Ok. This is why I hate this type of security measure. Boston bombers used a backpack. So, now they won’t let anybody in to see the fireworks who has a backpack or coolers for some reason. In this case, it’s any type of backpack. This guy on the left with a huge duffel bag can go through and the guy on the right with an empty backpack that’s folded up can’t. This “zero tolerance” policy that prohibits a type of bag versus the contents in all kinds of bags (including backpacks) makes for a really false sense of security and disappointing Fourth of July for a lot of people…yes, I’m pretty upset. Can you tell?
Jake Fogelnest is a “MA’AM”
A lot of comedians use their Twitter accounts just for jokes/self promotion. That’s what I do 98% of the time. That’s fine. Twitter is a “powerful social media tool.” That of course, is a fancy way of saying, “whee, fun time distraction party, yaaaaaay!!”
The other 2% of the time, it’s nice to throw out something serious. Something important. I don’t personally do it all the time, but damn do I want to have the freedom to do so if I choose. I choose to do so now.
While I think most comedians tend to keep it mostly funny, I’ve seen many tweet links to amazing blogs like 90 Days, 90 Reasons or retweet about Invisible Children (hey, that ended well), or any other various things that are important to them as a person.
Usually those “serious tweets” go ignored, occasionally people take notice, it’s just part of the conversation, 140 characters at a time. Very quickly, all of us move on to the next joke fueled by today’s TMZ coverage.
But I’ve noticed a phenomenon online whenever a female comedian tweets about women’s issues. They are always, ALWAYS, greeted with a chorus of people telling them to SHUT UP.
Well, I think that’s fucking terrible.
Sometimes it’s as blatant as that: “SHUT UP, JUST BE FUNNY.” Sometimes it’s more subtle, “Hey, don’t be so sensitive.” Sometimes it’s just sociopath gross shit straight out of the worst sub-Reddit: “Hey lady, I want to do boner stuff to you.”
None of it is acceptable.
To be fair, when men tweet about causes, they too will also be greeted with “SHUT UP, JUST BE FUNNY.” But that is ALWAYS where it ends for men. With women, “shut up, just be funny” is only the beginning.
For women, it’s rarely just, “Hey, I’m just here for jokes, doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, just make me laugh for free on this dumb thing on my phone!”
For some reason, not all the time, but a LOT of the time, women get this extra load of garbage attached. They’re being “too sensitive” or “getting hysterical,” when really they’re just darting off a tweet about something they care about.
By the way, this isn’t just about Twitter, this is about EVERYTHING IN LIFE.
No one ever accuses men of being “too sensitive” or “getting hysterical.” This is always laughable to me, because we’re usually the ones who are the hysterical, sensitive, lunatics! I mean, did you see Karl Rove on Fox News after Obama won?
I just know this shit when I see it and it’s unfair. It is so lamely dismissive to pull this, “Oh, calm down honey” stuff with women. Not just on Twitter, IN GENERAL. Can we relax with that dumb stereotype and maybe listen to what a woman is saying? When men do that, it interjects a whole other thing to deal with that ends up distracting from whatever was being discussed in the first place!
Women STILL, don’t have it as easy as men do. They just don’t. Is it better than it was 40 years ago? I don’t know, ask a woman. That’s the point. It’s not for me to fucking comment on, it’s for me to listen, respond and adapt. Just like women do for us, all the time.
If you think things are truly equal between men and women, why does this happen the other night:
A dude at a stand-up show, introduced a comedian by saying, “Alright, are you guys ready for a female comic?”
This blows my mind.
What if that guy said, “Alright, let’s keep the show going! Are you guys ready for a BLACK comic?”
“Hey, coming to the stage right now, it’s a GAY!”
“Are you ready for more show, let me hear you say YEAH! This next Mexican…”
Would any of us let that fly? No. We would think, “That’s the craziest fucking introduction I’ve ever heard.” At least I would.
DUDES! Come on. We’ve just got to do better. I’m not saying you’re anything but a wonderful sensitive person. I’m not saying you’re sexist. I’m just saying, take a second look. Not just at the behavior of others, but your own behavior.
Two years ago there was a blog on Jezebel about one of the late-night shows having a problem with women. Oh boy, did I leap to the defense of that show’s staff and get bloggy real quick!! “That’s not a boys club, there isn’t sexism, you’re CRAZY!”
Wow, do I feel AWFUL about writing that stuff now.
See, I was letting my fragile little baby male ego fuel whatever tirade I wrote and hopefully have now deleted from the Internet. I was reacting from a place of not liking the comedy of a person, but this wasn’t about the comedy. This was about what it was like to be a woman. And it was not my place to say ANYTHING about women’s experiences. I was incredibly dismissive of an incredibly real thing that women go through on a daily basis. And. I. Was. Wrong.
I was born a white middle class male. WOW, DID I GET LUCKY!! I mean, being a white middle class male is THE BEST. There is so much stuff I just don’t have to put up with automatically! Seriously if you can, be born a white middle class male. I highly recommend it!
And since I was born a white middle class male, there are just certain struggles I will NEVER know because of that. In times where I’ve been called on it, I let my ego get in the way. “Hey, I am a decent person! I own Bikini Kill records!” True. Perhaps I needed to listen to them a little closer.
The point is, I’m willing to learn. I’m willing to try. And I’m willing to call shit out when I see something I don’t like, even if it’s my own shit. I am urging other men to do the same. We need to be as on top of it with women’s issues the same way we are with racism and homophobia.
I don’t care who it offends, who it alienates, who disagrees — when it comes to sexism, racism and homophobia, you’re either against it or you’re an idiot. Pretty fucking cut and dry to me. I’m guessing that 99% of you will not be offended or alienated in the slightest by what I have to say. I think most of the people in the world are actually pretty smart and will get it.
But I am asking dudes to take a second look and to stand up for sexism the same way they would against other injustices. And I’m not just talking about when a comedian makes a dumb rape joke or that one guy on Twitter who is just a cartoon version of a misogynist. That’s low hanging fruit and you know it.
I’m also not interested in addressing the mouth-breathing dimwits who will now use this discussion as an excuse to respond, “FUCK YOU, THEY SHOULD GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN!” Those people are ridiculous and boring. They should concentrate on running their gross IRC chat rooms. This isn’t about you, adults are talking.
I’m talking about the real shit, which is sometimes very subtle. Just look at it again. Let’s call it out when we see it. Other comics, speak from the heart. That’s all I’ve done here. I don’t know if I sound like an idiot or what. I don’t care. I just had some feelings and put them down. It’s not that big of a deal.
It can never be a bad thing to say, “Let’s try to be better to each other.”
Good job, Jake. I know an awful lot of men in the comedy world, and am hoping to see my dash fill up a bit more with similar posts.