I’m not going to jazz this post up with pictures or too many jokes. If that is why you come to this page, keep coming back and maybe next week you will see some pictures of a ferret playing with an otter.
I was having a conversation with a female comic (Editor’s Note: Don’t know her name and wouldn’t reveal it anyway) tonight and things took a weird turn. I saw her post on Facebook and I wrote a whimsical little one line retort about how I wish people brought me to the stage by introducing me as “adorable” or “sexy.” Her response was for me to get a sex change and she called me a mother fucker. I replied by asking if a sex change entitled me to write a 500 word humble-brag status. She replied by calling me sad and letting me know she has a machete and would gladly cut my dick off because she aims to please.
After feeling attacked for no reason, I re-read her post. I thought it was very misandric, so I changed every mention of femininity to the masculine counterpart, so she could read how ridiculous it sounds then I told her to gain 50 lbs. so she wouldn’t have to deal with people hitting on her. I must have struck a nerve because she deleted my comments and replied saying that I have issues and she hoped that I “get help” then blocked me. Anyway, here was her rant:
I hear a lot of generalized complaining about female comics. I used to do it myself. Time to set the record straight. Here’s a list of things only male comics have done to me:
– Asked to smell my “pussy”
– Said things considered sexual harassment in most other professions
– Told me I wasn’t a real comic b/c I don’t have enough credits
– Bailed on a show I produced without ever contacting me to explain why
– Stopped speaking to me/liking my posts or unfriended/blocked me because…I have no friggin idea
– Used me as an armrest
– Posted demeaning things about me on Facebook
– Tried to force themselves on me
– Ignored all my verbal and non-verbal cues to stop flirting with me (ladies, for this and above: don’t underestimate a good shunt to the chest)*
– Introduced me as “adorable”, “sexy”, “lovely”, yeah we’ve all heard them
– Crapped on my material at an open mic (with one exception)
– Made unsolicited critiques/comments about my physical appearance (again, one exception. Same one.)
– Messaged me in the middle of the night.
– Walked away from a conversation while I was in mid-sentence without excusing themselves
Some things that female comics have done (even, yes, ones who have been passed at clubs/published books and/or been on tv!):
– Asked me how I was, then waited for an answer & listened to it.
– Taken the time to give me lengthy, constructive feedback.
– Reached out when they had helpful advice on matters not related to comedy, like LIFE.
– Waited to hear my set before leaving a mic.
– Checked in to see how I am when they hadn’t seen me for a while.
– Offered to put me on their show when I had nothing to offer in return.
– Offered to ban comics who have been crappy to me from their shows. (I don’t name names tho. Well, with one exception).
This is not to say that only women have done these wonderful things. Almost the same # of men have too. What’s that ratio of male/female comics again?
*last count, I’d been hit on by 40+ comics. and I’m relatively new & pretty outspoken about my not dating comics policy. Funny thing: the couple times I’ve shared w/ other female comics, they’d been hit on by the SAME MEN.
(Editor’s note: That is a copy and paste. I didn’t make it up. It just happened to still be there when I hit Ctrl+V) I don’t have the rest of the conversation because she blocked me and even before that, she deleted my comments.)
I’m glad that a woman can express herself and say that she is feeling “less than” or harassed by male comics. She should never have to deal with such a thing. For a comedian, going to shows, open mics or even hanging around a comedy club is work. However, it is not the conventional job atmosphere that people would think of when asked. This does not excuse the behavior that she mentioned. Not one bit.
Now that I prefaced all of that bullshit with how inexcusable it is can I give an honest opinion about the topic? Did I do enough politically correct ass kissing to give someone real feedback on an issue? Or will I be crucified and be labeled as a supporter of “rape culture” and die alone as a woman hating scumbag?
Honestly, that entire rant of hers was bullshit. First of all, the first half of it was men approaching her and trying to hit on her. Obviously it wasn’t received well and hell, she probably didn’t even want to be hit on at all. That is her right. She has made it clear that she doesn’t date comics and that is a great rule to have. Things can get messy and again, this is work. You don’t shit where you eat.
Female comedians also get very sensitive about their looks. Even when they are extremely attractive (Editor’s note: I don’t even know if this girl is attractive), they do not want to be introduced as “The beautiful and sexy so-and-so” because then you aren’t introducing them as “The very talented and very funny so-and-so.” I can see why that would be frustrating. That’s why I originally said something about that line but I was joking. This lady was on a warpath from before I even wrote something. She was not hearing any counter argument and was so close minded that it gave me a head ache.
The issue that drives me crazy is that she basically went on a “Pro-woman” rant. I hear this all the time. You know where I hear stuff like that? In the news, from the KKK. They aren’t anti-black, they are pro-white! Does that make sense? The thing is, if you want to be equal you will have to look at everyone as people. Not male or female. Not black or white. She bashed men for 10 bullet points and then said how great women are for 10 bullet points. I responded by telling her that she is dealing with shitty people, in general. I didn’t bring sex into it. She was doing enough of that for the both of us.
She could have had an equally impressive rant if she took sex out of the equation. She did not have to have the ending where female comics saved the day. My point was by adding sex into the argument, you are making mountains out of mole hills. If you want to be treated as an equal, you will have to start acting as an equal. It isn’t a man v. woman controversy. It is a person v. person controversy. Does this make sense or am I just sounding like misogynist? Probably the latter, but I honestly feel that her point could have been equally as clear if she didn’t drive it home with a YesAllWomen hashtag.
Now, how do we resolve such an issue? How do you control an environment where no one really has control. Club owners are often unaware or don’t bother with comedian interaction. Comedians tend to police themselves. I guess you could say nothing, do nothing and bury your feelings deep inside and then when you get home at 2AM, you write 500 words of bullshit as your Facebook status because you feel the need to let everyone know that people hit on you and you need even more validation from your friends to tell you how disgusting that is. Run on sentence, I know. Deal with it.
That was option #1. I think I prefer option #2. Why not pull the male comic aside? First off, this will make him feel like a piece of shit because now he will know that he went too far and his advances were unnecessary. Doing this in private will also make him feel like he isn’t being attacked. Thus not feeling like he is backed into a corner or trapped. Then, after you have a nice and quiet place to talk, you can express yourself and tell him your feelings to his face. I guarantee he will never hit on you or get inappropriate again. I would actually bet my life on that fact. No guy ever wants to be embarrassed like that. Even if it is in private. Have you ever been told to your face that you are creepy? Have you ever been told to your face that you are inappropriate? I haven’t either because I’m a gentleman but I can imagine it would feel highly embarrassing.
I don’t know, guys. I think I’m just pissed off because I was going for a friendly debate amongst peers and it turned into her attacking me then deleting my comments and blocking me because I disagreed with what she was saying. To me, that screams of immaturity and all the signs will point to her being wrong. In the end, we all have different problem solving skills. Some make sense and some do not. Some are for attention and a pat on the back while some might actually get you what you want. Choose wisely.