SF Talking Points: Funny Women Taking Things Into Their Own Hands, A Gay, Feminist Republican Is Running For President

mindytinaNew Women’s Comedy Site Launches: A woman’s version of male-slanted humor sites like Funny or Die and CollegeHumor has arrived! In the midst of the debate over why women represent such a small population of the comedy world comes Comediva, hoping to cater to the different sense of humor that women have compared to men. Erika Cervantes, founder of Comediva, writes in her opening post:

“What makes up a girl’s sense of humor is complex and varies from lady to lady, so it deserves to be explored further in a future column.  However, at the risk of making sweeping generalizations, I did learn a few reasons why girls are just different from boys when it comes to funny:

–    Boys use humor to one-up each other.  Girls use humor to bond with each other.
–    Despite our abuse of the phrase LOL, it’s harder to make girls laugh out loud than boys.
–    Girls enjoy irony, wordplay, and subtlety, and favor storytelling over joke-telling.”

Oh, it’s not that, “women, bless their tender hearts, would prefer that life be fair, and even sweet, rather than the sordid mess it actually is”, as Christopher Hitchens claimed in his then old-fashioned, now antiquated (but still widely referenced) argument that women aren’t funny? Or because, “For some reason, women do not find their own physical decay and absurdity to be so riotously amusing, which is why we admire Lucille Ball and Helen Fielding, who do see the funny side of it,” even though Lucille Ball, though extremely funny on camera, didn’t actually write her own stuff? Not sure who Hitchens was referring to in that first statement, or why he was excluding the many contemporary female comedians who “find their own physical decay and absurdity” amusing (see: here and here) but it’s not as though that’s the only place where humor exists. Look at Parks and Recreation! Whereas other similar comedies like The Office and 30 Rock strongly satirize work environments, Parks and Rec (with Amy Poehler as its star and one of its producers, 2/9 female writers, and a very feminist environment on the actual show) has become extremely successful with its happy, not dark, brand of comedy.

Anyway — there is now a home on the internet where female comedians and comedy writers won’t be cast aside because their humor wasn’t “male centric” enough, and we’re excited. Check out this spoof of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” (you may or may not like it — things always get a bit iffy when you bring up religion — but you can’t say it wasn’t daring!) and this post-modern analysis of the original “Friday” by the star of the parody video.

Geraldine Ferraro’s Career –  Why It Was Both Inspiring And Disheartening: A Salon essay examines why Geraldine Ferraro, first woman to run for Vice President on a major party’s national ticket, never reaped the benefits of that milestone. After a successful stay in the House of Representatives and her historical stint running alongside Walter Mondale, her political career gradually dwindled until she was just another FOX News Democrat. While she emboldened countless other women to enter politics, the reputation she earned early on after running for Vice President (for her husband’s secretiveness about his finances, and for her supposed ethnic stereotyping, after joking,”You people who are married to Italian men, you know what it’s like”) resulted in her inability to secure office thereafter.

Can It Be True? The Gay, Feminist Republican Who’s Running For President: Fred Karger calls himself a Republican, but he’s not the kind we’re used to. Karger is a founding member of the Republican Majority for Choice (so we ought to be careful when we generalize against all Republicans attacking our right to choose) and was a supporter of Hillary Clinton in the last election. “The hypocrisy of the Republican party is pretty prevalent these days. They preach small government but they want to tell women what to do with their bodies. I’m a fiscal conservative, I come from a finance background. I definitely want to work to strengthen our economy, I believe in the private sector. I’m a libertarian of sorts,” he says in an interview with Feministing. While it’s unlikely that he’ll go very far, he’s bound to shake up some of the debates — and hopefully ease the severe right-winged, inappropriate religiousness of his party.

School Secretary Outed For Side Job In Porn Films: In the Quebec area, a woman was revealed to be a sex worker when a teenage boy who recognized her asked her for her autograph and then apparently exposed her to entire school. Amanda Marcotte at The XX Factor argues,

“All joking aside, it’s not only irritating that sex workers are being conflated with child molesters in the 21st century, but that the school reacting this way sends the message to young men that it’s A-OK to be a consumer of sex work, but the providers of it are tainted women who should be punished. I don’t care where you fall on the pro- or anti-sex-work divide, but the double standard for workers and customers galls me to no end.  You might want to argue that a sex worker isn’t a good ‘role model,’ but far worse in the role model department is sending the message that sex workers are for using and then throwing away.”

And why is it that parents/administrators aren’t more concerned about the porn aficionado kid(s)? If they think it’s so abhorrent, then that’s what they ought to be regulating.

Berlusconi Skipping Court Not A Surprise. (Plus: Some Pictures Of His Bunga Bunga Sex Parties): Premier Silvio Berlusconi of Italy has been giving precedence to his official duties, his lawyer said, and will be attending his court dates “when possible”. So far, he has only been missing one of the 3 trials that are concerned with his business dealings — so we have yet to see how seriously he’ll take his underage prostitution trial with the 17-year old Moroccan belly dancer, which begins next month. And, as promised: http://jezebel.com/#!5784858/pictures-from-berlusconis-unimpressive-bunga+bunga-parties

Injustices Toward Women Prevail In Egypt: In this NYTimes video, op-ed contributor Nick Kristof reports on how women have been assaulted, tortured, and arrested for their pro-democracy efforts. The sad truth is that, while it is necessary and good that women like the ones he interviews are as strong-willed and passionate about the fight for democracy as they are, Mubarakism is still persisting in the Egyptian Army, and Egyptian women are bearing the brunt of it.