Women in comedy

Ellen DeGeneres is a very funny woman.  

Ellen DeGeneres is a very funny woman.  

Megan Soult| Staff Writer

According to Jerry Lewis, women cannot be funny if they are being crude. Although Lewis admits that women can be great standup comics, if they are crude during their performances women lack all potential of being funny. In a recent article, Lewis said that seeing a woman project the aggression required to be a stand up comedian “rubbed him the wrong way.”

This makes me very curious. Why is it women can’t be considered funny if they are using crude language? Is it because it makes them seem less womanly, that if they are using crude language they will break the image of the ideal woman?

This thought from a man’s point of view is just pushing women back into the old stereotypical view of women. In the past, women were told that they had to be submissive and quiet. They had to look a certain way, and if they did not they were considered social outcasts.

It is sad to think that some people still believe that women have to live to these outrageous standards. It is completely possible for women to be stand up comedians, and some would even say that it is possible for them to be successful stand up comedians while using crude language.

Just because a woman wants to use crude language in a stand up act does not make her any less womanly. Men, like Lewis, may not like the fact that women use crude language in their stand up routines because the language puts women on the same level as men, and this takes away from the stereotype that women have to live by. If women use crude language in their routines, then they look and act masculine. The masculine appearance no longer makes women appear weak and quiet, like their past images. If anything, ignoring the stereotypes give women a position of power.

Women should not have to adjust themselves to make men feel more powerful. If a woman wants to use crude language in her stand up act, then she should. Women of the 21st century have more opportunities than women in the past, yet they are constantly being reminded that they are the weaker sex when men like Lewis try to tell them that they cannot be considered funny if they use crude language, which is typically a male trait.

No one would tell a man that he is not a good comedian because he uses crude language, and the same should apply to women comedians. Comedy may be the only profession where is it ok to pick fun at a subject, but the line needs to be drawn somewhere. Lewis has every right to his own opinion, but that does not mean women in comedy need to listen to him.

I believe women should continue with their comedy, crude language and all, and if someone does not like it or is “rubbed the wrong way”, then that person can ignore the act. We are in America, after all, where freedom of speech-crude or clean-is accepted.