’s art without agreeing with all of their opinions, behavior, or past.  It doesn’t make the problem go away, but being predators doesn’t make them not funny.

So, I’m sorry.  There may be other scandals involving your heroes.  They are happening because women are less-than and famous men are more-than.  I don’t know what else to tell you.  Hopefully, this gets better.  It’s not going to change without women getting angry, but guess what?  I am angry.  Hey, thanks for reading!