Check out this article by the amazing Gina Barreca on women’s humor in a “post-Sarah Silverman world”! Gina was a professor and mentor of mine up at the University of Connecticut, and she wrote the preface to my book Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer. Wildly funny in her own right, she regularly examines the power of humor in our daily lives. If you’re looking for a good laugh and some insight, this most recent article of hers won’t let you down!
Novelist Fay Weldon instructs us that, “Comedy is the most crucial thing we have left in a world that’s coming apart.”
Comedy in all its familiar forms–from novels to films, from cartoons to stand-up comedy, from humor in the workplace to humor in intimate relationships–can help women recognize new sources of power within themselves. The productive use of humor is a challenge facing a generation of women who have grown up only half-recognizing the power of their own laughter.
Humor gives women a chance to criticize without pain, express our anger without injury and deflate someone’s pretensions while allowing them their dignity. A joke correctly placed can open doors, repair damage and avoid crisis. On the other hand, a joke badly placed can cut communication, cause embarrassment and create irreparable harm. A joke is never just a joke; it’s all about power and voice. And a gag can stifle your voice, shut you up if the gag is placed over your mouth–or allow you to be heard more clearly than ever before, with the fabulous, fierce triumph of the last laugh.