It isn’t like male comics cannot or should not talk about issues that concern women, but there is a certain authenticity to the topic that only women comics can bring. The reason is simple, they have lived those experiences. Here, we have compiled some brilliant pieces from the sets of outstanding comics who nailed it with their insights on stuff that women go through.
1. I relate to this bit by Sasheer Zamata so much, I have watched it at least 50 times at this point. Menstruation cramps and discomfort can bring some women to their knees, literally, and it’s crazy to think that they still go about their daily activities as if everything was normal.
To give you a perspective from my personal experience, for the longest time I did not have the courage to ask for leave even though I was dying from pain. This is when I have been fortunate enough to work with people who would have not had a problem with it. But still, the idea that you have to ‘brave through’ is so deeply ingrained in our heads, it takes years to get rid of it. And the portrayal of menstruation in media doesn’t help.
2. Whitney Cummings’ demolition of the idea of a ‘gold digger’ is something so many people need to watch until it enters their brains permanently. This phrase, thrown at women is backed by layers after layers of misogyny and Whitney has done the hard work to unfold them. Let us thank her, yeah?
Oh, and because I can already sense that people will say she is justifying ‘gold digging’, she is not. Open your mind a bit before watching this.
3. As people whose role in the reproduction process, physically speaking, ends with, and at, an orgasm, men really do have the nerve to take as much credit as they do (sorry, someone had to say it). Like great that you’re making dinner for your partner, that’s sweet, but don’t go on that “I am doing so much” trip because you know what she is making? A goddamn human. Inside her body.
This also goes for people who know the couple, the friends, and the family. Your son or brother or whoever he is, is not an angel sent from heaven because he stayed by his pregnant partner’s side through the birthing process. He is a nice guy who did the least he could do – you can cap it at that.
Here is Ali Wong elaborating on this in a way only she could.
4. This bit by Niveditha Prakasam is hilarious, and it makes you think how constantly watching over their shoulders has become a part of women’s lives. It’s routine. Stuff like checking if we have kept the pepper spray doesn’t even stand out.
What a world to live in!
5. Rupali Tyagi’s dark comedy set on dealing with the pressure of having a baby will give you an insight into the mind of a woman who doesn’t see motherhood as the default step after marriage. This conversation is gaining momentum in popular media, but there’s still a long way to go before people can wrap their heads around the fact that a woman could choose not to have a baby because she is simply disinterested.
So many of us have been reminded by our mothers how many kids they had when they were our age, and we have nothing but love for them (unless someone doesn’t), but inducing guilt like this cannot be justified.
6. Taylor Tomlinson’s most personal standup was recently released on Netflix and I highly recommend it. This bit though is from one of her previous sets and I love the accuracy of it. This should also tell you how rare it is for women to find men who take a no as a no.
7. You must have noticed how pregnancy test kit ads always celebrate a positive result. That doesn’t happen in real life. Obviously. I can’t emphasise how often that doesn’t happen in real life. Not everyone wants to get pregnant, God! Aishwarya Mohanraj talks about the same here.
For context, she is talking about Prega News’ tagline, which is: Prega News…means good news.
8. Fuckbois, well. Do men know that if they could just be honest with women, and tell them they’re looking for a physical relationship but not in a creepy way where one reduces the woman to a sex object, they’d actually not have to do any of the nonsense they put us through?
They don’t know. Right! But so many of us have fallen into a fuckboi’s trap, what to say. Prashasti Singh puts it correctly here.
These funny, intelligent women keep us going in so many ways. More power to them.