just lookin’ for a kiss

Is it true that women in the entertainment business are deterred from being funny. From being comic. Is the mixture of being beautiful and funny too combustible a substance to let out of the yard? Or is it because women more often find themselves humiliated and offended because of their gender and indignation in its various guises is not the ideal prelude to humor. But then, they have more material to draw from. Christopher Hitchens thought otherwise:

---It's often used as a code word for women reacting against the perceived strictness of feminist doctrine of an earlier age, such as artist Laurel Nakadate in a Times interview about her work: "It was this moment in the girls' sort of post-feminist movement where their way of empowering themselves was having these enormous parties where they didn't apologize for anything." I'd call upon writers throwing around the term "postfeminst" to be a little more specific. Do you meant "anti-feminist?" "Over feminism?" Or maybe, as I suspect, something more akin to "grateful-for-feminism-and-in-favor-of-feminist-principles-but-squeamish-about-actually-using-the-word?" Even feminists don't know quite what to make of the word, or perhaps, what they see as the demise of feminism. Witness "Sex and the City" actress Kim Cattrall talking about her iconic turn as Samantha Jones: "She's a product of my experience, which is I consider myself a feminist and I live in a post-feminist world so I fight many different issues that affect women, so I feel very much at home in this skin."--- Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rachel-kramer-bussel/post-feminist_b_821077.html image: http://home.millsaps.edu/mcelvrs/women_2000.html

…Why are men, taken on average and as a whole, funnier than women? Well, for one thing, they had damn well better be. The chief task in life that a man has to perform is that of impressing the opposite sex, and Mother Nature (as we laughingly call her) is not so kind to men. In fact, she equips many fellows with very little armament for the struggle. An average man has just one, outside chance: he had better be able to make the lady laugh. Making them laugh has been one of the crucial preoccupations of my life. If you can stimulate her to laughter—I am talking about that real, out-loud, head-back, mouth-open-to-expose-the-full-horseshoe-of-lovely-teeth, involuntary, full, and deep-throated mirth; the kind that is accompanied by a shocked surprise and a slight (no, make that a loud) peal of delight—well, then, you have at least caused her to loosen up and to change her expression. I shall not elaborate further….

"Scarlet Street is Lang’s remake of the 1931 Renoir movie La Chienne (literally “The Bitch”). But while the first was lighthearted satirical fare, Scarlet Street is much bleaker, both in its tone and its pessimistic take on its three protagonists." read more: http://www.dgaquarterly.org/BACKISSUES/Summer2006/InTheScreeningRoomTerryZwigoff.aspx

…Women have no corresponding need to appeal to men in this way. They already appeal to men, if you catch my drift. Indeed, we now have all the joy of a scientific study, which illuminates the difference. Read More: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701

To be honest, feminism per se, explores a lot of topics that are not funny in the least, in particular the contraditory states of sexual and social oppression.   In fact, its downright tragic. Its hard to believe that at one time Betty Friedan was considered “dangerous” for claiming women seek meaning in their lives. Her “Feminine Mystique” was a guide book , like Maimonides “Guide for the Perplexed” of the bored housewife variety. Men’s pulp magazines are a good indicator of male conservatism and fantasy and women were not an empowered lot. Mad Men is a good example of interest in that epoch; a fascination of making sense with the people and time who absorbed Friedan and created a celebrity out of her. Whether Friedan was a fraud in another matter. Rosie the Riveter she was not. Neither Adah Isaacs Mencken or Sarah Bernhardt. She was a white liberal political activist who wrote for Ladies Home Journal. She was a run-of-the-mill talent who had something of the hype machine behind her.

Hitchens: Probe a little deeper, though, and you will see what Nietzsche meant when he described a witticism as an epitaph on the death of a feeling. Male humor prefers the laugh to be at someone's expense, and understands that life is quite possibly a joke to begin with—and often a joke in extremely poor taste. Humor is part of the armor-plate with which to resist what is already farcical enough. (Perhaps not by coincidence, battered as they are by motherfucking nature, men tend to refer to life itself as a bitch.) Whereas women, bless their tender hearts, would prefer that life be fair, and even sweet, rather than the sordid mess it actually is. read more: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701?currentPage=2 image: http://www.kickaction.ca/node/2711

There was a contradiction in that era; a hypocrisy where the nuclear family is glorified, basically in retrospect as an economic unit and promoter of the laws of property and transmission of wealth from one generation to the next. At the same time you an epidemic of incest and violence all incubated within the family unit. Enforced adoption of the ideal of the white picket fence and something of a disappointing reality. Yet, her audience seemed to predominantly white upper middle class who could consider themselves relatively fortunate and also my have had the the time and the intellect to understand the feminine condition. Sylvia Plath had a very profound insight; a character like Betty Draper is a little harder to sympathize with. The Freedom Riders were getting arrested and others were theorizing over enforced ideals.

Joan Rivers. ---Janet Woolf:The experience of anonymity in the city, the fleeting, impersonal contacts described by social commentators like Georg Simmel, the possibility of unmolested strolling and observation first seen by Baudelaire, and then analysed by Walter Benjamin were entirely the experiences of men. By the late nineteenth century, middle-class women had been more or less consigned (in ideology if not in reality) to the private sphere. The public world of work, city life, bars, and cafés was barred to the respectable woman. . .(By the end of the nineteenth century shopping was an important activity for women, the rise of the department store and of the consumer society providing a highly legitimate, if limited, participation in the public sphere. read more: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22801069/Elizabeth-Wilson-The-Invisible-Flaneur image: http://www.accesshollywood.com/access-hollywood-live-joan-rivers-on-returning-to-johnny-carsons-tonight-show-set-and-melissa-rivers-on-posing-nude_video_1274693

Hitchens:This is not to say that women are humorless, or cannot make great wits and comedians. And if they did not operate on the humor wavelength, there would be scant point in half killing oneself in the attempt to make them writhe and scream (uproariously). Wit, after all, is the unfailing symptom of intelligence. Men will laugh at almost anything, often precisely because it is—or they are—extremely stupid. Women aren’t like that. And the wits and comics among them are formidable beyond compare: Dorothy Parker, Nora Ephron, Fran Lebowitz, Ellen DeGeneres. (Though ask yourself, was Dorothy Parker ever really funny?) Greatly daring—or so I thought—I resolved to call up Ms. Lebowitz and Ms. Ephron to try out my theories. Fran responded: “The cultural values are male; for a woman to say a man is funny is the equivalent of a man saying that a woman is pretty. Also, humor is largely aggressive and pre-emptive, and what’s more male than that?” Ms. Ephron did not disagree. Read More: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701 a


Read More: http://stickygooeycreamychewy.com/2009/07/31/breakfast-at-tiffanys-roundup-chicks-in-a-nest/

In Friedan’s era you had Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” a call girl with a wild streak with a fear of being corralled. Betty Draper is a child of the golden ghetto. But in a lot of ways their fates are identical with mutually obscure psyches shared between the hooker and the housewife. Both partake in a side of the Manhattan fantasy where neither is too free, but they work hard at repressing the beast within and constructing an identity. But then women are always stuck between a rock and a hard place with wiggle room at a premium. But that third way has always been terrifying to men; out othe realm of the male gaze, the objectifying, fetish commodity that is part of the foundation of consumer culture.

"Adah Isaacs Menken was known for her beauty, her daring, and her ability to flout just about every convention of her day. Her most famous role was as the warrior prince Mazeppa in a play inspired by Lord Byron’s poem. As Mazeppa, Menken was strapped to the side of a galloping horse while wearing nothing but a body stocking, which earned her the nickname “The Naked Lady.”---Read More: http://www.tabletmag.com/podcasts/57900/civil-war-siren/

Leah McLaren: My friends started to have babies. I went to parties where women sat at one side of the room talking in hushed tones about cracked nipples and ear infections and the men went outside to smoke and make fart jokes.

Privately, my head swimming with Facebook posts about the joys of nursing, I started to wonder if Hitchens (whose article I’d managed to read online by this point) was right. Were women less likely to be funny because the bloody business of bearing children made us serious?

Here’s my conclusion: Yes, I think, on average, women are less funny than men, and I think child-rearing might have something to do with it. But so does the urge to be pretty and feminine and non-threatening to the opposite sex – usually in the hope of getting married and bearing children, which only seems to widen the humour gap further. The point is, somewhere along the way women are taught that being funny isn’t sexy. And that, in my opinion, is a crying shame. Read More: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/leah-mclaren/why-women-arent-as-funny-as-men-maybe-its-our-material/article1878772/

Henry Makow:Betty Friedan, the “founder of modern feminism” pretended to be a typical 1950′s American mother who had a “revelation” that women like her were exploited and should seek independence and self-fulfillment in career.

What Friedan (nee: Betty Naomi Goldstein) didn’t say is that she had been a Communist propagandist since her student days at Smith College (1938-1942) and that the destruction of the family has always been central to the Communist plan for world government. See “The Communist Manifesto” (1848).

Friedan dropped out of grad school to become a reporter for a Communist news service. From 1946 -1952 she worked for the newspaper of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, (UE) “the largest Communist-led institution of any kind in the United States.” In 1947, Congress targeted the UE as a Communist front and its membership began a steady decline. Read More: http://www.savethemales.ca/000185.html a

"All of this is her resume. Yet when I picked up the issue of Vanity Fair with her on the cover, the focus of the article was on her weight loss and how pretty she is (for a funny girl). Her immense talent, and her helping to lead female-cast members to the front of the SNL stage was barely mentioned, let alone her credits as a writer and creative force.To say that I was disappointed is just an absolute understatement. I am however not going to focus on how Vanity Fair just totally missed the boat, and broke my heart. Why I wanted to mention this, is because this is a prime example of how the ruse of "post-feminism" works. To be blunt, I can easily describe all the ways the article (and articles like it) are sexist and ridiculous." Read More: http://www.kickaction.ca/node/2711

Daniel Horowitz, a History Professor at Smith with impeccable Liberal and Feminist credentials documents all this in his book, Betty Friedan and the Making of the Feminine Mystique: The American Left, the Cold War and Modern Feminism (University of Massachusetts Press 1999). Horowitz cites a union member who described how a Communist minority “seized control of the UE national office, the executive board, the paid-staff, the union newspaper and some district councils and locals.”

Betty Frieden doesn’t want anyone to know her radical antecedents. Throughout her career, she said she had no interest in the condition of women before her “revelation.” She refused to cooperate with Professor Horowitz and accused him of “Red-baiting.”Read More: http://www.savethemales.ca/000185.html

Leah McLaren: Which is why my heart lifted when I read that Natalie Portman intends to make movies like The Hangover for women. And then sank again when I read she was pregnant. Because honestly, what are the chances that a new mom is going to want to produce and star in (let alone watch) a film about promiscuity and period jokes?…

None of this is to say that women can’t be funny, just that women don’t want juvenile comedies made for and about us any more than we want romantic porn. Porn is fine the way it is. And so is The Hangover. Maybe, as women, we just need to spend a little less time talking about cracked nipples and a little more time cracking each other up.Read More: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/leah-mclaren/why-women-arent-as-funny-as-men-maybe-its-our-material/article1878772/

Read More: http://myweb.dal.ca/mgoodyea/Documents/Feminism/Feminist%20knowledge%20and%20social-cultural%20research%20in%20Edwards%202007%20Cultural%20Theory%20Ch%2011.pdf


“It is this flâneur, theflâneur as a man of pleasure, as a man who takes visual possession of the city, who has emerged in postmodern feminist discourse as the embodiment of the ‘male gaze’. He represents men’s visual and voyeuristic mastery over women. According to this view, the flâneur’s freedom to wander at will through the city is essentially a masculine freedom. Thus, the very idea of the flâneur reveals it to be a gendered concept. Janet Wolff argues that there could never be a femaleflâneur: the flâneus e was invisible. Griselda Pollock writes of the way in which women—middle-class women at least—were denied access to the spaces of the city, even a successful painter such as Berthe Morisot mostly taking as her subject matter interiors and domestic scenes instead of the cafés and other sites of pleasure so often painted by her male colleagues. Read More: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22801069/Elizabeth-Wilson-The-Invisible-Flaneur

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