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Women Belong in Comedy, and Here’s Why

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Women bring something unique and powerful to comedy. Here's why women belong in comedy.
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The Year is 2017, and women are still strangely absent from the majority of mainstream entertainment.

While it’s true that women have more opportunity now than ever before, and that the United States is by far the most progressive nation in regards to creative licensing and free speech, there’s a reason it’s refreshing to see a woman in a strong lead role, comedy or otherwise.

It’s not yet normal.

Give the words “men in comedy” a quick Google, and the first result is a list of 50 male comedians, followed by several more countdowns with no less than 25 names. Give Google the same search using the word “women,” and the result is a single list, no more than 11 names long.

A female utilizing her strength along with her intuition remains a rare combination, and is the reason why we flock towards the likes of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig. These women have made names for themselves, yet most Americans would be hard-pressed to name a female comedian beyond them.

In a world where community is defined by our ability to celebrate and find pieces of ourselves in others, we are missing a fundamental piece of the human heart when we negate the female voice—in comedy, or otherwise.

Women aren’t generally considered to be funny, and yet the reasons why are contradictory and hold little weight—she takes herself too seriously or doesn’t take herself seriously enough; she takes jokes too far or she doesn’t take jokes far enough.

While men are all but expected to be goofy, ironic and charming in their absent-minded retelling of observational humor, society regards women as misplaced or unambitious for those same lines. This subtle double standard is unnecessary and is a hurdle worthy of being demolished.

Culture has done an outstanding job of celebrating the uniquely male perspective brought to comedy. Men like Steve Carell, Bo Burnham, Donald Glover and John Mulaney have showed us that being a comedian doesn’t limit a person in their artistic expressions; these men have contributed to entertainment by acting, producing and directing various projects beyond classic standup. It’s time talented women were given the same spotlight.

Women belong in comedy because as an entire gender, they bring something unique and powerful. In the same way that certain anecdotes and pitfalls are heavily male-oriented, dozens of observations and situations are made uniquely comedic when they are personified by a woman.

LightWorkers Women Belong in Comedy, and Here’s Why.

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For instance: consider the overwhelming success of the 2011 film Bridesmaids. While the film itself is morally debatable, reception was generally positive due to the number of “me too” moments included from a female perspective.

Whether you consider yourself a feminist or not, we can all agree that the community suffers as a whole when a feminine perspective is lacking. Women have the ability to fuse strength with beauty and are remarkably gifted in communication. The absence or minority of women robs all of us from understanding the fuller picture, and can be felt in entertainment when men attempt to shoulder the weight of a role written to exclude the need for women.

Themes such as loneliness, jealousy, marriage and friendship take on a different tone when depicted by a female. Nuances and irony land differently when communicated through the voice of a woman.

In a world where community is defined by our ability to celebrate and find pieces of ourselves in others, we are missing a fundamental piece of the human heart when we negate the female voice—in comedy, or otherwise.