«

»

Feb 02 2012

Women aren’t funny

Based on a true story.

252 comments

  1. Noel

    This is DRIPPING with white privilege/racism. Of course it mattered that the man she encountered was black. I highly doubt she would’ve had the same reaction had he been an elderly white man/white man of any age, or even a man of any other race.

    There are very particular ‘red flags’ that American white women (and to a certain extent, all American women/some women of other westernized countries) are conditioned to look for/respond in certain ways to when encountering strangers at night. All men, as she says funnily (and quite correctly) are suspect. But men of color (especially black men, especially black men of a certain age who are dressed/act/speaking a certain way), are most suspect of all. Guilty at first sight.

    Her reaction had everything to do with race, and she’s behaving like an embarrassingly clueless (RACIST) asshole about it.

  2. veganrampage

    That “one” moment when every women says to herself this is my rape? One moment every day maybe. Couple, three times a week at best.

  3. Sargassosea

    I am highly disturbed that so many male voices are laughing loudest. Rape jokes are still funny after all.

    (sorry about the “I”, if this manages the light of day)

  4. JfC

    I don’t really find that faux-black accent she was adopting funny in the least.

  5. Cyberwulf

    I highly doubt she would’ve had the same reaction had he been an elderly white man/white man of any age

    Are you seriously saying this while posting with the name NOEL?

    No, seriously, are you for real?

    I live in a country that’s 95% white. If I’m out late at night I give all men a wide berth. The sound that makes me quicken my pace and heightens my awareness most if I’m on the street after dark is male laughter.

  6. Twisty

    You know, I really wanted to like this bit, because doing comedy about a rape from the perspective of the victim could actually work and be cool, but the embarrassing racist component was just too distracting.

  7. AlienNumber

    So what is a woman supposed to do (even someone as obviously racist as a white woman)?
    Go shake the hand of the guy? I’m seriously curious. #cluelesswhitelady.

  8. Saurs

    Not advertise your white privilege in a public forum like a stand-up gig or whatever? Not craft an entire extended joke around minstrel voices? Not use those hand gestures? #you’rewelcome

  9. AlienNumber

    No, I mean while in the actual situation. You know, when a dude makes a move at you at 11.45pm, while in an alley, and is then surprised at your fear and proceeds to call *you bigoted.

  10. Saurs

    I didn’t finish it once she started with those fucking hand gestures, so I’m assuming she apologized at the end for what seriously was disgustingly racist and said, “just kidding”, like “that was part of the joke, where I do that thing with the hands and the voice and the comically weird grammar an’ all”? Please somebody say she did that.

  11. Cyberwulf

    As an antidote to the racism, here’s Wanda Sykes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8FfFwtL91Q

  12. Saurs

    AlienNumber: run away, kick blindly at his nuts?* No one is suggesting her reactions were invalid. The problem is: most stand-up is fiction, semi-fiction, and she’s the one who decided to write the joke like this. Did she have to make her would-be rapist a black man because an audience of upper middle class private school white people wouldn’t accept at face value the idea of a white man threatening a white woman with “stranger” rape? If that’s the case: choose a different and better audience, and don’t be a racist, EVER.

    * all advice for women about how to avoid “getting” raped is automatically anti-feminist and slut-shaming, by the by.

  13. Twisty

    I was willing to believe her for a while when she averred that race was the last thing she was thinking about when encountering a menacing figure in a dark alley, because, hey, menacing figure in a dark alley! Shit! But the whole “I’m not a racist” interlude, delivered with the accent, made her seem disingenuous.

    Why do you have to focus on race when composing a comedy bit about sexual assault?

  14. Kea

    I couldn’t translate much of the language/gestures into foreign English, but I felt it was racist from the very moment she said it was a black man, with that “oh, he’s a sterotype” comment. Actually I was suspicious before that, with the strutting thing. Is that supposed to suggest a black man?

  15. thehighshelf

    Yes, it’s extremely possible to be terrified of white men when out alone at night, I manage it all the time. It is less possible for a white woman to get so many laughs from a white male audience if she tells that story, though. This was, ultimately, appallingly racist.

  16. AlienNumber

    Oh I see. There is a CORRECT way to complain about Rape Culture and an (or a few) incorrect way(s).

    Unrelated: it’s really refreshing to see that Twisty meant the title to this one.

    Women aren’t funny! #youcanRIPChristopherHitchens,wecarryyourflame

  17. KittyWrangler

    It really is too bad she did the whole racist voices and hand-gestures schtick because I was so hopeful she was going to say something more interesting about being called a racist. This happened to me daily, at least, when I lived in the city and walked everywhere. Man trailing me slowly in an unmarked van alone at night calls me racist for not wanting to hop in. Man physically blocking my escape route calls me racist, etc. This probably happened in about 10% of harassment incidents (plenty of which happened with white and non-black men, in case you’re wondering).

    At first it really did make me feel guilty, doubtful and less likely to bring attention to the incidents– after I removed myself physically from the situation– but since I wised up it makes my blood boil. I wish this woman could have brought it up without immediately demonstrating that, yes, she is in fact likely to act on racism.

    I bring this up because Twisty asks, “Why do you have to focus on race when composing a comedy bit about sexual assault?” I thought it was extremely pertinent to bring up being called a racist for refusing to engage with aggressive strangers because it really is a huge problem (is this not an issue anyone else has experienced? Is it just my particular city and region?). But the way she chose to deal with it was atrocious.

  18. KittyWrangler

    Obviously I just mean in this type of circumstance, not being called racist in general. I wouldn’t label that a “huge problem” for white people.

  19. AlienNumber

    KittyWrangler, thanks for sharing that. I think that’s my problem – I used to live in a neighborhood where most of the harassment came from non-white dudes and I felt like I couldn’t complain about it – to the dudes or my female friends – because I was labeled racist immediately. So I’m a little touchy about this.

    (upon more attentive watching, the whole speaking-in-tongues thing was very unpleasant to watch).

  20. cin17

    This is DRIPPING with white privilege/racism. Of course it mattered that the man she encountered was black. I highly doubt she would’ve had the same reaction had he been an elderly white man/white man of any age, or even a man of any other race.

    Noel, your privilege is showing.

    I, on the other hand, learned at a very early age (12 years old) that black males can sexually harass/assault you just as easily as white males. I was tormented by one particular black kid for my entire 8th grade year. He grabbed me on a daily basis and, as no adult would listen to my complaints, he eventually became so defiant that he would reach up my skirt and squeeze my genitals through my underpants. I would run and hide in the girls room until the bell rang. (I had to let the bell ring and be late to class because he would wait outside the bathroom door for me.) That was just my first introduction to interracial harassment/assault. And I’ll tell ya, a truck full of white rednecks screaming at you as they ride past only to double back again and again, is just as scary as the group of black men on the corner who won’t let you pass. They both elicit the same “how the fuck do I get out of this” reaction. All men, even the old white-haired ones, put me on guard and that’s because having lived a lifetime as prey, preyed upon by half the freakin’ population, I know what men are capable of. I know not to trust any damn one of ‘em.

    Oh, and Noel, all of the incidents I have recounted (which are just a drop in the proverbial bucket) happened in the middle of the day, with lots of people around. So you see, women learn they have to be on guard all the time. Not just at night, alone, in a dark alley. All. The. Fucking. Time.

  21. yttik

    You know what? That was damned funny and I’m not a privileged white girl. What are people trying to say here, that it’s every woman’s job to take care of some man’s feelings, even a strangers? His oppression trumps her fear of rape?

    It’s absolutely ridiculous to me that people criticize this woman’s comedy for not being politically correct and socially responsible. We don’t do this to male comedians, we give them HBO specials.

    It’s like, oh look, there’s a woman laughing, quick, let’s find something negative about society and blame her for it. They’ll be no humor around here until you women have ended racism, saved the environment, and stopped people from making foie gras.

    Pffttt.

  22. Saurs

    There is a CORRECT way to complain about Rape Culture and an (or a few) incorrect way(s).

    Sure, if by correct you mean not furthering other peoples’ oppressions by dismantling your own. You clearly have a problem with white women being held accountable for their racism (cf all your other comments on the subject), so obviously you’re not gonna get it. Don’t particularly care if you do.

    KittyWrangler, your comment is spot-on. She didn’t have to use ugly black stereotypes to make the joke, but stereotypes are easy, and she didn’t want to do the work of teasing out the implications fully. She just wanted to use that minstrel voice she’d been practicing, to the delight of her totally not-racist friends.

    Recently the folk at freethoughtblawgs have been discussing, with some measure of success and with equal measure of frustration, Schroedinger’s Rapist (yep, atheist dudes are just catching up!), and I really enjoyed Crommunist’s take on it. A lot of white anti-feminist male commenters have objected to the concept because they don’t like the idea of rape culture, and have inadvertently publicized their own unexamined racism by comparing the legitimate fear women have of men to the leeriness with which white people approach black people, when, of course, a better analogy is that of black people (and especially men) having to guard closely against physical attacks and false accusations by white people, particularly when walking alone at night and in the wrong neighborhood. Our own ComrradePhysioProffeeeee makes this same observation, better and more succinctly, below the body of the post.

  23. pheeno

    I’m not a privileged white girl either and I found it to be a provocative way to point out how it’s ok for him to assume she’s scared because of racism, but it’s not ok for her to assume he’s a rapist because of racism.

    Maybe I read too much into it.

  24. pheeno

    *she could have, however, dropped the offensive accent and hand gestures because yeah, not funny.

  25. Cyberwulf

    It’s like, oh look, there’s a woman laughing, quick, let’s find something negative about society and blame her for it

    Most of the people criticising the bit here (I don’t trust “Noel”, firehosing all over a blog where he’s not welcome) aren’t doing so because OMG a woman laughing. Mainard has a point about how some black men bring up race when a white woman doesn’t respond to unwanted advances, but then she undermines it by aping the accent and hand gestures associated with black people. She could’ve had the fake argument (which itself makes a point about how ludicrous accusations of “crying rape” really are) without all that.

  26. AlienNumber

    “You clearly have a problem with white women being held accountable for their racism (cf all your other comments on the subject), so obviously you’re not gonna get it. Don’t particularly care if you do.”

    Clearly, I clearly do, you dick. Remember to say the exact same thing to Nicole Simpson when you meet her in Oppression Olympics heaven.

    All males are suspect in my book, all the time; including you (don’t worry, I remember you and your comments too.)

    Also, whatever pheeno said.

  27. beenthere

    During the whole set-up for this joke I was laughing from recognition, because I’ve been in that exact situation. I think she could have done without the accent- I think it actually could have been funnier if she aimed for sounding like an outraged white liberal (there are a couple of accents that come to mind that might suggest that). I get that sketchy guys (read: all men I don’t know who show the slightest interest in where I’m going or what I’m doing) might have their feelings hurt when I speed up, or look at them strangely, or start holding my keys like brass knuckles, but I think it’s funny that they would get offended and blame my reaction for whatever they feel self-conscious about in social interactions. Plus, uncomfortable situations with people who aren’t from the same social context as I am are *more* uncomfortable, because I’m not sure if I’m reading them correctly, or if I’m sending the wrong signals.

  28. veganrampage

    You pretty much win a gold medal in the Oppression Olympics when you get brutally beheaded you total homosapien you.

    I nominate this thread for the earliest and worst high-jack of this year. You know who you are.

    Yttk, this isn’t the culture at large, it’s the IBTP forum. WE don’t give male assholes HBO specials. You are so off. This routine was offensive in so many ways I don’t have the strength to enumerate them. I even watch the whole thing it was gross.

    Wasn’t it established AN is a dude?

  29. josquin

    This clip started off so well and then went off the rails. The fake accent was not cool. That said, I am pretty shocked at commenters here who claim that she was lying about not having been nervous had the alley guy been white. As she began the story, I was picturing some Unabomber white dude, and felt a real frisson of empathetic threat in her fear that “her rape” was close at hand. So the idea she would have been all fine and calm had the dude been white is bullshit. In my calculation, if I had endure having someone cross to the other side of the street because of my race versus that sick, choking, gut wrenching fear that rape is about to happen, I’d take the former. Now, if the black alley-guy came across a bunch of white drunken jerks, his justifiable fear of attack would have been visceral and intense, and comparable to her rape fear. Otherwise, her fear trumps his feeling of insult.

  30. Twisty

    I feel ya, josquin. A late-night alley-lurker of any race would cause the lobe to throb uncomfortably. But my point isn’t that in the real-life scenario she should not have insulted him by being afraid. At that point it’s do or die. The point is that in a comedy bit it isn’t necessary to do blackface to make the point about the horrors of male violence. The two scenarios are not equivalent.

    FYI, this clip was emailed to me by the woman who shot and edited it, whom I don’t know either personally or from the Internet, accompanied by a note implying that in the vid Mainard is actually riffing on her actual rape, which if true somehow makes a critique more difficult, because of, you know, empathy.

  31. yttik

    I don’t think that was in any way comparable to black face, Twisty, and I think it was a vital part of her routine.

    She saw a strange man in an alley late at night and thought “rapist.” He saw a white woman and thought “racist.” Both of them made preconceived judgments based on cultural narratives. Neither of them were correct since he did not rape her and she did not oppress him.

    When she later goes on with her fantasy about all getting in his face about his racism accusation, it’s pretty damn funny because she’s making a satire about what the hell does a racism accusation in light of a pending sexual assault mean? What are you saying, that I have to let you rape me so I’m not perceived as racist? That after you rape me I’ll put extra bandages on my arms to make sure everybody knows this rape is “worse” then other rape?

  32. aphrabean

    Logging in to point out that a great deal of her time was spent standing in front of what sounds like a bunch of loudly laughing white dudes, mimicking her idea of what a black woman sounds like. It’s very unfortunate if she was indeed telling the story of her actual rape, but relying on racist tropes to do so? I sympathize with the different ways people find to address their own traumas, but I do think that when you offer your narrative up in public, you are starting a dialogue, and critique is a necessary part of that. A racist who’s been assaulted is still a racist.

    I live in Chicago, too. It’s the most segregated city in the country, and one where black youth are killed and imprisoned at heartbreakingly, horrifyingly disproportionate rates. I have so much compassion for this woman, and every woman everywhere who has undergone assault, but our words don’t happen in a vacuum.

  33. cin17

    I didn’t think the clip was funny and won’t try to defend the “humor” angle. But as far as the ethnic accent goes, a lot of comedians use ethnic accents/stereotypes without being called racist, so we can’t really hold Mainard to a standard that we don’t hold for all.

    If the routine is based on her actual assault, then more power to her. I hope it helps.

    I agree with yttik, it’s an overstatement to call her performance blackface. And along that line, I always cringe when male comedians go into woman-mocking mode. “Tootsie” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” themes are much more common in our culture than the reverse. Just wondering if anyone else has the same queasy reaction to “woman-face.” Are women funny only when men are making fun of us?

  34. Saurs

    She saw a strange man in an alley late at night and thought “rapist.” He saw a white woman and thought “racist.” Both of them made preconceived judgments based on cultural narratives. Neither of them were correct since he did not rape her and she did not oppress him.

    The way you describe it above, yttik, would have made a great bit, dismantling oppressive myths that reinforce the status quo, and at the same time acknowledging that women’s fear of men is not an insult or a slight, but a reaction emanating from well-honed instincts and experience living in and navigating within a culture that protects rapists and condones rape. Likewise, being mistaken for a racist and/or being called out on your racist behavior is equally fine, just, understandable, and necessary; black people and PoC in general have more to fear from white people than vice-versa, and PoC are routinely silenced and their objections to casual racism minimized in most settings dominated by white voices.

    That being said, it’s a piece of writing she’s performing. She wrote it. She can present it–warts and all, as ambiguous and with as much nuance as you suggest–without the whole “white men rape you like this, black men rape you like this” bullshit, clearly a gift, a way to soften the feminist blow, to a white male audience.

    The fact that this is based on her own rape fucking sucks. I loathe how women have to sugarcoat their experiences in order to have them acknowledged, just as PoC have to make their own oppression a hearty joke for white folk to giggle at on the teevee.

  35. aphrabean

    Cin17, men imitating women is very offensive to me in almost every case, but then again I’m a cranky old party-pooper who generally just becomes enraged when faced with most stand-up comedy. My opinion on humor is – does it support or subvert the dominant narrative? I think that this could’ve been a great bit, and it really does undermine a lot of assumptions that we hold around sexual assault and how we as women are expected to respond to the threat of male violence – and as such, is something I would’ve found hilarious – but her bit also fails to approach race in the same transgressive way. In fact, I’d argue that by playing up the “I’m not racist” bit and emphasizing the otherness of the man who threatened and perhaps attacked her, she’s making her bit safer for her audience. I’d wager that if she had talked about a liberal white dude at a party who explicitly threatened her safety, if she had talked about someone who more resembled her or the people at that show, the response would’ve been different.

  36. aphrabean

    While I was typing all that, Saurs said it much better than I ever could. Bowing out of the conversation now, but I have to say, I appreciate all this place heartily.

  37. Saurs

    Meanwhile I apparently missed Jill’s comment at 6:53pm which said everything I said, but all awesome and better and shit.

  38. KittyWrangler

    Twisty, unless I am misunderstanding you, your comment sets up a dichotomy between discussing male violence without bringing race into it, and discussing male violence while indulging in easy stereotypes. I am reading yttik’s comment similarly. There should be three options, should there not? 1) Ignore race, 2) use stereotypes, 3) discuss race without using stereotypes.

    Not only is an examined, non-stereotyped discussion of race appropriate in discussing male violence, it’s appropriate (though tricky) in comedy. Plenty of male violence may not involve race but plenty may. For lots of kids their first big-time experience of racism and/or racial clashes comes from male violence like on the street.

    If the brilliant men and women of color blogging and writing today were part of the mainstream, if they weren’t routinely silenced or sectioned off from “normal” topics when I was younger, then maybe I would have seen these guys on the street as the frauds they were. For that IBTP. If people were actually allowed to become familiar with feminist ideas, every discussion (outside of IBTP) about the oppressions that we experience as women wouldn’t have to start with building a tedious foundation of pointing out that oppression exists, defending the assertion, and THEN being able to discuss the particular experience. IBTP. If all these conversations didn’t have to happen within a framework built by white men, a woman discussing her experience with racialized sexual violence without resorting to stereotypes would be SO much easier and probably more common. IBTP. As it is, “Hey bitch, you’re a racist,” is one more weasel-y disgusting tool of harassers to buy an extra 2 seconds, to keep a girl from running, to make her doubt herself, to turn onlookers against her, to make her less likely to tell, to make her feel bad, and it works. IBTP!

    @cin17 Sometimes it offends me (as in “shit girls say” on YouTube) but usually it has the unintended effect of making the comedian much more likeable. I’d rather hang out with Mrs. Doubtfire than Robin Williams. I suppose the ones who actually do a good job imitating a woman don’t upset me as much because they’ve obviously been paying attention to real women and because men who act feminine without buffoonery are still somewhat exposing themselves to homophobic ridicule. It should all offend me but honestly I’ve got some internalized gender crap.

  39. Comrade PhysioProf

    All males are suspect in my book, all the time; including you (don’t worry, I remember you and your comments too.)

    Whoah, whoah, whoah!

  40. AlienNumber

    Sorry. I take it all back.

    Women aren’t funny, you’re right. Except for that Parks and Recs blonde lady. She’s hilarious!

  41. damequixote

    Women aren’t funny? But I laugh at Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann all the time. Now you tell me.

  42. stacey

    Quoth yttk:

    You know what? That was damned funny and I’m not a privileged white girl. …

    … It’s absolutely ridiculous to me that people criticize this woman’s comedy for not being politically correct and socially responsible. …

    No, no, no no. It doesn’t matter that you’re not a privileged white girl; it’s the “Hey, this [oppressed person] thinks it’s funny, therefore you’re wrong” argument.

    “Not being politically correct” almost always means “this offends someone, but I don’t really care.” As many have pointed out, she could have done this without the stereotyped voice and movements of a black woman, and it still would have been funny.

    (in general) Anyway, why was she pretending to be black? I’m missing something here. Is it like, she’s so not racist that she’d object to being raped even if she was black? It’s still a thin premise to hang the caricature on.

  43. Doctress Ju'ulia

    I thought Milwaukee was the most segregated city in the country. Dan,g maybe Chicago beat us out of that ‘honorable mention’. Yeah, this bit was really racist.

  44. speedbudget

    I had some trouble with the accent myself, and was bothered by it a little bit, but in my area it’s not a black accent or white accent. It’s just how a lot of people talk, regardless of race. I have Hispanic friends and white friends who talk like this in their regular speech patterns, so I was giving her the benefit of the doubt in that instance.

    That said, it is so fucking refreshing to see someone making a bit about rape that is so real. I didn’t immediately assume the man was black. I assumed he was white, probably because I’m white, and I knew exactly what that situation was and how it felt to be walking alone at night (or even during the day) and suddenly just be absolutely terrified. I also know the feeling of wanting to do whatever I can to make myself safe, but at the same time not wanting to exercise white privilege and cross the street or whatever because, like many here, I have dealt with the calls of racism, when in true fact, I don’t give a shit what color you are, you are sending out a nasty vibe, and I want to keep myself safe.

  45. buttercup

    I wanted to like this, but err. no. Fail, on so many levels.

  46. procrastinatrix

    I agree that the thing went off the rails with the fake accent and grammar, gestures, etc. It really is a shame because the part about “Here’s your raaaaaape!” rang so true for me.

    This is a personal anecdote, but I’m almost crippled by having that little countdown going in my head for my 7 year old daughter. Sometimes I can push it down to a subliminal level, but it is always there.

    Why did I reproduce, some commenters might ask if you’ve made it through the anecdote? Well, a combo of foolish optimism, biological urges, and the fact that I hadn’t yet realized–down deep in my bones–how much men hate women, and women hate women. IBTP!

  47. Darragh Murphy

    Remember when Sandra Bernhard invited Sarah Palin to NYC so she could be gang raped by her “big black brothers” in order to know how it feels to have to decide whether to abort after being raped?

    Now THAT was pretty fucking funny.

    Oh wait, no it wasn’t. It was horribly misogynistic and used racist stereotypes for an ugly misogynistic laugh. Though most liberal men and their female camp followers laughed their asses off.

    Keep laughing at women who dare dip their toes into national, or hell even local, politics damequixote. That’s sure to help.

    Because god knows the women in politics, stupid fucking bimbo circus freaks that they are, are waaaaaay more ridiculous in their teeny tiny minority than the men in our overwhelmingly male power structures.

    http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-dallas/sandra-bernhard-canned-sarah-palin-would-be-gang-raped-by-black-bros-video

  48. Twisty

    Comedy is tough. In the Faster family we have a saying “comedians aren’t funny.” Meaning of course that only a few of them are, and even they are walking a pretty fine line, because comedy’s gotta be all transgressive and subversive and about angst and pain and yet have a high moral purpose and stuff. It stands to reason that the practitioner will be subject to many pitfalls. But as aphrabean mentioned above, a good way to measure a given bit’s success is determining whether it supports or subverts the dominant paradigm. Like so much entertainment (and activistertainment), Ever Mainard seems to do both.

  49. allhellsloose

    Sorry I couldn’t watch that full through. Stopped when it became racist, though to me, the onset wasn’t funny either. Complete fail of humour.

    I found it unfunny, therefore it is unfunny. In the UK a female politician, Labour, has got a beer called ‘Hot Totty’ removed from the public bar in Parliament. A female politician, Conservative, was asked her opinion and she called the whole exercise, given the austerity measures and ‘reforms’ that need to be put in place, ‘political correctness gone mad’ without a hint of irony I might add.

  50. damequixote

    @Darragh Murphy quote: Keep laughing at women who dare dip their toes into national, or hell even local, politics damequixote. That’s sure to help.

    When it’s to the detriment of other women and the least among us while they Bible thump about Jesus I sure will. Thanks for the permission.

  51. Hari

    Twisty: “But as aphrabean mentioned above, a good way to measure a given bit’s success is determining whether it supports or subverts the dominant paradigm. Like so much entertainment (and activistertainment), Ever Mainard seems to do both.”

    Yes, too unfortunately. I started out laughing, and ended up feeling barfy once that mimicry started. A little of that would have gone a long way–a touch of it would have kept things funny. It was too much by far, and Ever went well into supporting the dominant paradigm instead of sticking with subverting it.

  52. Kali

    Every man is a Schroedinger’s Rapist, black or white. Every man also feels personally entitled to blind trust from women, black or white. They can complain all they want, like those white men complaining in Elevatorgate or those black men claiming racism. It doesn’t matter to me and I will not trust any man blindly and I will warn all women not to trust any man blindly.

    Regarding the joke, I think it could have been funny if it was done without relying on accents.

  53. buttercup

    The racism was appalling but I didn’t find the other content particularly amusing either. In fact, I found it upsetting as hell and triggering to boot. But to each their own.

  54. yttik

    Women need to stop eating their own. Here we’ve got a female comedian in Chicago and dozen posts on a feminist site accusing her of being some great oppressor, a racist in blackface.

    “Hey, this [oppressed person] thinks it’s funny, therefore you’re wrong” argument.”

    No Stacey. What I’ve observed that those with the most privilege are often the same ones who are so quick to self righteously point fingers at others. It’s as if the amount of privilege they have is directly proportionate to their alleged expertise on all things racist. Therefore the privileged white people commenting here will be automatically given more credibility than I. Their expertise on all things racist will be viewed as far superior to my lived experience. They know what racism is, I obviously do not. They not only know what racism is, they are going to proudly and self righteously point fingers therefore proving how NOT racist they are. My job as always is to STFU and to bow to their superior judgment.

    As a non white woman, I feel no sense of oppression, fear, intimidation, from this Chicago comedian. The guy she was describing, lounging in the alley, however, he feels like a threat. Believe it or not, black men actually use the old racism argument against WOC too.

  55. Twisty

    So, to clarify, if a “non-white woman” declares this clip non-racist, it’s non-racist, period, and if a white woman finds it offensive, the white woman is “eating her own”?

    She was assaulted in an alley, for crissakes, I have compassion. I’m not kicking her off the island. I’m just saying this woman needs to run a privilege-check before taking it public. Pointing that out isn’t the same thing as calling her a “great oppressor” or trying to stamp her out or kick her ass or something.

  56. Rididill

    Yeah, I mean the content of the comedy aside, that whole ‘you’re a racist if you don’t let me rape you thing’ is so damn true. One really good friend who was living in Jordan was manipulated by this horrible controlling guy who basically said she was a massive racist if she didn’t accept his behaviour and she believed that for ages. Same happened with another friend with a crazy violent Mexican guy, who said she was racist for being afraid of him because aggression didn’t actually mean he was going to hurt her, it was just his culture and she should damn well respect it. Unfotunately I bore the brunt of his ‘non-violent’ aggressive ‘Mexican culture’ when I helped her get away from him and he came after me. Which was decidedly NOT non-violent. That shit is pernicious.

  57. aphrabean

    Well, I lied about bowing out. My apologies! Yttik, as a white woman, I by no means want to discount your experiences of oppression, and I’m not trying to tell you to STFU or bow to anyone.

    However, even being only passingly familiar with the Chicago comedy scene, I can almost guarantee you that the majority of that audience was white, and I believe that matters. It matters who she writes for, and who her delivery is targeted towards. Perhaps you don’t believe this context is important, and that’s your prerogative, but I hope that disagreeing with you in this instance is not seen as an attack on your lived experiences.

    There are ways to talk – and yes, joke – about the ways sexism and racism interact. There’s potential for a very good joke there, and it was lost in her delivery. It doesn’t seem to me that anyone is arguing that the scenario she described is untrue, or even unlikely, as most women can cite countless examples of being called all sorts of things while spurning the entitled attentions of dudes; what is being argued is how it was framed and how it was provided as entertainment to a very specific audience.

  58. Hari

    aphrabean–I greatly appreciate your reference to audience. It’s important, especially with respect to this kind of humor.

    That said, yttik–I have greatly appreciated your input here, and want you to know that.

  59. yttik

    “So, to clarify, if a “non-white woman” declares this clip non-racist, it’s non-racist, period, and if a white woman finds it offensive, the white woman is “eating her own”?”

    Yes Twisty. I go around oppressing white women and denying them their right to take offense by existing and having an opinion of my own. Sorry about that.

    Here’s my definition of eating your own. Reveling in self righteous attacks against other woman by labeling them things like, an “embarrassingly clueless (RACIST) asshole.”

    Also, exaggerating the offense, accusing her of wearing black face, giving a minstrel show, portraying ugly black stereotypes. Pardon me, but ugly to whom?

    I think you summed it up well, when you talked about the “embarrassing racist component” and went on to ask, “Why do you have to focus on race when composing a comedy bit about sexual assault?” Yes, why do we have to address racial issues when race is supposed to be kept neatly in file as far away from us as possible? Put that shit away, it’s embarrassing and makes us uncomfortable!

  60. meowbaby

    Wow. Meowbaby never ever comments, only listens, but holy moly that was so hateful and horrible. All those people laughing. The human capacity for cruelty seems to have no bounds.

  61. pheeno

    Racism and sexism will harm every single human on the planet, in every way imaginable. If racism ceased to exist, it couldn’t be weaponized. If sexism ceased to exist, there’d be no need for weapons.

  62. Darragh Murphy

    Permission is not mine to grant or deny, Dame Quixote. All I can do is mock the male-identified blindness that leads to women pillorying women in the public sphere by using sexist stereotypes and call it what it is: misogyny.

  63. Kate

    Yes to all the “it could have been good but then got all racist” and also was anyone else SUPER uncomfortable when she started talking about all the ways she was going to fake and claim/exaggerate rape? “I could have call statutory/I’m going to dress up these wounds”…?? Seriously yikes.

  64. eb

    She wasn’t adopting a black accent, she was adopting a ghetto accent. Ghetto is to black what white-trash-Southern is to white or what Cockney is to English.

    No black people I know talk like that. And, no white people I know talk like trailer trash. Is it racist? Seems to me it’s more classist, if anything.

    She’s a comedian so she wants people to laugh. Generally speaking, accents and gestures of the ‘lower class’ are funny. Jeff Foxworthy has made a very good living making fun of lower class whites.

    I thought parts of it were funny, especially when she called him ‘cheap’. She was accosted by this freaky dude, pimp wannabe, possible rapist and he calls her racist. She adopts a ghetto accent because ghetto is funny (Flip Wilson’s Geraldine comes to mind) and she’s pissed so she turns his own ignorance on him.

    It’s not the most hilarious routine in the history of comedy, but I think she’s got potential. She’s young. One can only hope as she ages, her comedy will become more nuanced.

    An aside about the audience – the guys laughing in the video are laughing a bit too heartily. My guess is their job is to laugh. Lots of comedians or comedy clubs plant ‘laughers’ in the audience. The laughing is just not genuine, wrongly placed in some parts of the routine, and way too loud. It has to be loud to be heard on the video.

  65. cin17

    Sometimes it offends me (as in “shit girls say” on YouTube) but usually it has the unintended effect of making the comedian much more likeable. I’d rather hang out with Mrs. Doubtfire than Robin Williams.

    You make a very good point. But for me, most “woman-face” comedy is too much like SNL’s “Gap girls” skit. With over exaggerated mannerisms, voices and that whole “I haven’t a brain in my body” gigglegigglegiggle crap make me want to punch a hole in something. (For anyone who has actually seen an Amos and Andy episode, the similarity in caricature is both apparent and appalling.) And yet I think the Little Britain character Carol, “the computer says no,” is for the most part funny. Perhaps because computer bureaucracy is what being lampooned, not just a rude receptionist. Or maybe it’s just that British comics do it so much better than Americans. American comedy often seems to rely too much on malice.

    In fact, I found it upsetting as hell and triggering to boot. But to each their own.

    My brain combusted at the “heeere’s your rape” part and that was it for my ability to make any reasonable assessment of her routine.

    Cin17, men imitating women is very offensive to me in almost every case, but then again I’m a cranky old party-pooper who generally just becomes enraged when faced with most stand-up comedy.

    I’m your cranky old party-pooper sister, aphrabean. So much of stand-up comedy just seems an excuse (and a paycheck) for getting one’s hate on: to stand up in public on a stage with a microphone and compete for who can be the biggest asshole.

  66. damequixote

    @Darragh Murphy

    This is why I laugh at Bachmann. Because it’s either that or cry. The idea that you slyly ‘mock me’ as “male identified” for finding her absurd as opposed to me laughing at Bachmann for being OBVIOUSLY a tool of patriarchy is in itself laughable. Thanks for the snicker on an otherwise dreary day! For you:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202

    In reference to the video, I took many a rape report from women who let their guard down due to the “you’re a racist” taunt from males who had a vested interest in getting closer to them for assault/robbery/murder purposes. In that way, and in the “here’s your rape” way the bit rang true. Her use of the ghetto speak was thrown in so quickly it left me wondering how it pertained to the comedic narrative. I have experience in comedy as well and one of the many complaints women get about their comedy is that they don’t simplfy it enough. This leaves a bit open to drawing unnecessary fire as well. Also, I’ve heard editors complain that you can tell a cartoon by a(n amateur) woman because it’s about 3 different things therefor not one of them comes across. Boiled down to it’s essential brass tacks, this is a good bit that rings true and if she had done that we might have heard the women laughing louder than the dudes (unless they were plants, as suggested prior). But it was brave to talk/joke about, regardless.

  67. Kaia

    I think far too many women have had that moment.
    I’m just wondering if anything is ever going to get done about it.
    But then nothing seems to be stopping the war on choice and contraception either…..

  68. Twisty

    Whao, “trailer trash”? I’d rather you didn’t.

  69. Jezebella

    Right? “Trailer trash”? Come on. Embiggen the discourse, eb. Please. Also, “ghetto is funny”? Really? No, privileged folks making fun of poor folks is not fecking funny. Well, not to anyone with an empathy chip, anyhow.

    I will say, along with Speedbudget, that there are people of varying races in my area (esp. New Orleans) that have those speech patterns. HOWEVER, it’s clear from the context that the comedian intended it to be taken as an African American accent.

  70. KittyWrangler

    To all the “party poopers” on this thread:

    http://www.vidaddict.com/german-guy-confused-by-meaning-of-party-pooper/

    @dame quixote
    That’s an interesting point about women saying ‘too many’ things at once. I have to wonder if men are also saying many things at once but so many of those things are unquestioned assumptions that everyone is familiar with, therefore they can go unsaid. Whereas for a woman to make an observation about her life she needs to lay the groundwork of what it’s like to be a woman, which is utterly unfamiliar to many people and even if the experience is familiar (i.e. to a female audience member) there exists no quick shorthand for it, no quick assumptions on which to build because women’s experiences are invisible and never stated out loud.

  71. Kea

    I have to wonder if men are also saying many things at once but so many of those things are unquestioned assumptions that everyone is familiar with, therefore they can go unsaid.

    That’s it EXACTLY. In the P, a large part of a dude’s brain is taken up with formula responses and assumptions. Since I am often the only female around, I see it very clearly all the time. There are so, so many things that one is just supposed to KNOW, but of course women don’t know them.

  72. AlienNumber

    Hey. Speaking of funny women: Roseanne Barr is running for President! I find the whole thing completely heartwarming.

  73. Jezebella

    I would totally vote for Roseanne Barr for President.

  74. damequixote

    @Kittywrangler

    Part of it is the shorthand you talk about. Men have had the floor so long it is a well worn rut. But there’s also the audience questioning the motives of the comedian that can impede success.

    In cartooning (as an example), if you want to include minorities as a subject in a cartoon because you want to include everyone and not just draw straight white men all the time, you do this and learn to never do it again. Welcome to backlash city.

    Let’s say you have a subject in a cartoon (single panel) that the cartoonist draws as African American or as a woman. Or both. Now the cartoon will likely be percieved as that minority’s point of view or seen as a joke about the minority instead of the point of the cartoon itself which gets lost in the presence of the minority character. The point gets lost because it is distracting to readers who are trying to interpret the cartoon/joke/point and to present anything else it is seen as commentary on same. The motives of the cartoonist drawing a minority is now suspect.

    In other words, white straight men are the default humans even in 2D land and if you show anyone else you often get accused of maligning or misrepresenting them. Being called a racist because you tried to present more of humanity than white straight dudes really blows. This is especially true in the mainstream of cartooning, though the younger set of readers in the realm of alternative cartoons aren’t nearly as bad, don’t question the cartoonist as much and judge the work much more on face value.

    As for the multiple topics at once thing, there have been studies that allude to this just being the way womens brains work. I get a lot more laughs when I streamline even the most edgy joke to the point a child could get it. I think it’s just a part of playing to your audience because unlike essay and novel writers, cartoonists and comedians can’t explain (it kills humor).

    PS: (Adding on to my prior post). Another popular ruse to get a woman to drop her guard around a guy long enough for him to get his crime on is the very effective, “What are you, a lesbo man hater??” and variations there of.

  75. KittyWrangler

    @damequixote “The point gets lost because it is distracting to readers who are trying to interpret the cartoon/joke/point and to present anything else it is seen as commentary on same.”

    That certainly makes sense in a frustrating way. It makes me think of how women musicians are only ever compared to other women musicians, even if the woman’s music is obviously much more like a particular man’s music. Like the reviewer is SO distracted by the musician’s woman-ness that he cannot really listen to the music. That’s why Nicki Minaj, a black woman with prominent boobies, will only ever be compared with Lil’ Kim– never, say, Ludacris or Lady Gaga. As we all know, to whom Nicki Minaj is compared is of the utmost importance to everyone on this thread, but that’s the best example that comes to mind for a phenomenon that affected Lee Krasner and Helen Frankenthaler, to name only two.

  76. quixote

    (I’m way late because I was having trouble with commenting, but I just have to add my two cents’ worth. A lot of this thread bothers me enough to be muttering about it hours later.)

    I felt uncomfortable because she’s making jokes about rape. Rape, fergawdsake. Which gives billions of women PTSD for the rest of their lives. Which makes every single woman on the planet live in a war zone. That crap is not funny.

    And yet, I have to admit, she managed to make it gallows-humor funny. That “Here’s your rape!” actually made me do a twisted smile.

    The audience laughter made me uncomfortable. Especially the dudely audience laughter. That’s not for them to laugh about. They can put bags on their heads and that’s about it.

    The racism? I assumed while I was watching it that she was reporting on an actual experience. If that’s so, and if the guy behaved that way, it’s not racism to speak the truth about it. It also doesn’t subvert the dominant paradigm, so it’s not funny, but that’s a different topic. If she added those elements to make it (gag) “funnier,” then that really is racist.

    But, hello?, even here, people are focusing on the man’s hurt feelings, instead of getting the point that she’s supposed to risk rape so he won’t risk feeling offended? Wasn’t that the point of her piece? Talk about women’s experiences being invisible.

    It reminds me of the old non-joke: Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them. Just in case it’s not obvious, one of those is a lot worse than the other.

    Then there’s this factor, as KittyWrangler said, ‘“Hey bitch, you’re a racist,” is one more weasel-y disgusting tool of harassers to buy an extra 2 seconds, to keep a girl from running, to make her doubt herself, to turn onlookers against her, to make her less likely to tell.’

    I agree that he shouldn’t have to put up with racism, but talk about your privilege showing if he meant that comment about racism, at 11:45 at night to a woman walking by herself, as nothing but a complaint.

    All I can say is I blame the Patriarchy.

  77. quixote

    (Eep. Sorry. Just did too long a comment, so it’s in moderation.)

  78. qvaken

    I laughed at the start too, at the same time as I found it to be really sad. I alternated between laughing because, “That’s so true – I know that feeling! And it IS funny to think of the hypocritical nature of our social climate from the perspective of a woman,” and almost crying because, “That fear is crippling, and the consequences if you don’t manage to successfully avoid being raped are horrific, and I’m not sure that they ever leave your mind or your life.”

    I agree that the, “So you’re afraid of me? That means that you partake in unfair and damaging judgment against people like me,” is used as an emotionally manipulative tactic to maintain or regain control. That’s something that has been very real and dangerous for many of us.

    Supposing that she experienced either an extremely fearful situation where she wasn’t attacked but thought she would be, or an horrific situation where she was attacked, then my thoughts would be that she’s coping with that. When I’m extremely angry or upset, and trying to make sense of what happened to me, sometimes my thoughts turn to categorising people into a group and concluding that the collective attitudes of that group caused one or more of them to choose what they did to me. (This might also be a survival tactic, by trying to learn from observation so that in future I won’t be in so much danger.) I do my best to recognise that prejudice that may arise and overcome it, because ultimately, I think that you can never use any superficial indicators to truly predict human behaviour.

    Her reaction to the man upon first encountering him in the alley may or may not have been influenced by her racism (By the way, I think that we’re all racist, every single one of us, to varying degrees). I think that impersonating the accent was fueled by her racism.

    Put simply: She’s coping with something huge, she’s trying to make sense of it, right now she’s turning to simplifying things by way of prejudice to make it easier for herself to do that. I’m not saying that that’s good or even okay, nor am I saying that it’s something that should just slide because there’s an explanation for it, I’m just saying that that’s what I think is behind that behaviour.

  79. TwissB

    @cin17 – “Just wondering if anyone else has the same queasy reaction to “woman-face.” Are women funny only when men are making fun of us?”

    My reaction to “woman-face” is more like rage. Only exceptions I can recall are Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, wonderful actors who played the entire population male and female – of Greater Tuna, Texas, and the indescribable mad ladies of the Monty Python crew. All the rest traffick in spiteful stereotypes, revelling in their power to prance about in those girly things they seem to envy and to re-assert their manhood by casting aside those female trappings and trampling on them at will. I resent female impersonators and drag guys like Ru Paul, not only for their arrogant pose as better women then we are (like icky Dustin Hoffman’s “Tootsie”) but for the way they are pushed at us to love by sycophants like Oprah.

  80. Ash

    “Every man also feels personally entitled to blind trust from women, black or white. They can complain all they want, like those white men complaining in Elevatorgate or those black men claiming racism. It doesn’t matter to me and I will not trust any man blindly and I will warn all women not to trust any man blindly.”

    YES. This. Completely. I think I found the video so frustrating because (apart from the ridiculous minstrel-welfare-queen crap) she had the opportunity to really take this discussion somewhere, and then she just veered away from it. It’s about entitlement. It’s about my body as a peace offering. I’m not one to speak of people “playing the race card”, but you can’t tell me a situation like this doesn’t come down to male privilege. It’s a dude — not a black dude, not a white dude, just a free-wheeling wang-dangling dude — trying to find some way to express his outrage at a female’s refusal to present her body as perpetually available to Dude Nation at large as a gesture of good faith.

  81. Babushka

    The first 3 minutes or so had some comedic value but faux-ghetto voice, was that meant for some effect of imagining herself on equal yet mocking racial ground ? Then onto feeding the stereotypes that women must look as if they’ve been raped to be taken seriously! and in front of an audience filled with hearty dudely laughter at their fears being validated. Cringe, cringe, cringe. It might have worked if she hadn’t strayed so far from the truth – no you being black has nothing to do with it, it’s the fact that you have a dick that concerns me.

  82. stacey

    @TwissB, add the Kids in the Hall to the list. These guys knew how to subvert the paradigm.

    The Kids in the Hall: Womyn

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNal0O7yzvI

  83. Kristal

    This is where people need to recognize their own privilege. There have been comments made about ” protecting the feelings of black males” that is not what this is about. The minstrel show she put on was not specifically about black males but black people in general. Black people= black men but black women= invisible? She put on stereotypical voices and gestures that denote ” this person is black” to much of white America. She did this under the guise of what was basically an “I’m not racist but…” statement. Fuck yes women should stand up and speak when they’ve been raped or sexually harassed and they shouldn’t be made to feel like racists for doing so, but that is not what was going on in the context of this fucked up video. If a man were putting on a comedy bit about a woman who “assumed he was sexist” then went on to prance around and say things like “does this make my butt look big” whilst twirling his hair most advanced blamers would call it what it is fucking misogyny!

  84. Kristal

    Not to pile on when I just posted but it also needs to be said that black male sexuality is seen as predatory and it is more feared the most powerful representation of the scary black male trope that comes to mind is birth of a nation in which white female virtue must be rescued from the clutches of the hypersexualized black man. So a charge that a woman is racist might be a reaction to that image. That is not to say that men don’t feel entitled to use women and that they won’t use any excuse at their disposal to guilt women into giving it to them.

  85. Murasaki

    I’m not sure what place this thought has in this thread – especially since I havent read the whole thing…FAK

    Its interesting to me though that 11:45pm at night on a dark street is about the only time my fear of rape would win out over my racism and white priviledge.

    When I see a black man, or Sikh or Muslim man in robes in the day time I still feel that little twinge in my spine and my brain takes a second to realign “no this man is not going to do anything to me, he is just buying ketchup”.

    At 11:45pm on a dark night in an alley – all men truly are created equal.

    How sad is that in 2012.

    *In case anyone didnt get it – I am not saying my logical mind thinks racist thoughts but I am white, the conditioning is deep – and the visceral response is still there – much to my deep shame and sorrow. I keep workin on it.

  86. crickets

    Talking about the sections where the comedian discussed rape, just in case anyone wants to skip over.

    The “here’s your rape” bit worked, i felt, because that’s it – the countdown, dreading the moment when you realise that truly, yes, this is a situation you will not get out of, wondering when and where it will happen and how because the statistics say it will no matter what. I disliked her delivery of it, because I could see people laughing at the whole gameshow idea without actually getting it. It could have been a really great way to convey just how terrifying living with the thought of rape is for women, but only if the male audience can be set up to actually get it rather than just hearing a joke that they find hilarious because it’s about rape and is almost in the same tone/frame as those disgusting “suprise sex” jokes. I wanted her to follow this thread through but it was spoiled by divergence into the racist discussion of racism. The bit at the end again i felt could be a really good way to convey the stupidity of the “crying rape” mythology, but the way in which it was delivered probably didn’t get the point accross to the audience.

  87. LS

    I just have to comment because Kids in the Hall were mentioned and they are my favorite thing ever. Although Dave Foley is sort of an MRA now (or at least providing MRA fodder)? Sometimes it’s really tiring to be a radfem and a comedy nerd, but there are comedians out there who don’t do material that demeans others or they “apply pressure upward,” as it were.

  88. thebewilderness

    Can rape jokes be funny, in a grim sort of a way? At first I thought maybe so. Then I got a little ahead of her and thought she was going to go against the stereotype instead of with it. Nope. It got unfunny very fast from there, so I didn’t watch the whole thing.
    The laughter from the audience should have been the reluctant uncomfortable kind, if you know what I mean. But it was not.

  89. alamo

    “Its interesting to me though that 11:45pm at night on a dark street is about the only time my fear of rape would win out over my racism and white priviledge.”

    Everyone assumes her reaction stems from racism. But couldn’t there be more to it than that? Perhaps she has observed and experienced that a man’s physical presence can give you clues about whether or not you should stay away from them. When I say physical presence, I mean things like, Does he walk too close to you? Does he talk or yell out in a belligerent manner? Does he give away any other clues that show that he has a sense entitlement, does not respect other people’s boundaries, or is just pissed off? Does he look desperate, disoriented? Or does he just look like a guy minding his own business on his way home from the grocery store?

  90. josquin

    If this piece is based on her actual experience of rape, it puts it a new light. Her “racism” may be defensive bitterness, miscast as comedy as the piece went on. And her so-called privilege must have gotten a little thin around the edges as she was being attacked and terrorized for being a woman.
    Hard to incorporate those things into comedy. Perhaps it’s not even possible.

  91. Metal Teapot

    I think Yttik has a good point, a lot of main stream comedy is racist, just look at the majority of US sitcoms with characters that aren’t white, anglosaxon, protestants – yet these people often aren’t called out on their racism. There is a danger that certain populations would call this woman out on her racism to silence her point. It is similar to how the objection to Schrodiner’s rapist (a concept I dislike anyway since it implies a woman should talk to any man who want to talk to her unless she deems him a threat) is compared to racism, to force women to accept unreasonable behaviour. It is difficult to say whether her initial judgements of the man were motivated by racism but that shouldn’t matter, we have no duty of interaction with a stranger (outside of proffesional duty) even if our reasons for not interacting are unfair. I don’t think she should have adopted the accent she did. At the same time she does make a good point about how upset men get to be seen as a threat. I think it is interesting how hypocritical this is, because in many cases the same men see nothing of judging other men as a threat based on prejudice.

    I feel sorry for her, there is obviously racism in the way she tells the story. However, I don’t think it was just racism that scared her. It is difficult as a woman to explain to men why their actions are scary because we are expected to trust them and their intent even as stangers. A man walking in and out an alley way late at night is a potential threat irrespective of color. I wonder if the audience would have found it so funny if she made that point though. I hope that the actual incident was just fear, and nothing worse happened.

    I disagree with Yttik though that we shouldn’t bring up what we consider racism in a woman. It might not be the best story to discuss it, but if we stop women talking about things they dislike about what other women say, we have silenced them as if not more effectievly than current culture.

  92. Nolabelfits

    The fact that she even continued down the street with a man popping in and out of an alley, passed him and gave him the opportunity to get behind her and follow her tells me she probably didn’t see race as a factor. If she was really terrified of his race I suspect she would have crossed the street or turned around and went back the other way and found a different route. I personallly would never have proceeded in that direction at all at 11:45pm with any man of any race lingering in my path with no apparent business at hand. Sketchy situation all around.

  93. Saurs

    It’s interesting (I mean that sincerely, not in a sarcastic way) that about half of the commenters in this thread treat the bit as though it’s a report of a specific incident in Mainard’s life rather than a semi-fictional or entirely fictionalized account. That’s not my interpretation, and I don’t generally view comedy in that way at all, but if I watched the clip again with that perspective in mind I might be slightly less willing to condemn her, or at least view the obvious racism within both the writing and the delivery as some kind of grotesque satire, a self-consciously and intentionally ugly kneejerk reaction to the the urgency of the situation and the (unjust?) accusation of racism by the guy-in-the-alley character.

    The commentariat here are really wonderful. My instincts and assumptions are always being challenged.

  94. Nolabelfits

    Upthread Twisty mentions this is apparently based on a real event and is not a fictional encounter.

  95. Kea

    Actually, it was mentioned in the post, but some of us didn’t read that the first time.

  96. Saurs

    Not quite.

    FYI, this clip was emailed to me by the woman who shot and edited it, whom I don’t know either personally or from the Internet, accompanied by a note implying that in the vid Mainard is actually riffing on her actual rape, which if true somehow makes a critique more difficult, because of, you know, empathy.

    (emboldening my own)

    There’s a difference, in my mind, anyway, between fictionalizing or embellishing events from your own life (which all comics do, and a good many authors of fiction besides) or using such events as inspiration, and actually presenting for public consumption an anecdote unembroidered as best as one is able (all memories being more or less subjective, and so on).

    As I say, I’m not used to reading, listening, or watching comedy that is presented by the comic as Real Life with an extra side of humor. Not saying comics don’t do it, just that it’s not the comedy I’m used to consuming, hence my initial reactions.

  97. Saurs

    Also, this is largely conjecture based on an e-mail from a person whose bona fides Jill can’t vouch for, I think.

  98. stacey

    @Nolabenefits, if memory serves correctly, she had to walk past him to get to a bus stop – not much use in crossing the street.

    The point about her not being influenced by the man’s race, and therefore she walking past him, is as plausible as her being totally aware of his race, and refusing to pander to stereotypes. A sort of, “There’s a sketchy black guy, but I’m an enlightened person who isn’t going to hold that against him, so I will treat him as I would any other man – with heightened awareness of my surroundings.” But, since he up and harassed her anyway, maybe his colour makes it easier for her to be “satirical”, because he played to stereotype.

    Which makes me think, would this have been funny if his race was not referenced (the “default” white guy)? I think it could have been much, much more powerful as a piece about sexism, without (as mentioned by damequixote above, about cartoons) a distracting (and I feel, unnecessary) element of racial stereotype.

    (Plz to excuse my grammar. I’m at half-spoon strength because of a cold.)

  99. aphrabean

    Saurs: – for a little more context, here’s a link to the person who edited the video and sent this to Jill.

  100. Nolabelfits

    Stacey,

    That’s pretty much what I meant. In the past I have taken risks and done things I would not have done, like walk past some black dude in a sketchy situation sorta to prove I’m not racist or something. Not anymore. I’d rather be perceived as racist than put myself at risk. She may have had some of those thoughts going on in her mind. Also, perhaps she whipped out the racism in response to the accusation of being a racist. Kind of like-”you think I’m a racist? Okay, I’ll be racist then. ‘Cuz it appears I thought you were a rapist, and now you’re going to rape me.”

  101. Monika/Shermanvolvo

    Liked what I thought was going to be poking fun at rape myths (if you go out at night you’re going to die) but as soon as she started talking about “this is my rape” plus the loud male laughter and my stomach turned so I had to stop watching. I hope to watch the rest later.

    As a white woman raised in a racist culture it has been easy to “defend” my fear responses to Black and Aboriginal men. Eg I was scared because he was drunk, because there were a group of men etc. and this may all be true (drunk men and groups of men can freak me out) the fact is I have internalized racism. Period.

  102. AlienNumber

    I’m just going to go back to the “women aren’t funny” bit. One last time. Bear with me.

    Twisty is not a misogynist (okay, well, maybe she is a little bit, we all are), but she was so upset by this woman’s use of racial bs in her comedy skit, that Twisty’s (subconscious?) way of retaliating was to engage in stereotypical misogynistic behavior: she wrote, on her blog, for all to see, that “women aren’t funny.” Later Twisty rationalized and/or explained her choice of title, by referencing family history and making a more general, and quite valid, point about comedy. But the fact remains that she did use “women aren’t funny” – a misogynistic trope – as a title to her public post.

    To summarize: Twisty watches comedy skit, is upset by the racist bit, and retaliates against the woman comedian by engaging in misogynistic ritual.

    There’s a parallel between Twisty’s use of the misogynistic trope “women aren’t funny” on her blog and the woman’s use of racist tropes in her comedy skit. The woman in the video retaliated to that man’s rape threat (perceived or real, but let’s just give it to her that it was real) by engaging in racist behavior.

    A significant difference between the 2 is that the woman, unlike Twisty, was actually provoked. Nobody taunted Twisty before they showed her this video and called Twisty a misogynist if she didn’t nod and smile or whatever, but somebody did taunt the woman and called her a racist because she reacted in a perfectly rational way – with fear – towards a man she encountered in a dark alley at 11.45pm.

    So here’s where the thesis of my little essay comes in: we’re so neck-deep in misogyny that even on a blog titled I Blame the Patriarchy (and not, I Blame the Kyriarchy or some crap), a significant percentage of the posts are about how racist this white woman is. Not too many are getting upset that here we are, commenting on a bit titled “women aren’t funny.” Because, like, duh, this white woman – and ALL WOMEN – totally deserved that bit of public misogyny when she went around performing a skit about her own close encounter with Rape Culture.

    #heartbreak

  103. Saurs

    Thanks for that, aphrabean.

  104. Saurs

    “[S]he knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire.” #thetitleofthispostisironic,obv

    I have never used hashtags so much in all my life.

  105. AlienNumber

    Well, if you’re so sure the title of this post is ironic, what makes you think that the use of racism in that woman’s comedy skit wasn’t ironic?
    #IsIronyNotInTheEyeOfTheBeholderToo

    (okay, done with hashtags after that one)

  106. Saurs

    Jill is referencing Hitchens in the title, and I trust Jill and I think she’s funny.

    I don’t know from Mainard, and I don’t know of any oft-repeated quotations in need of a good debunking specifically involving Dangerous Black Men in Dark Alleys at 11:45pm involving jazz hands and chicken-necking, so.

  107. Nolabelfits

    Jazz hands and chicken necking? Are you kidding? You know, around my neck of the woods plenty of women, many of whom I admire immensely, speak just like that and would probably find those references offensive. I know I do.

  108. Saurs

    You know, around my neck of the woods plenty of women, many of whom I admire immensely, speak just like that and would probably find those references offensive. I know I do.

    As do a good portion of my friends, one half of my family, and heaps of people I know and care about, which is why I found the mocking and exaggerated use of them disgustingly othering. I apologize for causing offense and for being insensitive and unclear. That was shitty of me. I’m sorry.

  109. qvaken

    I think that Twisty was being ironic when describing a situation that was both funny and unfunny in so many ways, and Ever Mainard was using humour to come to terms with either an actual assault, or an attempted assault, or the persistent fear of someday being assaulted.

    Time for one and all to redirect your blame. IBTP.

  110. quixote

    I said it upthread (in a too-long comment) and I want to say it again:

    Even here, people are focusing on the man’s hurt feelings, instead of getting the point that she’s supposed to risk rape so he won’t risk feeling offended? Wasn’t that the point of her piece? Talk about women’s experiences being invisible.

    I really, really, really blame the Patriarchy for that.

  111. Cyberwulf

    To summarize: Twisty watches comedy skit, is upset by the racist bit, and retaliates against the woman comedian by engaging in misogynistic ritual.

    Are you fucking serious?

  112. yttik

    “people are focusing on the man’s hurt feelings”

    His imaginary hurt feelings or potential hurt feelings because this woman was simply walking down the street and didn’t say a word to him. That was her crime, walking down the street. This man frightened her, followed her, quickened his steps, and then accused her of being a racist. What did she do? Walk away, call her mother and later write a comedy routine about it.

    I blame the patriarchy for this woman being perceived as the oppressor, the perpetrator, the bad guy, a racist, a “clueless asshole.” That is what women lug around with them everyday, all the blame, all the responsibility, all the evilness of every situation. If she had been raped she would have also been accused of being a racist, blamed for walking alone at night, and again called a “clueless asshole.”

    Does anybody in this thread ask why a man was lounging around in an alley late at night, deliberately frightening women and later accusing one of racism? Nope, he has a divine right to be on that street and no responsibility at all for his behavior. He is automatically perceived as the victim. She’s the woman, the evilness walks with her, whether she be abusing him with her racism or tempting him with her sexuality.

  113. pheeno

    She wasn’t racist in that moment, yttik. It’s after, in her comedy routine that she uses racist stereotypes to describe the situation, in an attempt to make it funny.

    “Does anybody in this thread ask why a man was lounging around in an alley late at night, deliberately frightening women and later accusing one of racism? ”

    Has it ever occurred to you we don’t ask because we don’t need to ask because we’re already pretty sure that he’s a rapist asshole who deliberately frightens women? That doesn’t mean that racist stereotypes are OK to use later to make the encounter funny.

    I don’t give a rats ass about HIS feelings. I give a rats ass about all the WoC (including myself) who start off watching this feeling that we share a common bond with this woman ( here’s your rape) only to have racist stereotypes slap us in the face.

    Why is that OK to do to me? Why aren’t MY feelings just as fucking important as the comedians? Ain’t I a woman too?

  114. pheeno

    Oh and by the way- her stereotypes? Were of BLACK WOMEN (and also “low class” WOMEN).

    Not black men.

    Black women.

    She adopted a stereotypical angry black woman accent, hand gestures and attitude.

    It wouldn’t matter if the would be rapist was white, black or polka dot. She used a common angry black woman stereotype to turn it into a comedy routine.

    “I can git stabbed…I can git stabbed… I gots insurance.”

    “You cheap.”

    She might as well have busted out a “nigga please”.

  115. aphrabean

    pheeno, thank you for this. Pretty sure that I’ve worn out my welcome on this thread, but I would like to add my voice in support of yours.

    Not to pile on, Yttik, but I would like to ask where is the joke in the bulk of the bit? Most of it is at the expense of black women for the entertainment of white people. Critiquing this fact can only be considered misogynistic if you privilege the experience of a certain type of woman over everyone else, if you exclude black women as women.

    This is racist, shitty, and not discernibly different from the crap that’s spewed forth as comedy in the mainstream media on any given day. I blame the toxically racist (classist, ableist, etc) structures of the patriarchy.

  116. yttik

    I don’t think she sounded like a black woman at all, I think her genius is that she sounded like a white girl trying to prove how non racist she really is, a classic Jerry Springer clubbing white girl who thinks she sounds black and hip and cool and tough. See, I ain’t no racist!

    But that’s okay, I’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    However, racism is a stereotype that paints everybody with the same brush, yes? How bizarre then that one small time female comedian in Chicago who may or may not have done a racist comedy sketch is being held up as a very sexist example of how (all) “Woman Aren’t funny.” Was that irony on Twisty’s part? Probably, but what if I took a comedy sketch of one of our numerous black male comedians and declared, “Black Men Aren’t Funny?”

    I blame the patriarchy for the fact that we have 112 posts declaring this woman to be a racist and yet none about all the male comedians in Chicago who say things like, “I like white women, they give good blow jobs.” Hardy har har! You know why we always focus all our criticism on women and their evil ways? Because boys will be boys, so what’s the point? There’s a huge double standard and it forces us to eat our own.

  117. pheeno

    It’s a total spin off of the Sapphire stereotype. And I see it. So do others, so maybe it’s not us who have our heads shoved up male asses.

  118. aphrabean

    Ha, Yttik, my baseline assumption about white dude comedians in Chicago is that they’re racist, sexist assholes! You don’t need a separate post for that!

  119. aphrabean

    Dude comedians, rather. Not just the white ones.

  120. pheeno

    “I think her genius is that she sounded like a white girl trying to prove how non racist she really is, a classic Jerry Springer clubbing white girl who thinks she sounds black and hip and cool and tough. See, I ain’t no racist! ”

    And a Jerry Springer clubbing white girl who thinks she sounds “black” is (wait for it) racism.

  121. Hari

    Thanks for emphasizing this, Pheeno:

    Oh and by the way- her stereotypes? Were of BLACK WOMEN (and also “low class” WOMEN).

    Not black men.

    Black women.”

    And thanks for others who have pointed out that there is a real difference between Mainard’s actual experience (where we could agree that her fear of rape trumps race in the moment), and Mainard’s comedy bit (where some see how the bit itself became racist). That difference is important here–and as pheeno clarified, it was the mocking of (poor) black *womyn* (not men) at the basis of my growing discomfort after my initially good laugh.

    This seems to be one of those items where sexism and racism are too linked to make our blaming perfectly clear. For once I’ve mostly listened on this thread (!), because I couldn’t put my finger easily on what troubled me–and I wanted to hear others’ opinions, especially various WOC. I’m white. That privilege blinkers me, and means I should listen more than speak where race enters in. I want to resist blaming womyn for the P, but not be too silent/complicit where racism, ableism, etc, enters in.

    Anyway–those are some perhaps random-ish phrases that boil down to this: I don’t blame Mainard for being a womyn in the P, coping as best she can with the ever-present threat of rape, by making comedy as “Heeeeerrrrre’s your RAPE!” I do blame her for being a white who was not at all sensitive to race issues in her piece.

  122. pheeno

    “I blame the patriarchy for the fact that we have 112 posts declaring this woman to be a racist and yet none about all the male comedians in Chicago who say things like, “I like white women, they give good blow jobs.” Hardy har har! You know why we always focus all our criticism on women and their evil ways? ”

    Honestly. How many posts on this blog focus on criticism of women vs criticism of men and male privilege and the P? And how many that do have a woman always devolve into why we can’t criticize a woman who’s being racist because it’s ok for women to be racist and get away with it because they’re women and women already get criticized over everything.

    It’s just like saying white people will be white people so what’s the point?

  123. yttik

    “And a Jerry Springer clubbing white girl who thinks she sounds “black” is (wait for it) racism.”

    No shit. That’s what made it so funny. In her head she’s asking this man who has accused her of racism, what she’s supposed to do about it? Start talking like a racist white girl so this stranger feels validated? Let you rape me? Make sure you get a longer rape sentance to validate your perceptions of my racism? WTF is her role when some strange man scares the shit out of her and then accuses her of racism?

  124. pheeno

    Ok, I’m just going to boil it down to my issue with it-

    WoC are not props in a comedy bit.
    We are not props. We are not tools for you to use.

    We are not tools for white women to use to empower themselves.

    We are not props for comedians to turn tragedy into hilarity.

    We are not objects for anyone to use in order to exorcise their own demons, issues, trauma or oppression.

    We are not your stepping stones to success.

    We are women. And we deserve a seat on the bus, not under it.

  125. pheeno

    “WTF is her role when some strange man scares the shit out of her and then accuses her of racism?”

    In that moment? Whatever she needs to do to escape unraped.

    Later in a comedy skit? Anything but using a Sapphire to get some laughs.

  126. pheeno

    No shit. That’s what made it so funny. In her head she’s asking this man who has accused her of racism, what she’s supposed to do about it? Start talking like a racist white girl so this stranger feels validated? Let you rape me? Make sure you get a longer rape sentance to validate your perceptions of my racism?”

    I want to make this very clear-

    In that moment, when she was confronted by that rapist asshole (and I have no doubt he was in fact a rapist, or out to harm her in some other way) I do not care how she defended herself. She could have chanted KKK motto’s at him, for all I care. Whatever it takes to stay alive and escape the situation unharmed.

    But after, in her comedy (and yes, I get what she was trying to do) using a Sapphire stereotype does not get her message across anymore than using a white woman stereotype would get a male comedians point across because we are in the P.

    It’s acceptable to use WoC stereotypes as props to get your point across only because WoC are not human enough to deserve more respect.

    In the P, directed to a mostly male probably white audience the message you received was NOT the message they got.

    The only message that audience took home was supportive of the existing message that reverse racism is real, playing the race card is common and angry black woman stereotypes are funny.

  127. pheeno

    One last thing-

    She could have gotten her point across just as easily by adopting a White Woman Syndrome persona.

    Turning into a parody of The Blind Side would have been just as funny, and not used a WoC stereotype to do it.

  128. Kea

    We should probably note that in order to succeed as a comedian in the P, there will inevitably be elements of pandering to the P. The ambiguity of meaning in the story was probably deliberate. So sure, some women here may interpret it as a non racist, non misogynist bit, but the story also appeals to racist, misogynist dudes in the audience, who listen with a different ear.

    One can just imagine the sadistic glee of a rapist in the audience, at viewing a raped woman who is forced to deal with her story in this way (his interpretation).

  129. AlienNumber

    How is “women aren’t funny” not a misogynistic trope, especially when used in the context of Twisty not finding this woman funny?
    If she had actually found this woman funny, then yeah!

    Alternative interpretation: *my Irony Detector is obviously broken and/or I’m just a woman with no sense of humor.

  130. yttik

    I think Twisty did find this funny and her title was intended as irony, but along came Noel who labeled it the work of “embarrassingly clueless (RACIST) asshole” and before you know it, not only is Mainard not funny, now Twisty isn’t either. And just in case any woman still has a smile on her face, the Woman Police are happy to remind everybody that Women Really Are Not Funny because we are actually to blame for everything that is wrong with the world, being as we have so much power and everything.

    Ah, but I remember a famous woman feminist who encouraged us to all laugh at the big issues because that’s what robs them of their power. Alas, I believe she was also labeled a hater, on this very forum.

  131. Cyberwulf

    *my Irony Detector is obviously broken

    Yes, it is.

    the Woman Police are happy to remind everybody that Women Really Are Not Funny because we are actually to blame for everything that is wrong with the world, being as we have so much power and everything.

    Yes, that’s exactly what everyone here is saying.

    Why don’t you take a moment to actually read things instead of imagining what they mean?

  132. pheeno

    It’s not possible for us to be the Woman Police, since we’re women and evidently completely and utterly without power.

    If WE have the power to make that comedian oppressed, she has the same fucking power towards me.

    Can’t have it both ways.

  133. cin17

    Upfront, given the subject matter, the sketch was hard for me to process (there’s a lot I may have missed). But my take on the “stereotype” lingo and gestures is very different than what has already been discussed. It seemed to me that she was using them as a defense gesture, a “who me racist? see how hip I am, I’m down with the lingo, I’m cool.” As an ethnically ambiguous person, although I don’t mimic accents, I often use the “see I’m like you” tactic. It’s much easier to use with men, as they telegraph their expectations with a megaphone. Women are harder to get by, probably because they don’t want, or expect, compliance. OTOH, men want, and expect compliance and once you give it to them (even just a little bit so they know you know who’s in charge), they will often back off.

    I agree with yttik, in that it’s very disheartening that, given the first bullyboy comment by the (presumably male) Noel, the bulk of the criticism has been against the woman comedian who tried to make a routine out her own rape experience. If there’s any time to cut someone slack, this is it. Real life is littered with the broken souls (and dead bodies) of women who had to kowtow to their attacker’s vanity in an attempt to gain enough empathy to spare her life. And, yes, it’s ugly. Very very ugly. Perhaps that was the point.

  134. tinfoil hattie

    How is there even a debate over whether the “comedian” is being racist? Of course she is. As pheeno points, out, she is ridiculing WOC by employing a stereotype about how “they” talk and/or act in order to make her routine more palatable. When she started laughing hysterically BEFORE she even started up with that part of her routine, I wondered what could be so all-fired funny that she was just cracking herself right the fuck up. I was disgusted.

    Her routine could have been much wittier had it been truly subversive, as was pointed out several times upthread.

    pheeno nailed it.

  135. tinfoil hattie

    *maybe* it was her own rape experience, cin17. That was speculation.

    And I don’t give a rat’s ass who is being a racist, I’m calling it out when I see it. Your attitude seems to be: Give this white woman a break, because maybe she was so traumatized by her rape-that-we-think-might-have-happened that the only way she could deal with it was by making bad, racist jokes in a comedy routine.

    If you don’t see the racism, you are being racist yourself.

  136. cin17

    tinfoil, maybe you should read the whole thread through. We have been told that the routine is based on her “actual” assault. And I have repeatedly said that I may have missed something because I found the whole thing triggering.

    As for calling me a racist, I’ll let you read through the thread and take a few breaths before you apologize. You may feel the need to be the white woman, proving how racially sensitive you are, who stands up and puts other women in their place when they respectfully present a different viewpoint as yours. Because your “white woman” viewpoint is the only viewpoint. There couldn’t possibly be any other way to look at the clip.

    Yes. Cut the rape victim some slack. I have no idea what she was trying to do and don’t even like the damn clip but she was trying to express her experience. Let me see, Tyler Perry or Ever Mainard, who have more people heard of? I’m guessing Tyler Perry. The man has made a freakin’ mint off of black “woman-face” and his caricatures are wildly offensive and, of course, wildly popular. But that’s okay, he’s a black male comedian. But the white rape victim, if you want to cut her some slack, you’re a “racist.” This thread went from Noel chastising white women for being afraid of a confrontational black stranger (as if confrontational white strangers put us at ease), to a commenter calling me a racist because I empathize with the rape victim in a sketch I don’t even like. Good grief but yttik really nailed it right out of the gates.

  137. pheeno

    “But that’s okay, he’s a black male comedian.”

    I’d sure like to know where the fuck some of you people get this shit.

    WHERE ON THIS BLOG HAS THIS EVER FUCKING HAPPENED.

    WE ARE NOT MAINSTREAM FUCKING SOCIETY, AND WE FUCKING KNOW THAT MALES GET A FREE PASS ON RACIST SEXIST BULLSHIT.

    Jesus fucking jumped up christ on a goddamn cracker. Y’all sure like to fucking state shit as if it fucking happens on this blog.

    IT DOESN’T.

    It doesn’t HERE. MEN DO NOT GET A PASS HERE.

    NEITHER SHOULD WOMEN WHEN THEY THROW WOC UNDER THE GODDAMN BUS.

    What y’all are saying is that *I* as a WoC should be FINE with a white lady throwing MY ASS (not yours, MINE) under the fucking bus because outside of this blog, men get a free pass for shit.

    FUCK. YOU. BACK.

    I will not be the goddamn sacrificial mother fucking lamb for a white lady. Not her, not you.

    Get the fuck over it and find someone else to mock to make your point.

    Again for the privileged-

    We

    Are

    Not

    Your

    PROPS

    Got it?

  138. pheeno

    “I empathize with the rape victim in a sketch I don’t even like. ”

    Bull. Shit.

    No one here, not ONE single solitary soul has had one itty bitty teeeny problem with ANYONE empathizing with a rape victim. Period.

    *I* have empathy for her. I ALSO can manage to fucking recognize a Sapphire stereotype when it slaps me in the fucking face. My empathy doesn’t erase it.

    Her intent doesn’t erase the real life consequences that real life women here felt upon hearing that shit.

    *I* and other WoC experienced that as fucking racism.

    And several of you are telling us we can not and should not and if we do, then we have no empathy for a rape victim.

    So let’s chat about cutting women some slack, shall we? Because I sure haven’t seen ANY slack cutting for WoC who were insulted by that video and by the portrayal of a “ghetto Sapphire”.

    What? WE aren’t women? Not woman enough to earn any slack? Not human enough to empathize with? We should shut up and know our place?

  139. pheeno

    Know what? Forget it. Lesson learned.

    Can’t criticize a woman, unless she’s a WoC. Then you are free to criticize, mock, use, silence and target them at fucking will, so long as it makes your point. We are, after all, forever your fucking mammies.

    I’m done babysitting. And I’m done experiencing racism by the women here who seem to have a problem with criticizing other women but have no problem telling WoC they’re too damn stupid to get the joke.

    I got the joke. It wasn’t fucking funny. And I’m not a humorless woman hating bitch for not finding it fucking funny.

    I’m the butt of your jokes when it suits you.

    All the talk about not eating one’s own is making me physically sick. It’s clear I’m not one of you, never have been and never will be. I don’t count as fully woman. I’m an other and by god you won’t let me forget it will you?

  140. tinfoil hattie

    I hate all instances of men dressing as women for purposes of “humor.” Hate. it. all.

    The comedian was using RACIST stereotypes to make a joke about confronting a possible rapist. Har de fucking har.

    Why does pheeno have to SCREAM to be heard on this feminist blog?

  141. cin17

    pheeno, you need to explain how I have mocked anyone or made anyone a prop. It seems you are the one interested in making me a prop, a caricature you have created in your mind.

    First, I identify as ethnically ambiguous. If that is not clear to you, it means that I am the daughter of a dark-complected mother and a light-complected father. It means that my mother and her sister were denied access to “white only” beaches in the 50s. It means that I grew up hearing my beautiful mother tell me how cruelly she (“ugly blackie”) was treated by other “white” children when she was growing up. It means that I’ve been called the n-word.

    pheeno, your life experience is not the only life experience. It’s one of many. As is mine. And you have no right or place to yell “fuck you” when I (marginally) disagree with you. No matter what color you think I am.

    I’d sure like to know where the fuck some of you people get this shit.

    I got it from the point I brought up early on: Are women funny only when men are making fun of us? It’s a point I find relevant on an “Women aren’t funny” thread. If you don’t find it relevant, fine.

  142. stacey

    Fuck fuck fucking fuck. NO ONE is dissing Mainard for making a routine about her rape. MANY of us object to her using UGLY RACIAL STEREOTYPING as a cheap-gag effect.

    “Women aren’t funny” is a reference to Christopher Hitchens, as Saurs said upthread and everyone ignored. It’s an article he wrote for New Yorker or something, claiming that women weren’t funny, which then got torn to pieces by many writers, and rightfully so.

    Used as a title on a RADFEM blog for a funny clip featuring a FEMALE stand-up comic is, in fact, IRONIC. That is, it’s a big “fuck you” to anyone who thinks women can’t be funny, because good golly she managed to make even her RAPE a viable comedic scenario.

    Mainard also, unfortunately, made it RACIST. Right up until the point where she adopts a stereotype, she makes incredible comedy from tragedy, but then she FUCKED IT UP by relying on race and class, from her position of privilege, to carry the gag.

    THAT’S ALL.

    And I’ve allowed myself to yell because I’ve had to tend to a PUKEY CHILD since EARLY THIS MORNING and I’m a bit ON EDGE, FUCK.

  143. pheeno

    pheeno, you need to explain how I have mocked anyone or made anyone a prop.”

    The. Comedian. Made. WoC. Her. Prop.

    And this WoC is insulted. This woman of color experienced that as a racism.

    But that doesn’t matter, right? What matters is that the woman doing the mocking gets a free pass.

    “And you have no right or place to yell “fuck you” when I (marginally) disagree with you.”

    You’re not “marginally” disagreeing with me. You are telling me that I should forget that I experienced it as racism and cut her some slack.

    Nope. Not gonna happen. Because it never ends.

    “First, I identify as ethnically ambiguous. If that is not clear to you, it means that I am the daughter of a dark-complected mother and a light-complected father.”

    I picked up on that after reading your first post when you stated it. I’m not stupid.

    What I am is sick and tired of other people (men, women, white, black, brown etc) telling me that I have to tolerate something I find intolerable.

    I do in fact have a right to shout fuck you at anyone who tells me what I am allowed to feel/think or how I should react to hearing/reading/seeing racism.

    And I’m sick of women on this blog cutting everyone slack but those who experience said subject as racism.

  144. pheeno

    “pheeno, your life experience is not the only life experience.”

    Don’t recall saying it was. I am aware however, that mine is one of the few that is consistently (on this blog) told to get over it, forget about it, cut them some slack, stop being divisive and just be women centric and all your problems will vanish, you’re kissing male ass for criticizing a woman for anything, you can’t feel this way because I’m WoC too and I don’t feel it, you’re life isn’t the only experience (so the fact you experienced something as racist means jack and shit) and so on and so forth.

    I flat out stated I (as well as others) experienced that as racism.

    And what was YOUR response to that? Didya cut me some slack? Hell no. You just proceeded on as if it didn’t matter, hey we should just cut her some slack. And called that marginal disagreement.

  145. pheeno

    And what I’d really like to know is this-

    Why is it always up to WoC who are hurt to cut others some slack? Why is it always the WoC who experienced racism expected to be nice or overlook?

    At what point are we ever allowed to put our own wounds first?

  146. cin17

    pheeno, I never said you personally had to cut her some slack. Did I quote your comment in that reply? No. I specifically addressed tinfoil and I explained that, yes, (I) cut Mainard some slack as a rape victim in response to tinfoil hattie calling me a racist.

    And I called our disagreement marginal because I can understand why you would find it offensive, I just don’t agree that Mainard is a racist. I would have to see more of her work to make that assessment. And, frankly, after this clip I really don’t want to see more. Personally, I don’t think rape is funny and I don’t think it can be funny. And as offended as you were by all those people laughing at the stereotype, I was just as offended (physically sickened, actually) by all those people laughing about rape. That’s why I said our disagreement was marginal. Neither of us seemed to like the clip, only for different reasons that spoke to us because of our different life experiences. And I thought there was room for us to disagree. But, I see your point, our disagreements are not marginal, they are vast and insurmountable, we have no common ground whatsoever.

    For the record, my only responses to your comments, pheeno, are the ones that begin “pheeno,” which would be the one at 8:23 and this one. That’s it. In neither have I told you to “get over it, forget about it, cut them some slack, stop being divisive and just be women centric and all your problems will vanish, you’re kissing male ass for criticizing a woman for anything, you can’t feel this way because I’m WoC too and I don’t feel it, you’re life isn’t the only experience (so the fact you experienced something as racist means jack and shit) and so on and so forth.”

    And, yes, I have cut you a ton of slack and am going to sign off now as the slack is just about all taken up.

  147. pheeno

    “I just don’t agree that Mainard is a racist”

    I don’t either. I do think that she used racist stereotypes of women to make her comedy more funny to mainstream audiences, because angry woc are easy to exploit for laughs.

    “the bulk of the criticism has been against the woman comedian who tried to make a routine out her own rape experience. If there’s any time to cut someone slack, this is it. ”

    This. This is where your comments were directed at me. I am among the criticizers am I not? Part of the group not cutting her slack?

    You tell me how I read that wrong, and how it’s not saying “stop criticizing and cut her some slack”. Or how it’s not suggesting those of us criticizing are lacking empathy or not allowing a woman to make a comedy routine of her own rape.

  148. Rice

    This is funny. As a hyper politically correct person, I still laughed. I don’t care about “cutting her some slack”; she doesn’t need any slack to be cut. All comedians are offensive to someone. Mainard seems to be someone who is generally politically correct, which is the only reason I found it funny.

    I say we tally the votes on this Mainard and then we can, as a group, decide once and for all whether ALL women are (not) funny.

    For statistical purposes, I’m darker than Obama.

  149. tinfoil hattie

    Get over yourself, cin17. I said if you don’t see the racism, you are being racist.

    It’s your responsibility to see if the shoe fits.

  150. lizor

    The charge that women aren’t funny because their material has complex layers of meaning it pretty … “interesting”, in that it’s a manifestation of the extreme male hegemony in comedy. The dudes know what’s funny – simple ideas that they all repeat over and over and over again:

    1) I’m horny

    2) something rectal

    3) fat women are gross

    I think that about covers 98% of the content of male comedy. All that nuanced lady stuff, well it’s all too thinky.

    I had pictured a white guy at the beginning too. I was too triggered to really take it all in, although I thought the This is YOur Rape bit was clever in that it is SO recognizable. The rest just confused me, especially the bit about inflating the charges, assuming as it does that there is any reliable protection from the cops or courts.

  151. josquin

    Pheeno, is there any way you can modify your use of all-caps “screaming” and F-bombs on this blog? I know this Twisty’s blog and we all comment here at her pleasure, and I’m guessing that you will probably rebuke me that you are not here to please me, and you are not responsible for my comfort, etc. etc.
    I’m just asking, that’s all.

  152. AlienNumber

    I hate it when the Irony Detector is broken!!

    oooh, just had an idea: what if we try to share some jokes for a few minutes?
    Let’s see, I read the book “Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes” – not a bad book, really – and one joke, Joke number 3 in the Chapter on Language (I think), really stuck with me:

    “A man is driving down the road.
    A woman is driving up the same road.
    They pass each other.
    The woman yells out the window, ‘Pig!’
    The man yells back, ‘Bitch!’
    The man rounds the next curve, crashes into a huge pig in the middle of the road, and dies.”

    har har har. Now that I think of it, this is an Almost Perfect Joke for this Situation.

  153. tinfoil hattie

    Ha-ha, lizor, THAT is awesome. I would only add

    4) my dick!

    Or maybe that is really 1a?

    Also, I, too had high hopes for. the bit.. That it switched so quickly to racist mockery was not only disgusting, it was baffling.

  154. AlienNumber

    tinfoil hattie, you have a dick??

    (I kid, I kid).

  155. stacey

    from lizor:

    2) something rectal

    I think that about covers 98% of the content of MY comedy.

  156. Hari

    Lizor, tinfoil hattie, others recently–

    See? Womyn ARE funny.

    Dang I’m glad to have that cleared up.

  157. tinfoil hattie

    AN: Yes, and his name is NIGEL! (cymbal crash)

  158. Lidon

    “I don’t either. I do think that she used racist stereotypes of women to make her comedy more funny to mainstream audiences, because angry woc are easy to exploit for laughs.”

    Back to character vs. behavior. I don’t think anyone on here was attacking Mainard’s character; it was her behavior in the particular instance of her comedic routine, which yeah, looked racist to me, which Pheeno has so aptly pointed out in the quote above.

    “Pheeno, is there any way you can modify your use of all-caps “screaming” and F-bombs on this blog? I know this Twisty’s blog and we all comment here at her pleasure, and I’m guessing that you will probably rebuke me that you are not here to please me, and you are not responsible for my comfort, etc. etc.
    I’m just asking, that’s all.”

    Even if people’s ignorance pisses us off, it would be nice not to stomp and scream and name call. That’s one of the reasons I like this blog so much – people generally respond to each other respectfully, even there are disagreements (unlike with the rest of the ‘net). Shouting matches rarely, if ever, accomplish anything.

  159. gingerest

    Pheeno – I hear you. I hear your distress, I hear your point, I hear that you experienced Mainard as racism, and I am so, so sorry that happened to you. (Not an apology – I didn’t do it, apart from the way we all do it by being part of a kyriarchy, as though we had a choice – but an expression of my sorrow you have to endure that as a WoC.)

    Those who are complaining about F-bombs and stomping and screaming: why shouldn’t a woman who’s angry at oppression scream? Because you aren’t the one oppressing her, you shouldn’t have to hear it?

  160. qvaken

    You know what I like about this blog? I like that men and manly ideas aren’t welcome here, that they’re ridiculed if they try.

    I like that I can laugh at all this stuff now rather than get worried about hurting somebody’s feelings and ultimately censor myself: If I post to my Facebook wall the URL of a blog entry from here that I found interesting then there will be a few man-comments about “How am I supposed to care about women with websites like THAT around?! It’s hard to feel sympathy for a group of people who don’t like you SADFACE”; if I read one of these entries and feel inspired to come up with my own idea for punishing potential rapists and whatnot and post it to Facebook then I’ll get comments like “*long-winded and intellectual* It’s not fair to punish somebody who didn’t violently rape someone yet and their only crime was to deliberately violate somebody’s personal space BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY RAPED SOMEONE!”; or if I post discussions about what rape is then someone will be all “Well hey now lady (gosh I’m so smart bet she doesn’t see THIS one coming) what about this really tired and overused pro-rape argument that we both know the law supports??” (And I would tell him “Kinda sounds like you’re a bit of a rapist there, son!” and hilarity ensues.)

    And I like that, from the inspiration that I get here, I actually plucked up the courage to say to someone, “Hey, guess what? If you ever raped someone (that’s right: I’m not talking about the Rapemonster that only exists in the news and in anecdotes, I’m talking about YOU, Surly Sir!) then I would not like you one bit.”

    And being able to laugh about this stuff, and to realise that men’s feelings aren’t paramount, and that you’re ALLOWED to call out men who are doing (or willing to do, or might do) inappropriate things, is a HUGE step forward for me.

    Making fun of guys and pissing off guys is funny! They think that they’re deserving of all this extra respect and dignity, but they also perceive that it’s the same amount of respect and dignity that everybody gets, so it’s easy to get them feeling all offended and persecuted by the smallest thing. And then because MEN UNITE AND STAND TOGETHER AGAINST PERSECUTION! then you can get a whole bunch of them Fighting The Good Fight in no time at all.

    Also, my favourite line from Ever’s routine was: “You need a man to survive! Unless he’s following you at night – then you will die!”

    Also, don’t click my name at the moment because WordPress thinks that I’m trying to advertise something (I’m critiquing adverts) so they’ve suspended my blog, but I was writing an explanation about how focusing on only one body part of a woman is dehumanising and shouldn’t be done, when I googled “My face is up here” and stumbled upon a blog entitled something like “30-something man” whose entry opened with, “If you’re a man, then you will typically identify as a tits, ass or some-other-body-part man. I personally identify as a tits man blah blah blah…”

    So basically… We need a hero.

  161. qvaken

    And I just read about the PooPoop-U-Lator at this blog last night, and I think that that’s hilarious and brilliant… Jus’ sayin’.

  162. josquin

    gingerest: yeah, pretty much that. I don’t want to hear it. Tantrums do not typically elevate the discourse or encourage a thoughtful re-examination of one’s misconceptions. Let’s imagine that all indignation and disagreement on this blog was expressed by screaming, name-calling, and obscenities. How many of you would stick around? I sure as heck wouldn’t.

  163. pheeno

    Be Nice, WoC, your loudness, anger and impoliteness make racial discussions uncomfortable and don’t elevate discourse.

    Be Nice, feminists of any color, because your loudness, anger and impoliteness make sexism discussions uncomfortable and don’t elevate discourse.

    If you break these rules, we’ll be sure to put you in your place by insinuating you’re childish, hysterical, shrill, emotional and humorless.

    Of course, that’s not what *you’re* doing at all, amirite? You so totally have a different *intent*.

  164. pheeno

    “Pheeno – I hear you. I hear your distress, I hear your point, I hear that you experienced Mainard as racism, and I am so, so sorry that happened to you.”

    Thank you.

  165. gingerest

    Criticizing anger expressed by people who are members of marginalized groups is a classic silencing tactic. It’s used against feminists all the time. Pheeno has every right to her anger at racist comedy. (Not that her rights are mine to identify or grant, and not that this requires Whitesplaining.)

  166. josquin

    Pheeno – please do yourself a favor and understand that I am not specifically addressing WoC. I don’t care if you are white, black, beige, brown, male, female, none of the above – I’m stating my truth, which is that screaming and obscenities and name-calling lower the quality of my experience here. You have your reasons for coming here, and one of those reasons may be to vent your rage against commenters that you consider racist. That’s your thing. I come here primarily to read Twisty’s posts but also to have a chance to think about different points of view which are challenging to my existing ones, in addition to finding a forum of like-minded women. The screaming and put-downs don’t facilitate these aims. Just stating my truth, just asking if there might be a different way to express the feelings.

  167. pheeno

    “You have your reasons for coming here, and one of those reasons may be to vent your rage against commenters that you consider racist.”

    Try again. I come here to read about the same things you do, and on occasion (more than it should, really) I get kicked in the face with racist comments, WP comments or general ignorance about racial issues.

    If you don’t like my reaction to racism and WP, try calling out those who contribute to it or dismiss it and not those who are justifiably reacting to it.

    Yanno, focus on the actual problem and not the targets of it.

    And if you can’t, or that’s too much effort, feel free to scroll right the fuck on past my posts.

  168. pheeno

    “The screaming and put-downs don’t facilitate these aims.:”

    But racism does? Racist comments? White Privilege ignorance?

    Here’s a quote that sums it up pretty nicely-

    “I’m not responding direct to the privileged people anymore because I’m fucking tired. Because I’m not about to deal wit more privilege flailing, I’m walking away–not because I have the privilege of doing so, but because I know I’m going to encounter this shit again and I have to start walking because this pile of Hot Wet Mess is getting me stuck and I will have to do it again and this turn around the merry go round is over. and other people are getting off but here I am bolted down to the same horse I was on yesterday and before I’m even ready more people are going to get on the merry go round and this whole thing is going to spin around again. And just like every little privilege flail I see, the people who have been called on it are making it all about how they don’t like it and they’re just not perfect and aboo hoo hoo de fucking hoo. They just can’t handle the situation. They’re just so upset. Give them a hug and a blankie and a goddamn glass of warm milk.

    This is why so many anti-racist activists don’t bother with so many people. Because they tell things other people don;t like hearing, and they go and run and cry about how they just want to learn but it’s so hard because all those mean ass minorities are just not being nice about it and I’ve never had privilege I’m a woman/queer/never got into Harvard/don’t have a yacht and a McMansion.”

    h ttp://kittikattie.livejournal.com/796501.html

  169. Saurs

    That’s all well and good, josquin, but now that you know, definitively and beyond a shadow of a doubt, that pheeno is a WoC, it would probably be cool for you to not to continue to refer to her comments as “tantrums” and “screaming.” Tantrums are summat dudes do when women don’t bow down to their lordly peen. Women’s anger is always a good and productive thing, especially when it’s used to dismantle the patriarchy and push back against racism. pheeno’s (awesome) commentary was being ignored or misrepresented. Emphasizing certain words, emboldening things–this grabs folks’ attention and usually clears up confusion (real or feigned) doublequick.

  170. Wandering Uterus

    I’ve been on the CTA many times. Sometimes the red line. The only dudes who have harassed me on the CTA or around CTA stops have been black dudes. I’m guessing it’s similar for Mainard, but she didn’t need to resort to bullshit stereotypes for cheap humor.

    Besides, these dudes who harass/victimize are only a tiny fraction. The vast majority of black guys on or around the CTA just act like passengers because that’s what they are. Ordinary passengers.

    Dudes who loiter around outside of L stations for hours aren’t passengers and don’t behave as such. They have nowhere to go and are often aggressive. IBTP for telling oppressed people that the best recourse to its harm is to turn around and victimize someone else. This misdirected rage perpetuates the P; well-directed rage will fuel the revolution.

  171. Hari

    On the topic of expressing loud rage here: as a person given to intense expressions of my very strong feelings–also as a womyn who often creates a safe space for others to talk out their feelings, giving my time, ears and acceptance to them–I am all for it. It should be ok to speak out the way we really feel.

    And still. One of my own quests is to work at expressing the full extent of my feelings (including righteous rage) without bashing innocent bystanders over the head with it–without pointing it at those who are not actually accountable for hurting/oppressing/fucking-with me. People do tend to listen to me more freely, with more patience and empathy, when I give a thought to word choices and how I’m impacting my listener.

    And I know how triggering it is for me, as a survivor of abuse, to sit with those who are righteously enraged and start screaming at me as if I were the perpetrator of the harm they experienced. I ask not so much for someone to ‘tone it down’ as to keep it focussed where it belongs, to make it a little easier for me to bear witness to their deep pain and fury. Also, as this topic so clearly shows me–easier for me to learn more deeply and clearly as a white womyn, the realities of racism for PoC.

    Just saying–for whatever it may be worth.

  172. qvaken

    I’ve been trying to stay out of the argument because I’m white, and I wouldn’t get it, and I know that.

    When reading the argument, I felt uncomfortable too, but not because there was anger or name-calling – I just got uncomfortable because there was conflict, and I would have preferred that there not be conflict here. I like feeling comfortable here, because just about anywhere else I have to tense up, and expect opposition, and that can turn into fierce opposition, and that can turn into a whole group of people ganging up on me – and although I said that that can be really funny (and it can, when I’m in the right space and in the right mood), then it can also be fearsome, and then I silence myself, and then the world continues as people who feel benefited by the current system and the current popular discourse think it should, and the rest of us still feel crap, it’s just that we’re not saying so anymore.

    So okay, there’s conflict – but honestly? The conflict itself is a good thing. That’s not actually the thing that needs to stop.

    There’s a source to this conflict, and it’s related to race and racism. Sigh. The next part is hard to say. I don’t think that pheeno’s really had the chance to say what’s really, truly, definitely on her mind about exactly why it upset her, because she’s had to spend so much time arguing about it. Okay, but I want to say that she also doesn’t HAVE to say what’s really upsetting her about it, because that’s her choice. But I don’t think that she’s been GIVEN that choice – ie. She’s been told the message, “Don’t say that because x.” So she’s arguing instead, and appearing like she’s just difficult, but really she’s fighting to have the choice as to whether or not she would openly share what’s really, really on her mind about this difficult stuff.

    So I think that she should be able to come here and know that she CAN be free to say the really deep, hurtful stuff that’s on her mind, but having said that I’m not DEMANDING that she open up, either – she should have the freedom to choose.

    And my white guilt is now setting in, because I could have totally misunderstood the situation, and as I mentioned I couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like to experience racism, and if I’ve misunderstood or been offensive or put words into your mouth, then please tell me so and I will take that as a lesson learned and won’t do it again.

  173. buttercup

    Pheeno is awesome. One of my all time favorite blamers. She can yell and cuss all she wants unless Jill says stop. Incredible that she’s getting the tone argument yet again, here of all places.

    Pheeno, I’m ever in the neighborhood, the margaritas are on me.

  174. stacey

    @Hari, allow me to use your response as an example of what not to say to angry WoC in a Twisty thread. Accept my apologies in advance for ripping strips of your tender flesh; please consider it an experience for the common good, and not a personal attack.

    (emphases mine):

    …expressing the full extent of my feelings (including righteous rage) without bashing innocent bystanders over the head with it–without pointing it at those who are not actually accountable for hurting/oppressing/fucking-with me.

    … to sit with those who are righteously enraged and start screaming at me as if I were the perpetrator of the harm they experienced

    …as to keep it focussed where it belongs, to make it a little easier for me to bear witness

    Gotta tell you Hari, you’re jumping right up on that merry-go-round. Your reasonable, measured, and appeasing-sounding response is getting right up my WoC nose with its White Feminist Blinders to Other’s Oppression.

    There are no innocent bystanders here. We are all women – we are all part of the oppressed sex class. We all know what it feels like to be discounted, ignored, dismissed – and THEREFORE, you should recognize it when you see it. Women here have been told that there is racism in the clip, but they are busy discounting the perceptions of the WoC who bring it up; they are ENTIRELY accountable for perpetuating the white, privileged assumption that “it isn’t important” or that it’s significantly trumped by Mainerd’s rape.

    as if I were the perpetrator of the harm they experienced Actually, you are – as part of the White Privileged Class. When you have feminist rage, you see all men as oppressors. It is unspoken that of course, we don’t mean ALL men, there’s lots of men who blah blah my Nigel isn’t and we mean men as a class. So when you’re feeling as if the screamy person is holding you personally responsible, she certainly is – because you are part of that class. You can’t do anything about it. You were born into it. But you can damned well not perpetuate it.

    …to make it a little easier for me to bear witness Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. It is not a WoC’s job to lead you gently by the hand through the first principles of oppression. IT IS NOT HER JOB TO CODDLE YOU. The same way it’s not our job to explain soothingly to men that they’re oppressing us.

    Role play!

    Women: “Observe sexism
    Men: “WTF I DON’T DO THAT I’M OFFENDED STOP ATTACKING ME WHY ARE YOU SO ANGRY!!!”
    Women: “You want angry? I’ll give you angry, FUCKER.”
    Men: (ignores irrational bitchez)

    So we try…

    Women: “Oh sweetie, this is so unfair! (observe sexism).”
    Men: “Whu?”
    Women: “Oh sweetcheeks! See, it’s like (perfectly logical explanation of oppressive behaviour)
    Men: “WTF I DON’T DO THAT I’M OFFENDED STOP ATTACKING ME WHY ARE YOU SO ANGRY!!!”
    Women “Sigh.”

    This is pretty much what this whole thread had been like. Substitute “WoC” for “men” and “racism” for “sexism.” Easy peasy.

    In Conclusion:

    If someone calls you on racism, please take a moment to stop and consider that THEY MAY BE RIGHT. Did you say something that might be construed as racist? Did you miss a reference to something that isn’t not immediately clear to you because you come from a place of privilege? Did you laugh at that clip and now you’re embarrassed that you didn’t consider the racism inherent in mimicking stereotyped behaviours? This should be your response:

    “Holy crap, I’m terribly sorry.”

    Then, if you ask nicely , WoC may dissect for you the whys and wherefores, if you can’t immediately see what the racism is or where it is. We’d be happy to explain.

  175. stacey

    Argh Twisteh, I forgot to close a tag in my super-long post that is awaiting moderation. Fourth paragraph down. Many apologies.

  176. yttik

    Somebody wise once said, “tyrants fear being laughed at more then they fear an assassin’s bullet.”

    Laughter is power. No wonder women are so often deprived of it.

  177. ivyleaves

    Stacy – Awesome post. No white person should ever claim “I’m not a racist!” We are all racists, just as we are all sexist, because we have all been schooled in a sexist, racist society. We need to be ever vigilant at stamping it out in ourselves, and we should be thanking people who point out the residual crap we still are spewing because we don’t know enough yet. Not behaving like a racist is a lifetime job, not a conversion experience.

  178. pheeno

    “Laughter is power. No wonder women are so often deprived of it.”

    So we should start laughing at rape jokes? Or racist jokes? Or disability jokes?

    I get what you find funny about this vid, I really do. But it sounds like you’re suggesting that those who don’t find it funny are being humorless and those who don’t find it funny and instead experience it as racism are depriving other women of laughter.

    Honestly, that feels like it’s painting me into a corner. You get to be the WoC that agree with white people and I get to be the humorless WoC.

    I don’t believe that’s what you set out to do, but that’s how it feels from my point of view.

  179. yttik

    Agree with white people?! Ah gee Pheeno, I guess you can now complete that thought and just call me an apple or an oreo cookie or something.

    Listen, there is no hidden meaning in what I posted, no elaborate evil womanly plot to side with white people or silence you. Laughter is power, period. The more you learn to laugh, the more power you have.

  180. Twisty

    “The more you learn to laugh, the more power you have.” I think I heard that on Oprah. In any case, it’s backwards. Laughter is the exclusive purview of the powerful.

  181. yttik

    Laughter is a weapon of the powerless against the powerful, Twisty. Only the FBI lacks a sense of humor.

  182. ivyleaves

    Laughter is a weapon of oppression as well. I learned that in grade school.

  183. stacey

    Who benefits most? The oppressed laughing at oppressors? They probably don’t even notice. Oppressors laughing at the oppressed? Guess who feels shitty.

  184. pheeno

    “Agree with white people?! Ah gee Pheeno, I guess you can now complete that thought and just call me an apple or an oreo cookie or something.”

    That’s why I said *I don’t believe that’s what you set out to do.* I *know* that you’re just stating your opinion and perspective. But I’m also aware that some blamers here see that, compare it to mine and decide I’m being the unreasonable WoC.

    And you know as well as I do that happens, on any site when race comes up. The WoC unwilling to laugh, unwilling to cut some slack, unwilling to let it go is the WoC who is too sensitive, too angry, and unreasonable.

    *I* know it’s not an evil plot. I also know WP takes your opinion and it becomes the token WoC opinion to use against WoC like me who disagree.

    It doesn’t matter what your intent is. It doesn’t matter what MY intent is. Both will be used to the sole advantage of WP.

  185. IBlameRonPaul

    The intersection of race and gender is something I notice constantly, because I live in a city with one of the most impoverished black populations in America, and also one of the most gender-unequal workforces in the country (segregation by industry and pay, as noted in several academic studies).

    So the short story is, people are all fucked up about it and the white man is king of the shit pile (of course, he would be anywhere else, but it’s really bad here).

    Apparently, even though I’m in my early 30s, I pass for a high-school student. Which, for some reason, makes older black guys either want to give me fatherly advice (“You’re too young to do that – get back to your high school”) or ask me out. The latter is typically done politely, and when I say no and tell them I’m gay, it’s usually enough.

    The WHITE men though? Oh ho ho. I have white guys following me around the park when I’m trying to exercise, whooping out come-ons, and when I tell ‘em to get lost, I’m a c-word. When I’m coming home from the doctor’s, I get the rich, foreign white-guy grad students doing the “I don’t know English/what is a lesbian/I’ll just follow you home now” act. I’ve had white guys yell “TITS!” from passing trucks. The person who raped me was a big, fat, bald white guy. And I could go on.

    My guess as to why the white guys only act like this is because black guys feel, and rightly so, given that they can’t get jobs and are police targets, they’re the low persons on the totem pole and they’d better not make waves. Also, I live in a city where the police beat to shit a black honors student who was in the orchestra for possessing a…Mountain Dew bottle. Yep. We’re real enlightened on race-relations out here. Like, 1950s-enlightened.

    I was once mugged by two teenagers, who were dark-skinned and so maybe black – though they could have been Hispanic or Eastern Indian, or Southern Italian (it was dark). The coppers came to my house with mug shots and seemed REAL interested in getting me to pick just any 2 black guys out of the line up. They were disappointed and pissed off when I said, “Nah, can’t recognize any of these. Not gonna get a possibly innocent guy arrested. Sorry boutcha.”

  186. Twisty

    You can laugh if you’re oppressed but the oppressor will just think you’re a crackpot.

  187. IBlameRonPaul

    One thing I do, which is ageist of me, though, is “profile” any adolescent or young adult male between the ages of, say 15 and 23. It’s not race-specific. Most recently, I crossed the street because I was headed in the direction of 6 white dudes of about 17 years of age. I calculated their numbers and heights against mine and realized neither were in my favor. Ageist? Yes, I am, but I’ve learned the hard way that the late-teen/young adult male, especially when traveling in packs, can spell trouble for a woman.

  188. Hari

    stacey– now that you put it that way, it makes more sense to me.

  189. Twisty

    “I’ve learned the hard way that the late-teen/young adult male, especially when traveling in packs, can spell trouble for a woman.”

    No shit, they should all be caged.

  190. Jezebella

    It is a-okay with me if the oppressor thinks I’m a crackpot. This is my favorite thing to do in downtown traffic in New Orleans: I like to lunge for the locks and visibly lock my car doors (or pretend to, if they already are) when a group of be-suited and -tied white business dudes approaches to cross the street. They think I’m a crackpot, and I’m totally cracking myself up.

  191. AlienNumber

    Just wanted to point out that I had copied and pasted a very nice joke upstream. It has the word “pig” in it. Although “pig” is definitely not the word that landed that very nice – if I may say so – joke in moderation.

    Also, hey! Speaking of things that should’ve landed in moderation. I’m so glad there are no dudes here. Except Noel, who is awful. Noel = a big pile of yuck.

  192. nails

    pheeno
    “I don’t either. I do think that she used racist stereotypes of women to make her comedy more funny to mainstream audiences, because angry woc are easy to exploit for laughs.”

    I think so too. I got uncomfortable at the point when she started doing a impression of a stereotypical “uppity” WOC. I don’t know how there is an argument that it wasn’t racist- who else could she possibly be trying to portray with the voice and grammar and mannerisms? What was the point of doing the impression? What group is commonly associated with sounding uneducated and fiesty? Come on now, white blamers, get real about what you saw. Think about why a white comedian would use that version of the joke, why it would get so many more laughs than a non-racialized version of the same joke.

    “*I* know it’s not an evil plot. I also know WP takes your opinion and it becomes the token WoC opinion to use against WoC like me who disagree.”

    Completely. Upon hearing that at least one WOC is okay with it, even racist blamers can feel at ease about their enjoying the stereotype instead of doing the hard work of interrogating inner WP. It is not any fun, you often end up feeling like shit about yourself, but it is a lot easier than actually being subject to white privilege as a person of color, so it isn’t anything to whine about. I urge the white women here to take an extremely critical look inside themselves to discover what they enjoy about portrayals of WOC like the one in the video. You’re likely to find some ugliness. The only way to start ridding ourselves of racism is to become intimately aware of the racism that we all harbor. You can’t do much to overcome a problem if you don’t know it or name it. You all can do much better, I know you can.

  193. Cyberwulf

    All of my fellow Chalky McSnowballs, please have a look at this video:

    http://newblackwoman.com/2012/02/04/things-white-activists-say-to-activists-of-color/

  194. nails

    I also want to show some support to Kids in The Hall. Their dressing in drag was never for a cheap laugh, and the show had some really great female characters. I especially like Fran and the Kathies. It passes the bechdel test with flying colors, every episode. That show was also very progressive in showing a lot of gay and lesbian themed comedy routines that weren’t about denigrating gay people at all (like “steps” and the recurring animal liberation group). There are open discussions about feminism as a positive force on that show. There are things that aren’t so great, but it is better than 99% of sketch comedy out there. I can see why that may not matter to some blamers, but it matters to me. I have a serious interest in comedy that isn’t likely to fade soon, so I very much enjoy the relative feminism of shows like kids in the hall.

  195. Hari

    You know, stacey, I’m glad you asked me not to take your “shred Hari” post personally. Because you reminded me that I’d been taking pheeno/others personally, when they got so mad. That’s where I was coming from in writing the post you shredded, as if I was under attack while I was trying to listen to them. But they weren’t yelling at me–they were yelling at blamers who weren’t hearing them about racism, and yelling with good reason as you pointed out.

    So thanks for the reminder to be more clear, before responding, about might involve me personally and what doesn’t.

  196. pheeno

    Reposting Cyberwulf because this needs to be watched

    All of my fellow Chalky McSnowballs, please have a look at this video:

    ht tp://newblackwoman.com/2012/02/04/things-white-activists-say-to-activists-of-color/

    watch it, then go back and re-read this thread.

  197. josquin

    Wow, there’s so much groveling going on around here I feel like I stumbled into the BDSM thread.

  198. pheeno

    uh oh, someone’s not elevating discourse! Such snark doesn’t facilitate learning josquin!

  199. quixote

    AlienNumber, I went back upthread to look for the pig joke. Hilarious! Thank you. You’ve made my day.

  200. Twisty

    I thought, since this is the 200th comment, I might as well mention Hitler, just to get it out of the way.

  201. pheeno

    “I thought, since this is the 200th comment, I might as well mention Hitler, just to get it out of the way.”

    Ahhh hahaha-wait! Women aren’t funny and I didn’t find that hilarious because I’m a humorless, feminist, unreasonably LOUD WoC!!

    Thought you were being clever, did you Jill? Trying to be all funny like that. Consider yourself thwarted.

    I’ll see your party pooper and raise you a buzzkill.

  202. Darragh Murphy

    “I feel like I stumbled into the BDSM thread.”

    Har! That was funny!

    IBTP for training women to be terribly well skilled at abject apologizing and woefully inept at making challenging statements and defending them. Also for training women to attack women who do defend their own controversial positions with accusations of failure as a woman, a feminist, and/or a human being.

  203. josquin

    Pheeno, I clearly haven’t convinced you with my entreaties to turn down the volume of your “rage” against other commenters. (yeah, duh!!) Your sarcasm is skillfull and vicious, and I’m whimpy enough to be feel intimidated by it.
    I think fast-forwarding past your comments is a great suggestion, so thanks for that. I’m sure you’ll do the same for me. Onward and upward!

  204. Twisty

    Well, pheeno, I was gonna say that I’ve enjoyed your blaming on this one. Nails, too. But that wasn’t very funny, so I blew it off.

  205. josquin

    Who knew that a Hitler comment could lighten the mood? Twisty knew, in her wisdom. (laughing)

  206. gingerest

    That pig joke was awesome, AlienNumber.

  207. pheeno

    “Pheeno, I clearly haven’t convinced you with my entreaties to turn down the volume of your “rage” against other commenters. ”

    Hypocrisy tends to fail that way.

    So do extremely selective tone arguments :ie- I’m not the only person to use caps either before or after your “entreaty”, (in fact did not use any after) and had been having perfectly reasonable discussions with people since last night until you showed up this afternoon and made your own snarky comment. (which is ok for you to do, I suppose. But not me. When you’re doing it, it’s not “rage” against other commenters, right? It wasn’t implying they are grovelling BDSM submissives at all)

    So the lesson I’ve learned from you?

    1) only josquin can use snark

    2) pheeno cannot and when faced with racism or snarky comments she must be subdued in her response. Quiet. Prim and proper. In fact, Josquin dictates pheeno’s proper responses.

    But *I’m* the intimidating one.

  208. pheeno

    “Well, pheeno, I was gonna say that I’ve enjoyed your blaming on this one. Nails, too. But that wasn’t very funny, so I blew it off.”

    I am the blackhole where all comedy goes to die.

    *fist in air*

  209. Cyberwulf

    IBTP for training women to be terribly well skilled at abject apologizing and woefully inept at making challenging statements and defending them.

    Yeah, that’s what’s happening here, dumbass.

    josquin – nice to see you admitting to sticking your fingers in your ears and going “la-la-la” to a blamer who doesn’t conduct herself demurely enough for you. Did you even watch that video I linked? There’s no shouting or swearing to offend you.

  210. susanw

    Late to the party, but after reading the whole thread, how many times does pheeno have to say it before she’s heard?

  211. IBlameRonPaul

    “I’ve learned the hard way that the late-teen/young adult male, especially when traveling in packs, can spell trouble for a woman.”

    No shit, they should all be caged.

    The Good Men Project is run by a female creative director (in itself a rarity – only 3% of women are) who lectures women that it’s oppressive and sexist of us to avoid men on the street who are traveling in packs. That we women are actually responsible for creating and upholding the culture of violence and fear. Oh, and if we can’t get ahead in our careers because of bullying, sexual harassment, and a deeply gender-segregated workforce, it’s because we enjoy being victims.

    With women like that, who needs enemies? I told the dumb-fuck off while passing through that shit-show of a Web site.

  212. josquin

    Cyberwulf – I did watch the video and found it very helpful. Thanks for the link. The speaker was expressing the offense she takes at well-meaning but ignorant remarks – which struck home with me, a white woman who has probably made some of those very comments without understanding how hurtful or clueless they were. And yes – if she had been screaming and calling the viewer a fucking moron idiot I doubt I would have been able to watch it or receive her message.
    As for fast-forwarding past Pheeno’s comments- just following her original suggestion after all. There is time when we just have to move on.

  213. nails

    “IBTP for training women to be terribly well skilled at abject apologizing and woefully inept at making challenging statements and defending them.”

    I am sick and tired of this. When a woman of color asks you to apologize for doing something crappy to her it isn’t the same as a man asking you to apologize for having an opinion or existing. Your feelings being similar doesn’t make it the same thing.

  214. qvaken

    pheeno: I think that you should be allowed to say what’s on your mind. If I ever say something that you perceive as racism, and as being dangerous or unpleasant for you because of that – sock it to me.

  215. gingerest

    I don’t know if it much matters at this point, and I don’t know if Darragh Murphy meant it that way, but pheeno isn’t “woefully inept at making challenging statements and defending them.” She’s righteously pissed off, and her thesis is perfectly clear to me.

  216. stacey

    I was thinking about the apology thing earlier. In a scientific study of courtesy differences between Canadians and Americans, a totally unbiased source (my friend in San Francisco) led a rigorous study (at the playground, a couple of times) and found a fundamental difference in how American parents and Canadian parents encourage their children.

    She’d already had the experience of parenting one child through her toddler years in Vancouver, and the second was born after they’d moved. She was shocked at the difference in playground behaviour by the parents, although she hung with similar groups of people – mainly white, middle-to-upper-middle-class, attachment-parenting Gen-Xers. While parents at the playgrounds she frequented in Canada encouraged communal play, emphasized taking turns, and disciplined the children at instances of hitting or grabbing, the American playground parents told their kids to take control, to monopolize the toys, and generally ignored instances of line-jumping, angry displays, and rarely stepped in when children hit each other.

    My point, finally, is that maybe, because of their upbringing, American women find it hard to say the words “I’m sorry.” The model of individual dominance does not allow for backing down or making mistakes; there is no mechanism for saving face. I’d say from my experience with heated, in-person arguments (usually working with non-profit organizations), that after a blow-up, both parties apologise (for rudeness) and that allows discussion to move onward. The apology might not happen the same day, or the same week, but it seems to be an implicitly understood process – that by apologising (even if you’re not actually sorry) allows the discussion to resume on an even, clean-slate footing.

  217. pheeno

    “the American playground parents told their kids to take control, to monopolize the toys, and generally ignored instances of line-jumping, angry displays, and rarely stepped in when children hit each other”

    Sooooo not how we were raised in the South.

    “And yes – if she had been screaming and calling the viewer a fucking moron idiot I doubt I would have been able to watch it or receive her message.”

    This isn’t even just WP anymore. That? Racism. Pure and unadulterated. People who can’t hear PoC express their hurt at racial oppression unless they take those white fee fee’s into consideration- racists.

    No different than punching someone in the face and ignoring them unless they kiss your ass while telling you that it hurt.

    Repugnant.

  218. cellocat

    Josquin, you haven’t even done pheeno the courtesy of acknowledging one of her main points, that the comedy routine relies on stereotypes of WoC. Rather than responding to what she’s actually saying, you’ve been spending a lot of time criticizing her tone. Then you get mad when she doesn’t acquiese to your “request” to communicate in a style you find more comfortable. I’d suggest that if you want a certain level of respect or consideration, it’d be a good idea to extend it yourself.

  219. alamo

    “the American playground parents told their kids to take control, to monopolize the toys, and generally ignored instances of line-jumping, angry displays, and rarely stepped in when children hit each other.”

    I’ve been to a lot of American playgrounds and I have never seen this happen. I’d like to see this study. Can you give the reference?

  220. stacey

    @alamo:

    … a totally unbiased source (my friend in San Francisco) led a rigorous study (at the playground, a couple of times)…

    I’m being completely facetious. However, the acknowledged marked difference between Americans (as a melting pot) and Canadians (as a multicultural society) necessarily means that Americans must carve out their own distinction and power, whereas Canadians can distribute power based on community and collaboration.

    This is something Canadians discuss a lot, in relation to the US. Americans don’t usually consider it, being the economic and cultural power in these parts.

  221. Ginjoint

    Stacey, I’ve noticed a tendency for Canadians to be unbearably sanctimonious at times. But then I stop myself, and say, “Jeez, Ginjoint, that’s a sweeping, unfair generalization! And based on what, exactly?” It helps me from posting sweeping, unfair generalizations on the web.

  222. pheeno

    “However, the acknowledged marked difference between Americans (as a melting pot) and Canadians (as a multicultural society)”

    That whole melting pot thing is just a nice way of saying society has forced immigrants to give up their culture (especially if they’re brown immigrants) after colonizing the hell out of the Indigenous.

    Multicultural is paying lip service to the brown immigrants after colonizing the hell out of the Indigenous.

  223. stacey

    Ginjoint, if you don’t practice it, then I’m not talking about you, right? Garrrh.

    It’s totally true of our (Canadian) media, however. Pick up any newspaper or newsmag and there’s bound to be an article or column mentioning our differences with (and disadvantages to) Americans. When you live next to a world power, and the world thinks of you as “USA-Lite”, it’s hard not to. And again, facetiousness is my byword.

    pheeno,I know. I sadly know. But as a WoC in Canada, I find the lip service at least shuts down The Man pretty quickly when they start spouting off.

  224. Swanhilde

    Re: young dudes in packs: teenagers till age 25 or even 30, if I see them in groups, I become hyper-alert and avoid them if it is convenient to do so. If I’m on the bus or the train with them and they start shouting or laughing (as they are wont to do) and the volume level ratchets up, I make myself as unobtrusive as possible and mentally prepare for a demonstration of violence, harassment, or general hooliganism.

    I used to be angry at myself for being afraid, and also felt some guilt about distrusting guys I don’t even know, but you know what? I BELIEVE IN MATH. As a student of policy studies, I’ve seen the statistics in peer-reviewed research. Men are at their most violent from ages 16-25 (approx). They can be hateful and dangerous at any age, but let’s get real: young dudes are scariest, and in packs they feel immune to shame/unaccountable, and more inclined to compete with each other to be the most aggressive or fearless.

    Also, I’m always astonished that profanity/curse words are deeply unpleasant and offensive to some people. My Mom is like that. She cringes at the F-word and will pan a movie if there’s a lot of cursing in the dialogue. I am seriously curious about this phenomenon. I seldom curse in person, or in formal environments, because I understand that cursing is “bad manners.” The curse words themselves don’t bother me at all.

    If they’re not used in a threatening or personal context, why are curse words so offensive to some people? I want to understand this.

  225. pheeno

    I lived in Alberta for 2 years and it really annoyed my (Canadian) Nigel that I didn’t notice much difference between Americans and Canadians. Both Albertans and Texans react in the same defensive manner when you point out they’re living on stolen land though.Some bigotry doesn’t change with geography it seems.

  226. Rachel

    As someone popping in after the thread is basically over, that was indeed some mightily racist shit right there, and I thought pheeno’s response was remarkable for its restraint and tact, considering.

    Hey Nails,

    If you’re looking for good sketch comedy that isn’t horribly offensive (I turned off Kids in the Hall after trying one episode, but because you’re endorsing it, I’ll give it another chance) have you tried That Mitchell & Webb Show? It is awesome and streams on Netflix.

  227. Ginjoint

    Too often I’ve seen that “if it ain’t about you, don’t make it about you” used as a reeeallly convenient excuse for posting crappy, sweeping generalizations about a group and trying to get away with it. Garrrrh back atcha, I guess.

  228. qvaken

    @Swanhilde: I was raised in a pretty swearalicious family, and I never had a problem with it. It was getting into an abusive relationship, where he habitually yelled at both myself and his son that we were all sorts of colourful words, and then escaping that just to move into a home with a couple who routinely scream-fought and swore and told each other how shit they were, that made me realise that swearing can be pretty intimidating in certain settings…

    Having said that: I must confess that I didn’t feel that here, though. I don’t think that anybody was being abusive, just frustrated!

  229. stacey

    You’re right, of course, Ginjoint. I do like (sometimes) being the sanctimonious Canadian, but that doesn’t excuse generalizations. I’m sorry for offending you, then brushing it off.

  230. quixote

    qvaken, re swearing. I object to some swearing because I can’t get away from what it means. If somebody says “go to hell” to mean “I hope you suffer / get lost” that makes sense, so okay. If somebody says “get fucked,” it makes no sense if they mean fuck in the sense of sex. “Oh, go get laid” isn’t much of a curse. “Fuck” derives its power from really meaning “go get raped.” And there are so many layers to what’s wrong with it that it makes me mad every time. (Yeah, I’m mad a lot.) To start with there’s the lack of any distinction between sex and rape, which lays down a tiny droplet of confirmation of the old rape culture in all our minds every time we hear or use it. Then there’s the general understanding that women are the fuckees, so it’s grossly anti-woman. Then there’s using a real horrible crime that ruins hundreds of millions of lives as throwaway punctuation. And so on. So it bothers me.

    I have no idea if meanings bother anyone else. I’ve never heard anyone else complain. But that’s my problem with (some of) it.

    Swear words can also bother me when somebody seems to be using them not to communicate but to prove how edgy and cool they are. So they recycle the same five words in every sentence until I want to bean them with a thesaurus.

  231. Darragh Murphy

    Quixote, absolutely agree. “Bean them with a thesaurus.” Funny!

    Some feel shame about watching Toddlers and Tiaras and whatnot. I am ashamed of being fond of the curse word “motherfucker.” For some reason it just sounds so emphatic and badass and I often catch myself and bite my tongue just before I let it rip. Because it’s even more misogynistic than plain old “fuck.”

  232. Ginjoint

    Stacey,I punched in the phrase “It’s no big deal” into Google translate, so I could put it here in French to be all smarty-pants, and the translation it gave was “C’est pas une grosse affaire,” which struck me as a bit over the top. I’m sure you get the point, however.

    Also, my own defensiveness as an American added to this kerfuffle, for which I apologize to you. We’re Homer Simpson to your Ned Flanders, everyone knows that.

  233. qvaken

    @quixote: You’re right about the meaning thing. And I’m guilty of using curse words that really put down a lot of people. I’m resistant to using words that are directly hateful towards, for instance, black people, indigenous people, gays or lesbians (you know the ones that I’m thinking of). I also hate, hate, hate the nickname for vaginas/vulvas that likens them to cats. But then, I’ll use some words, like “suck my dick” when I’m trying to be funny (it’s funny because I don’t have a dick), or “c**t” when I’m really, really angry (much less frequently). And those are both particularly horrible against women, and it’s high time I stopped using them.

  234. Chris

    Well wow. Guess you all don’t know that Ever is 1/2 African American. Is it OK now??

  235. stacey

    She’s of mixed ethnicity? Well it certainly mitigates somewhat. But because she presents as totally white, it would have been nice to have some inkling of that in the clip, or the clip’s description. Otherwise someone might be watching this AND THINK IT’S RACIST.

  236. pheeno

    Nope. It’s not ok. It wouldn’t be ok if I threw fellow NA women under the bus for laughs either, because I’m a half breed.

    Being a part of the race you’re stereotyping and mocking does not lessen to contribution of overall harm done to the racially oppressed as a whole. Especially when presenting as part of the Dominant group, and speaking to an audience made up of the Dominant group.

    It’s still perpetuating racism. It’s still perpetuating the idea that certain woman can be mocked at will, and it’s hilarious to do so.

    It’s just as racist as Phyllis Schlafly is sexist.

    Men should stop treating feminists like ladies, and instead treat them like the men they say they want to be.
    Phyllis Schlafly

    Does that stop being sexist because a woman said it?

  237. Ciccina

    Holy crap. I’m amazed people are calling this racist.

    I read the video *exactly* the way yttik did, re: this comment –

    yttik
    February 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    She saw a strange man in an alley late at night and thought “rapist.” He saw a white woman and thought “racist.” Both of them made preconceived judgments based on cultural narratives. Neither of them were correct since he did not rape her and she did not oppress him….

    Except that I live in Washington rather than Chicago, I’d swear that I’d encountered this same guy a number of times. I laughed at Mainard’s bit because the same the voice pipes up in my head – gee, I wonder if this guy thinks I’m racist for avoiding him? Which *is* freaking hilarious, because what should matter more to you? Your own physical safety, or what some imaginary observer *might* infer from your actions, were this critic real and observing the situation? (Don’t get me started about what the man himself might think, because if he didn’t want me to suspect him, he could stop the pacing / following / staring routine).

    I could go on and on about the dozen of different ways Mainard hit on sore points at the intersection of gender and race. If she had told this story but changed the character of the man to a white businessman, for example, those points would have been lost.

  238. Lidon

    I also hate, hate, hate the nickname for vaginas/vulvas that likens them to cats.

    Good god. Glad I’m not the only one. I swear every time that’s used, my lifespan grows shorter. IBTP

  239. pheeno

    “Both of them made preconceived judgments based on cultural narratives.”

    No. One of them is a cultural narrative. (stranger danger, when the stats don’t back it up)

    ALL white people are racist. It’s unavoidable. Just like ALL men are misogynists.

    You can’t grow up in the P as a member of the dominant group and escape that shit.

  240. Minerva

    I’ve got to say, almost all my rapists have been white. One was from Argentina, but that was while I was in Spain, and considering their high numbers of immigration from Latin America (extending a helping hand to the countries that helped them get out under Franco’s rule), it makes sense. I have always found black men to be appreciative but respectful, and most likely a little wary, probably because they live in fear of being accused of raping a white woman. I think the vast majority of black rapists prey on (poor) black women, who are among the most marginalized of all people in our great country. That’s not to say that plenty of white men don’t rape black women too, the majority of them prostitutes.

  241. Erin

    Ever Mainard is hilarious. In this shtick she dared to go into a gender/racial territory that very few people in this thread are capable of conceptualizing. I especially appreciate the revealing racial needs of Stacey a few comments above. Stacey wishes that Ever Mainard had disclosed her racial background to make what she said on stage somehow ‘OK.’ Ever is obviously a woman. Too bad the rest of her isn’t obvious. If that’s not racism, I don’t know what is

    Also, this needs to be made clear. Ever Mainard is a comedian. A real one. This film was taken in a comedy club and not in an office or grocery store. Why do I get the feeling most of the people in this thread don’t indulge in stand up comedy on a regular basis?

  242. pheeno

    Oh ho! You stupid woc here just can’t conceptualize gender/race like this comedian can!! And shame on you Stacey for wishing to know if you’re dealing with run of the mill white folk racism or internalized racism often expressed by woc!

    And extra shame on me I suppose, for recognizing this “conceptualization” contributes to racism either way!

  243. stacey

    Well, pheeno and I already revoked Ever’s invitation to the monthly Angry Women of Colour Open Mic Night, so too little, too late, Erin.

  244. stacey

    Note for Twisty: the above “stacey” is also me. I used the wrong email, because the page still won’t pre-fill our names and emails for us. #firstworldradfemproblems

  245. GMM

    “Men should stop treating feminists like ladies, and instead treat them like the men they say they want to be.
    Phyllis Schlafly”

    I’ve heard this from MRAs, what exactly does this mean? That men beat up other men all the time, so if you want “equality,” be prepared to be beaten up? There’s an implied threat in that statement.

    I don’t want to be treated like a man, just a human being.

  246. pheeno

    The threat isn’t even implied.

  247. pheeno

    Meaning, it’s basically stated right out.

  248. qvaken

    Yeah, if WOC’s perceives something to be racist and sexist, then just trust them on that one, for eff’s sake. Not that you MUST feel the same way as them, but you should respect them when they state their perspective.

    And yes, the threat against women is outright stated. It’s trying to argue that if women want equality, then they should expect to be roughed up, and to have to work hard for long hours at low-paying jobs, and to not get money from other people. Because, you know, these things aren’t happening already, and they’re definitely not happening so much so that they’re the exact effects that the patriarchy has on women that we’d like to see diminished in coming years.

  249. qvaken

    *if WOCs perceive something…

  250. nails

    I am late but yes, I fully support the mitchell and webb look. Their satire of “Dairy of a Call Girl” was fucking amazing.

    “some women find it really empowering to….”

    “make a living?”

    HA!

  251. Cyberwulf

    I fully support the mitchell and webb look

    Their sketch about advertising targeted at women vs advertising targeted at men is spot on, too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9fFOelpE_8

  252. Anne

    Also, this needs to be made clear. Ever Mainard is a comedian. A real one. This film was taken in a comedy club and not in an office or grocery store.

    Oh! It was a joke! Boy don’t I feel silly. I thought the videographer was eavesdropping on a sexual assault hotline. Well that clears everything up because once something’s said in joke form it’s never problematic.

    @nails – That Mitchell and Webb Diary parody is surprisingly hilariously clueful.

    “They don’t want to, uh…”
    “Starve”
    “Temp! They don’t want to temp!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>