I grew up in a funny household. We were the kind of family where you couldn’t say “bed” instead of “bread” on a Monday morning without the whole house reminding you of it for the next ten years. My mother, the eternal nutjob, does Godfather impressions when she’s trying to convince my stepdad that we should get Chinese take away for dinner (“I’m going to make in him an offer he can’t refuse” in the worst possible accent you can imagine). My uncle thinks he’s Will Smith from the Prince of Bel Air and regularly dances in our kitchen to hip hop which looks pretty cool if your Will Smith but not if you’re a skinny white boy with zero co-ordination. We all slag each other off mercilessly, when I first got a job I was very excited about and, naturally, would talk about it a bit when I was at home. Since then, if I mention work AT ALL everyone stops what they’re doing and fakes absolute shock “Libby, you have a JOB?? Why didn’t you tell us?”.
So yeah, I grew up in a house full of laughter and slagging and joking and never ever taking anything seriously. I, of course, inherited the hilarity gene and so I bounced in through the school gates on my first day of first year, ready to comment on any teacher with a silly name and draw rude pictures of my classmates. But very quickly, I received some devastating news. Something that would rock my world and change it forever.
Girls weren’t supposed to be funny.
Boys were the funny ones. Girls were only allowed to roll their eyes at jokes. Well. This was just tragic in my eyes. I had so many funny things to do! And the sound of my brand new shoes against the freshly polished floor sometimes made a farting sound and I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone! It made me so sad that girls and women should be “too intelligent for such nonsense “ as one of my teachers put it. The charming woman that she was. For the next two or three years, I kept my mouth shut, I was “serious”. I was also really sad. And yes, there were other reasons for that but I think that if I had just lighten up a little bit and smiled and allowed myself to be silly and not taken myself too seriously than maybe I would have been able to solve my problems much quicker.
This story that I just told you is a story that I think every girl knows. And that is just down right depressing. Women are absolutely freaking hilarious! And I hate the notion that you’re either “pretty or funny”. I like to think of myself as both!
The sad truth is, female comedians are not taken seriously. Well obviously they’re comedians so you shouldn’t take them seriously but you know what I mean! Only ten percent of stand up comedians are women. And that is something that I just can’t understand. Who decided that women couldn’t be edgy or witty or make dirty jokes or have loud laughs? Who decided that humour was gendered because whoever did needs come and explain themselves to me! And not just me. They need to explain themselves to Amy Schumer, Melissa McCarthy, Ellen DeGeneres, Tiffany Hadish and all of the other hilarious women who are out there cracking jokes and killing it!
And I see it, when I make a joke to someone I’ve never met before about the state of brexit or when I scream “f%*”ckkkkkkkk” when I stub my toe, they are surprised. Who knew a sixteen year old girl could be funny? Who knew she could be intelligent enough to make fun of a man in a suit. Well, I am. And I will continue to slag off my friends and do impressions of celebrities. My jokes are not limited to my short comings and my laughs are not limited to other people’s humour. I’m a strong believer that we shouldn’t take life too seriously. That if there is every an opportunity to make joke we should take it. Because the world is getting darker and it’s getting harsher and sometimes, the most controversial and revolutionary thing you can do, is have a laugh.
We leave you now with 10 minutes of funny women. Enjoy…