Things I Learned From Reading "Why Women Aren't Funny" In Vanity Fair 1.Christopher Hitchens' inner voice is an asshole and a gourmand.
(If you yourself are a guy, and you know the man in question, you will often have said to yourself, "Funny? He wouldn't know a joke if it came served on a bed of lettuce with sauce béarnaise.")
Which is remarkable because inner voices don't usually have digestive systems. 2. Men are from Mars (planet with jokes) and women are from Venus (planet with boobs), or something.
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.
Women have no corresponding need to appeal to men in this way. They already appeal to men, if you catch my drift.
Caught it, Hitch, you scoundrel. Wait. You're saying you'll nail anything with a pulse, right? So men are like really funny hunters who will totally never give up the remote, and women are humorless gatherers who aren't at all impressed by looks. Also, have you ever noticed that women will always go to the bathroom in groups? Could that be a PMS thing? Ah, the battle of the sexes. 3. There are way more horrible female comics than horrible male comics. How do I know this? Christopher Hitchens said so.
In any case, my argument doesn't say that there are no decent women comedians. There are more terrible female comedians than there are terrible male comedians, but there are some impressive ladies out there.
How does he know this? Well, everything that he thinks is a fact automatically becomes a fact. Duh. 4. Fatties, dykes, and Jewish girls are funny, but they're not really women, per se.
Most of [the impressive female comedians], though, when you come to review the situation, are hefty or dykey or Jewish, or some combo of the three. When Roseanne stands up and tells biker jokes and invites people who don't dig her shtick to suck her dick–know what I am saying? And the Sapphic faction may have its own reasons for wanting what I want–the sweet surrender of female laughter. While Jewish humor, boiling as it is with angst and self-deprecation, is almost masculine by definition.
5. Personal essays about humor can turn into meandering poetry analysis at the drop of a hat.
For women, reproduction is, if not the only thing, certainly the main thing. Apart from giving them a very different attitude to filth and embarrassment, it also imbues them with the kind of seriousness and solemnity at which men can only goggle. This womanly seriousness was well caught by Rudyard Kipling in his poem "The Female of the Species." After cleverly noticing that with the male "mirth obscene diverts his anger"–which is true of most work on that great masculine equivalent to childbirth, which is warfare–Kipling insists:
But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same, And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail, The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.
The word "issue" there, which we so pathetically misuse, is restored to its proper meaning of childbirth. As Kipling continues…
And it goes on for stanzas, and stanzas, and paragraphs, and paragraphs from there– which, really, is an important lesson for any writer to learn: If you find yourself meandering on for pages in Vanity Fair, just analyze some Kipling for a few hundred words to make your point. That'll make your audience keep reading!