Standing up for women standing up

Unfortunately, many people do not want to think—and therefore do not see—that a woman faces double binds throughout her career. The trouble is, she is not encouraged to complain publicly, to argue forcefully for a position, or even to recognize when she is affected by the assumptions of others. When she is loud, others will call her arrogant. When she stands up for herself, others will see her as difficult. She smiles and nods but doubts all of her thoughts and cannot see past the present to a world in which this would not necessarily be the case. 

When a woman stands up for herself or for others, she risks being labeled a bitch. Meanwhile, confidence—aggression even—is encouraged in men. It is discouraging to realize that if she deviate from expectations, others might no longer support her.  It’s a task to remain sane when everyone around her is telling her that she is insane. How do they know? She is the only one who decides that. 

The truth is that there are not enough funny female comics, not because they do not exist, but because comedy is finally undergoing a transformation. In the past few weeks, I have seen performances by several genuinely funny women comics. The reason that they are funny, of course, isn’t because they are women, but because women don’t have to talk about female-only topics in virtue of the fact that they are women. I haven’t felt that society was ready for brutal honesty from females until really recently.