Today in the series “Isa tries to tackle the patriarchy one step at a time”… Humor! How does this have anything to do with the patriarchy, you may ask? Because of articles such as this one:
Long story short (no need to waste your time reading all of that bullsh*t) we still live in a society where men are perceived as funnier than women. More stand-up comedians, comedy actors, directors, authors… etc are men, and you still hear the sentence “You are pretty funny… for a woman”. In this other much better article, we can read that research shows “Men prefer women who are receptive to their humor, whereas women prefer men who produce humor.”
But enough of me boring you with the extensive (15 min) research I have done for this post. The point is that I want to be funny, because, hello? making people laugh is pretty awesome, and I have to wonder why is it that I am not quite there yet?
So let’s agree we can rule out the gender factor, and assume that a female brain has the same ability to produce humor as a male one. For me, the biggest difference has to be the confidence. It takes an amount of courage to deliver a joke, and more so to deliver it well. In a society where men have always been in a position of power, it’s normal that they are more confident, and this translates to their sense of humor.
I myself have noticed that I am the funniest with my family, since I am not afraid of being judged, or in my head about the perfect timing.
Why is it that some men react to women’s humor with a “oh, that’s pretty funny” in the same tone of voice they would give to a 5 year old that just drew a rainbow for the 4th time? It doesn’t really help with the hole confidence thing I was talking about before, to be honest…
3. Do I want it too much?
Am I trying too hard? Overthinking it? Isn’t effortlessness funny in itself? No one likes a joke that ends with an anxious look through the crowd to check if people are laughing or not. But as the master over-thinker that I am, I don’t see how I can really help this point.
I wanted to write about this topic, because being the one sparking the laughter is equally as fun as laughing at a really good joke (if not more) and I don’t want women to be robbed of that privilege. I don’t want my kids to hear only “dad jokes” I want “mum jokes” to be a thing too! I don’t want my worth to be defined by my beauty, but my intelligence, my kindness, and hell yeah, my sense of humor!
So what am I going to do about it?
I am going to keep telling bad jokes. Jokes that don’t land as I anxiously look at the receiver, jokes that make people roll their eyes, jokes that make men say “oooh, that’s kinda funny”. I am going to write funny posts in my blog at the risk of being the only one laughing at them. And I am going to make jokes about female topics like periods and motherhood, because kids in every high-school have been drawing dicks in each other’s folders since forever thinking it was hilarious.
And eventually I will stop being self-conscious, and I will stop thinking it too hard, and I won’t be able to hear the condescending comments amongst the laughter.