The amazingly funny woman 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.
I first saw Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #122 in 1990 in Columbia, MO when I was an art student, and it’s my favorite piece of hers.
I wrote an art studenty little paper about it then and was delighted to see her used in promotion for the exhibit Imitation of Life at the Broad Museum.
Cindy made it for Interview magazine in 1983, when they lent her a rack of clothes and said “do something cool with this”, I believe this is a Romeo Gigli suit. Anyway, I love her fury and glamour and red-rimmed eye and balled up fists, and she’s who I think of most when I do my comedy: a woman right on the edge of absolutely losing her shit.
So, what we have learned from the Aaron Glaser case is that if a woman doesn’t report a rape to the police, or if she does but it doesn’t go to trial, we’re not allowed to talk about it in public and no repercussions, no matter how minor, are appropriate. If the law doesn’t hand down the appropriate punishment, if there is insufficient evidence or a rape kit is lost or a thousand possible things, her experience isn’t valid and she can’t talk about it, because it was never proved in a court of law. That’s some witch trial shit.
Other dudes say “He’s a good dude”, which means, “He’s never mentioned being a serial rapist.”
The dude might say “I’m not a rapist”, because he thinks maybe I raped somebody 3-4 times or whatever, that’s not what I AM, I baked a cake once, I’m not a BAKER.
If a woman says, “I don’t wish to do comedy around my rapist”, her option is to stay home.
If a woman says, “I don’t wish to file charges and go public about being raped, which will make me feel vulnerable and strange and it will make people treat me differently”, her option is to shut up.
What do we do, as women comics? We talk about it amongst ourselves, in secret groups, we get called gossips and shit-stirrers, we maintain secret lists of people we’ve heard are rapists or sexual predators because that makes us feel safe.
That also means, if a woman is attacked who didn’t remember a name from the list or isn’t a member of a secret group, it’s back to being her fault.
This week a friend asked me about a comic I know, who I know to be someone who sexually assaults unconscious women. The word is that he has raped a comic in my old town when she was drunk.
Is the comic going to report it? No. She feels guilty. She feels ashamed. She has been violated. She wants to comfort herself and put it away.
So, we can’t do anything to protect each other or ourselves, all we can do is repeat, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that happened. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry. I believe you. I’m sorry.
My own policy on rape and sexual assault is: I always believe the victim, because 1. false reports are rare and 2. society is predisposed not to believe the victim.
My policy has lost me friends, because I didn’t “back up” an accused assaulter and other men in our circle think I’m not a good pal, because he’s a good dude.
And that’s a thing I’ll have to live with.
Written for Jonathan Bradley Welch’s amazing A Very Special Episode show! Theme: BFF’s!
I met my best friend the first week of college. She was looking for someone in Bruce Hall, which was the art dorm, because it had art studios on the top floor. Also, it was the cheapest. It didn’t have air conditioning, and it was supposed to be haunted.
I heard a kid died elevator surfing, where you get into an elevator shaft and ride on an elevator until someone takes it to the top floor and you fucking die.
Instead of getting a haunted elevator, we got the elevator closed the rest of the year and everybody had to take the stairs.
Don’t pity him. Pity us.
Melissa walked past my door, and I went out and said, hi, it’s nice to meet another goth. She said, what’s a goth? And I said, it’s us. It’s what we are.
Sidebar: this story is before Edward Scissorhands and Hot Topic. This was before the Craft, before the 2000’s when everyone was wearing vinyl pants and talking about how they partied like a rockstar. Mel was from a small town in Texas called Palestine, which had the same population as my high school. Word of goth had not gotten there yet, and she may have believed she was the only person who read tarot and listened to sad music for hours.
She was not.
Mel had long black hair and little round silver glasses and dark lipstick and many layers of black lace on, and in general looked like someone who maybe someday would get a Sylvia Plath tattoo.
I had short red hair and a nose ring and looked like someone who might have prepared a monologue from Sylvia Plath’s the Bell Jar for an audition for a film called Teen Witch. That is something that I did do, and they managed to make the film without me.
I asked her, what do you think you are? What do your high school friends call you? And she shrugged and said, spooky kid.
We started hanging out right away. Our main hobbies were: taking acid and seeing the Rocky Horror Picture Show, getting dressed up and taking dramatic portraits of each other in the stairwells at school. Also we drank terrible dorm coffee with ice cream bars melted into them, and Bailey’s irish cream, and then we wondered why we were getting fat.
We were inseparable. We dated briefly until we remembered we were probably primarily straight. We went to New Orleans for spring break and hung out in front of Anne Rice’s house. We went to goth clubs, sat in the back of rooms and complained together, and in general we had fun.
Our friendship wasn’t perfect. When Tank Girl came out, based on a comic book series I liked a lot, I shaved my head into a Chelsea haircut and wore tutus and combat boots a lot, and felt like I was working an edgy look.
She took a photograph of the back of my head that demonstrated that my head was a bad one for shaving. My skull is long and H.R. Geiger-like in the back, and there is a shelf. I asked her why she hadn’t told me my head was bad and she said she figured it was too late.
Once, she wouldn’t stop puking, and I took her to the emergency room and waited with her for ten hours.
One time, she was my confidant and best friend and and she understood me, and that was all the time.
Another time, we drove to Oklahoma city in the middle of the night because we wanted a box of Boo-Berry cereal, which was not available in Texas, and we ate it as the sun came up and it wasn’t very good.
We were a really good match. I was a little too tall and she was a little bit short. I was an emotionally needy extrovert who met everyone and remembered no-one and she was sometimes shy, but she could remember everyone we’d met.
After college, I moved to Portland, OR to date a boy I’d met in Dallas. She followed soon after and we took back up together. We were doing exciting things like going to a goth club owned by the Russian mob, dancing to Britpop, and complaining that things weren’t the same as they had been in Dallas, Texas. What they were was much better.
I became aware that she had found another girl to hang out with named Caroline. Caroline was also a little too tall and wore high heels all the time and I thought she was loud, even though I am also loud.
We still liked each other. We still saw each other. But Caroline was usually there too. It was stupid to complain that I was jealous. Why should I be jealous? I was jealous.
The End, My Friend
Our friendship wasn’t really over until she and my husband had a disagreement about plans that they’d made. I expected her to pick us up for a DJ gig and she didn’t, but she showed up hours later, drunk and with Caroline, talking in circles about how fun and fucked up their evening had been. I told her I was tired of her letting me down, and she was furious.
It was her word against his, and I felt like I had to side with my husband. It was a small thing. Looking back, it didn’t matter, but everyone was very angry.
Two years later, my marriage ended, because my husband was sleeping with another friend of mine, which I didn’t like very much. That friend in turn was surprised that I didn’t like her anymore.
I went to Melissa’s wedding, to a tall blonde Swede, within a month of my divorce, because I loved her and it was important. It was a beautiful wedding in an art library, with favors made from antique books and a cake in the shape of a gilded beehive.
I sat with our friends and cried a little harder, because I wasn’t just happy for her. I was also sorry for myself. At this point, she had fallen out with Caroline over something.
We are still facebook friends. We leave each other likes and comments. I am happy to be to see her happy. She is happily married and doing well. But I still miss my very best friend.
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Are you singing at your full potential?
Meet Emma. Emma is a badass Swedish black metal singer with formal jazz vocal training. She can teach you to sing any style. She’ll help you figure out where your range is, and how to improve it. I’ve been working with her for a year and have increased my range by a whoooooole octave, and solved a lot of my problems! Not all of them! Just the ones about singing!
Hit up this amazing vocalist and coach today- it’s Emma Michaelsen!
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:
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:
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.
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
Online dating is part of the modern single person’s landscape. Everyone’s doing it, and most of us are doing it wrong!
There are certainly good things about dating on OKCupid, Match.com and Tinder- if you’re new to an area, if you want to meet people out of your regular social circle, or if, in the case of eharmony.com, you want to meet divorced Christian dads in the suburbs- but these formats have their own particular do’s and dont’s.
Here’s a list of common mistakes the online bachelor can avoid (to not kill chances of a possible date):
- A Woman in Headshot- When I see a dude on a dating site with his arm around a pretty lady, I don’t think “Hey, she’s really pretty, I’d better step up my game”, I think “well, if he hadn’t pissed her off, he wouldn’t be floating around like a loser online still”, which is where, you may point out, I am also floating.
- A Blurred or Cropped Out Woman in Headshot – Hey, I feel for you guys. Unlike women, who celebrate every dinner, haircut, and outfit with a photo session, guys only get pictures taken when they’re on a date with someone or when they are on a bass boat. Please try and get a decent selfie, or ask a friend “Hey bro, can you do me a favor? I need a picture of myself.”
- Abs Pictures- Sure, he stopped eating bread and he does five thousand crunches a day, but when’s the last time he read something longer than the list of ingredients on a protein shake? A tendency to post pictures of one’s torso sometimes speaks to a desire to show it to many people.
- Generic First Message. There are real studies saying it doesn’t matter what your first message is, and the best method is to scattershoot HEY HOW ARE YOU to a hundred women a week, but I have personally never responded to a HEY HOW ARE YOU message, and can’t imagine I would do so unless it was sent by Johnny Depp.
- LONG Opening Message, mentioning EVERY interest and hobby I have and their thoughts about it. This starts to feel stalkery. Wait, how did you know I’m eating a bagel? Are you watching me right now?
- Talking Solely About My Appearance: it doesn’t seem like there’s a desire to find out about my personality, right?
- Pen Pals- Once we’ve established contact, and written a couple messages back and forth, ask me out. I’m here for men pals, not pen pals! Also, if you live five hundred miles away, don’t message me- this is not a sexy chat service and I’m not coming to visit you in Pig’s Snout, Arkansas. Ever. Unless you are Edward Scissorhands or Captain Jack Sparrow. Then, anything is possible.
In the interest of fairness, here is a list of men’s online dating complaints that women can learn from:
- The LIST: Women have a long list of what they DON’T want in a guy. “No fakes, no players!” What, you want someone who’s not a drug addict AND who has a job? Picky, picky!
- NO Profile: Women that do not have profile info. I know you might be a private person, but no information at all makes it hard to start a conversation. “So…I see you have eyes! I do, too!”
- Over-Accentuating the Curves –-If a woman’s photo accentuates her body, one assumption is that she is not interested in a serious relationship, and another is that she might be a paid escort.
4. And lastly, Misrepresentation- when women in person are fatter/older/less attractive than their photo.
Again, I understand this complaint. Who among us has not overrated our own looks? When we are picking out our best pictures of ourselves, sometimes we don’t recognize that because the picture is ten years old, we are posting pics of someone else who we used to be. I once had a long correspondence with a man who had deep brown eyes and long, wild hair whom I called “sexy werewolf”, and when I met him, he was just a regular, non-sexy werewolf with one great photo.
Clearly neither sex has mastered the online dating experience.
The truth is that I sometimes meet guys online that I find interesting, but when they make one of these errors, I delete them. I think of these as “dealbreakers” and an indication of deeper problems, and maybe they are, but sometimes I’m just dealing with men who hadn’t spent any time dating online. These are actually the people you want to meet: men who seek out and enjoy serious relationships, and stay off the market while they’re in them. The guys who stay online for years and years, perfecting their online presence and their patter, only pausing to occasionally list what bands they’d most like to see at Coachella, are confirmed bachelors who would sooner kiss a beartrap than give a girl more than a month of their attention.
What I learned is that: the only thing that online dating really makes you good at is online dating- especially in the case of free sites, whose goal is not to pair compatible couples up, it’s to keep everyone in the mix, looking at their ads and clicking, and generating revenue, so, the only real method to online dating is to relax, honestly be yourself, and accept some mistakes in the process of meeting real people!
– See more at: http://www.lovetv.co/how-about-making-yourself-online-datable/2/#sthash.ArBrhccH.dpuf