Open Thread: Feminism, Fey, and Funny Ladies
OK, so I guess I was sort of under a rock the past few days, because I kind of missed the Tina Fey mega-freakout that blew up all over the feminist blogosphere. I have only watched a few clips from the episode, and I think I've yammered on (in blog form as well) about Tina Fey enough already, so I won't say anything about SNL here. (Except that I thought the Brownie Husband skit was kinda funny. There. I said it.)
Anywho, getting to the point, all this Tina Fey jibber jabber has me thinking: What DO we want from a feminist comedic actor? What ARE our expectations for our fellow funny feminists? Because of course we don't want to see ladies bashing other ladies, and we don't want to see ladies objectifying themselves in order to get laughs, and we don't want offensive humor that caters to the lowest common denominator (hell, we don't want to see dudes do that either). But what is it that we do want? And is anyone currently giving it to us? Let's discuss.
Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't call Tina Fey out if we think she's trashing on women, because that's bogus and she should get called on it, just like any actor should get called out for the bogus trashing of women. But is there a possibility, also, that we are so starved for smart, funny women in mass media that we've pinned too many hopes on Fey? Why do we expect so much from her?
I was listening to the Slate Culture Gabfest yesterday and Stephen Metcalf suggested that feminists wouldn't be satisfied with a comedian until the Sigourney Weaver character from Working Girl comes to life and starts a career in stand up (I'm paraphrasing). At first I was all like, "Oh no you didn't Stephen Metcalf." But the I was all like, "Is he right? Are our expectations so high that we won't be satisfied until bell freakin' hooks has an HBO comedy special and every feminist can feel like a unique and beautiful snowflake?" (That comedy special maybe would rule, though.)
So yeah, I'm perplexed. I am leaning toward a solution here that involves more hilarious women becoming famous, so that we don't have to turn all of our adoring and analyzing and snarking and reviewing skills onto one or two ladies. However, there is probably a discussion to be had here about our expectations and who might be able to meet them. So if you've got any feminist comediennes you've been loving lately, let us know about them. If you've got any thoughts about our expectations as feminists when it comes to comedy, let us know about them. You get the idea.
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