Why Women in Comedy Are Owning Their Sexuality
Long gone are the days where a woman being sexually explicit was a sin. Women have come a long way from the stereotype that “women aren’t funny” to finding success in talking about sex and raunchiness. From Amy Schumer and Mindy Kaling, to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, female comedy has taken a sudden growth in popularity—especially in regards to being open about sex and relationships. Lena Dunham is intimately open about sex and the female body on Girls. Ilisa Shlesinger, Ali Wong, and Rachel Feinstein are baring all in their stand up, proving female comedians are back and raunchier than ever.
Although women have been talking about their sex lives in the comedy scene since the glory days of Gilda Radner and Joan Rivers, it seems as though an open forum about sex has finally become more reciprocal. It even has led other comedians to branch out in their material and be down-right filthy. We are in a newly liberated age where body shaming and slut shaming is no longer accepted—in fact bodies and sex are celebrated. Owning one’s body and femininity is powerful and beautiful, and women have taken note. With this 21st century wave of feminism, sex and humor about sex are the new hot thing.
WHY IS IT SO SUCCESSFUL?
Comedians like Amy Schumer have capitalized on this new liberal agenda. Talking about sexuality in comedy gets its success because it is so relatable. People love sex—they like having sex, talking about not having sex, and talking about having sex. Sex and the City was such a hit because it depicted open and conscious women exploring sexual thoughts in their everyday lives. Can we all agree Samantha is the ultimate power woman in regards to owning sexuality and should be praised every day? Owning your body and empowering yourself is the ultimate freedom.
A woman talking about sex is especially interesting, because for so long, sex was a man’s topic. It was taboo for women to talk about their sex lives and especially to talk about enjoying sex. Who knew someone without a penis also felt things like orgasms and horniness? You mean not only men masturbate? Women do in fact have sex, and do in fact talk about it—a lot. Dicks and vaginas are still funny and people will always appreciate jokes about something so intimate, and something so easy to laugh about. If I have tits and if I want to talk about my tits, I am going to do so with the utmost hubris.
WHERE ARE WE SEEING IT?
Besides the saturation of women’s sexual power in the media, platforms like BuzzFeed and college campuses everywhere are forming groups that empower people to be open about their sex lives. Female comedians talking about sex is absolutely pervasive. Lily Sarkisian, a student standup comedian, said, “Sex is funny, people can relate to it, and there’s still a stigma about women comedians talking about it, which I love to exploit.” She went on to say, “I personally feel that as a woman who does comedy, there’s a certain part of me that has to prove I’m fuckable, so I like to tell my stories about my experience both for entertainment and to validate myself.”
Humor Whore, a sketch comedy group on campus, is the first time since the group’s founding, being run by two women. This group is just one of the places in which women are taking advantage of women’s claiming of comedy and sexuality. Julia Teti, the associate producer, said, “I think it’s awesome, women in comedy are proving they can be just as vulgar or just as smart as male comics. We don’t have to be confined to only talking about specific aspects of our lives. We can be lewd or loud, or highbrow and observational”.
So, here’s to all the funny women owning their sexuality. Cheers to you for having a vagina, talking about it, and making us all feel less alone.