For the Love of God, Stop Saying Women Aren't Funny

Once upon a time hundreds of years ago, some dude probably started a rumor that women aren’t funny. I guess it caught on, because I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people – and way too often, it’s women themselves – utter the phrase “women just aren’t funny.”

But really, who decided that women aren’t funny? And why does society continue to perpetuate the idea that women can’t be comedic? Wherever this idea came from, it’s ingrained into us socially at this point.

Both men and women are inclined to view comedy as a man’s business and will often dismiss female comics for that reason alone. Society has never done female comics any favors.

A lot of this has to do with the lens women are seen through. Many people don’t find women funny due to their preconceived notions of what a woman should be. Women have been and are still expected to be prim and proper. They can’t be too profane with their language. They can’t be too aggressive. They can’t be too vulgar – even though most male comedians thrive on vulgarity and are lauded for jokes that are nothing short of disgusting. When a woman makes the same sort of jokes, it’s interpreted by many as unladylike and, frankly, unfunny.

Everything women are taught during their youth counteracts comedy. While boys are allowed to fool around and be silly and mature painstakingly slowly, girls are trained to be gentle and quiet and motherly from the time they’re able to speak. God forbid a woman be cynical or goofy or unapologetically provocative.

Despite this, hilarious women do, in fact, exist. They write the scripts for your favorite sit-coms, they make The New York Times Best Sellers lists, they star in your favorite movies. In your lifetime, you have observed and known countless women who have made you laugh, and as the world becomes more lax with its rigid expectations of how women should behave, you’ll come to know even more.