My Response To A TV Journalist –Who Wrote That Whitney Cummings ‘Yelled’ In Her Comedy Act. (So Her TV Show Should Bomb..?)
Warning: For Over 18 Year Olds : Rated M : due to language, imagery, and because the journalist may want his MAMMA after reading my comment to him.
Re: WHITNEY — Premiere Episode
[ I will look up the link and name of Entertainment journal where I sent this comment! I copied and pasted MY comment part to a notepad in my iPhone, neglecting to also copy the URL of who I was sounding off to. ----Typical. ]
I don’t know if Jesse Carp is male or female, but I am guessing ‘male’ because of what he wrote above. I mean, not saying that some females don’t take to Whitney Cummings’ stand up act– I just think the article above smacks of ‘Oh what a LOUD WOMAN’ sentiment that comes from males because her volume makes Whitney less attractive and femmy.
Whitney Cummings is a type of comic whose humor (hilarity) rests on the ‘reveal’. She exposes truths, in a comedic form of delivery, of stuff that’s not publicly, or politely, spoken. She’s a rare bird, in that she’s a woman who can get away with saying things that women never have been free enough to admit, stuff that’s too ballsey to admit, and actually IS the female experience but are things that women systematically never say out loud, because it renders women that say this kind of content : unappealing. Unattractive.
Whitney talks about women’s sexual experiences with men. Maybe she is the first and only one to really get away with it, because she’s so undeniably attractive. She looks like a man magnet. She talks like a longshoreman. Therein, lies her charm. That, and how she flat out describes how unattractive balls are. (For example.) Whitney does so humorously, as well.
If you are a woman, Jesse, I would expect that instead of you talking about her voice and vocal delivery; that you knock Whitney’s looks in some way. I’ve seen that type of girl-on-girl nastiness before, on the net, by women about Whitney Cummings.
Perhaps you think I am being biased in my gender assumptions. You would be right.
But one of the strongest reasons for Whitney’s stand up success is because for years, and currently too, we women have bent ourselves into a non-gendered comedy audience as male after male comedian delivered comedy, as a majority, and delivered male perspective material with a dirty profanity laced style, and we all accepted that as a common comedian trait. But it really was a lisence we, culturally, allowed males only. We made pretend, even when the male standup’s content disparaged us as women, or as a gender, or some of us due to our looks or level of attractiveness, as something we found just as funny as men did.
We also made pretend that we didn’t notice that the male comics were very unattractive, if they were, or worse, that they didn’t insult us when they did. We didn’t admit, (most of us didn’t see) how underrepresented our side, our own human experience, WAS. Even through these modern times, of equality, of political correctness. Of ‘friends with benefits.’
As long as we only cared how femmy-polite we remained, and focused on how attractive we were perceived. Which entailed a societal agreed upon social contract, that we as women would make pretend we didn’t have eyed that see in our own sexual experiences. That we would never step over any line that may risk our responsibility of a gender wide maintenance of politeness in every area. And, under no circumstances, do anything to lose even a smidgen of each of our individual female attractiveness quotient.
Which includes f-ability. We rarely have had standup comedians, in female form, who in their content, admit that we notice how attractive, unattractive, or comical sex can be. We as women don’t dare admit we are physically attracted to some men and not others, or have discrimination and taste altogether, when it comes to the opposite sex.
Uh Uh. Because it’s considered ball-breaking. It’s radical, even in these current times. It makes men, and even some women, uncomfortable because it’s so rad.
Men commonly respond to such a kind of radicalism in a ‘can’t stand how she makes herself unfuckable’ kind of reaction, if they are bugged by Whitney. Women who don’t like her attack her looks, or her age, or in some kind of competitive manner, not remarking about Whitney’s talent or how funny she may be. Neither gender seems to be aware that their crits aren’t comedy-based.
The crits are similar, in fact. Men are mad because Whitney is a very faceable looking woman who is behaving like a very unfuckable unappealing ball breaking type (what a loss, what’s wrong with her that she isn’t prioritizing how attractive she is to men, by being quiet! Shut up and look pretty!)
Women are mad at Whitney because she’s more attractive than most women. Maybe they’re jealous because they know that she can state what’s true and still she’s fuckable, to men. Or, maybe maybe they’re conservative sensibility is insulted by her ‘dirty’ content. Or both.
Which brings me to my core reason for commenting. Forgive my ballsey-ness for this, because I am not about to talk and reveal some commonly shared ‘dirty’ truths from a gender-based perspective…but because I am going to outright correct you.
You not only seemed to revel in the ‘fact’ that Whitney’s show wasn’t funny (I actually found it better than expected, especially for a 1st episode. Maybe that was because it was a show where my gender was at least represented, in the writing.)
But you misrepresented why you were glad that you felt critics didn’t like Whitney’s TV show. You assumed it was because Whitney is not funny to you (as your reason was her voice volume?) in her standup act.
Whitney’s TV show has a huge handicap that is going to be near impossible to successfully overcome. Clearly, the network execs picked Whitney because she’s eye candy, with her own comedy act. On TV, it’s really all about the eye candy, especially when casting women.
Conversely, TV is as safe as you can get, and sexual content is censored. That is, if it gets that far so as to be written into a script. So much about Whitney that is so hilarious is how down, dirty, and revealing she is, in her standup act, about sex.
For the network to create a show without that particular spunk, is simply expecting her to be just as great, without the good stuff. Which reduces Whitney to simple, common, generic TV, eye candy.
That kind of typical gender reduction that we are so accustomed to, on television, has always innately restricted the funny. Take Whitney’s uniqueness away really gives her a near-indomitable challenge.
She may be ballsey enough, loud enough, powerful yet still male-fuckable enough, to meet that challenge. I’ll be watching to see if she does.
So don’t wack off (oh sorry –I meant WRITE OFF) the Whitney show, and or Whitney Cummings just yet.
Either way, I feel great because she’s surely going to be yelling, and truth baring; as a standup with or without a show on a anal, tight ass, buttoned up, blinder wearing, truth restricting, gender biased TV network.
At least, I hope so.
…Because acting careers are very different for ACTRESSES than for ACTORS.
Sunday, April 17th, 2011
This past week, Oprah had on many of Saturday Night Live’s past cast members. (As part of Oprah’s final goodbye series to her afternoon network talk-show.)
There was something outstanding, that all the female cast members, were currently doing; and which they shared as fulfilling as being a cast member on Saturday night Live…and as strong a desire, prior to doing so, as was comedy acting.
It was being a mother.
I think it was Molly Shannon who said how lucky she felt, that she was able to accomplish both, in her adult life. An amazing acting opportunity, as a cast member of Saturday Night Live. And, currently, to be able to have children, and be with them, at this second period, of fulfillment, in her life.
If you ask a little boy what he wants to be when he grows up, he will give a profession of some kind, as his answer.
If you ask a little girl, she will say Mother. Or mother and a professional person of some kind.
When my son was in preschool, I was astonished to see that the pretend games the kids played were gender different. Nobody influenced them, it was total free-play. The boys stayed in the sandbox (built buildings and bombed them, or wilder physical wrestling stuff), junglegym, or played with trucks.
The girls played house. They did. They carried babies, they went inside a little plastic hut. And they roped in a boy or two to be the husband. (Perhaps the boys who acquiesed will be actors, someday!)
My point is not that men don’t want to be Dads. Or that feminism was wrong.
I am a strong woman and still consider myself a feminist, that women should be free to earn their money and actualize their talents, as professionals. My beliefs; certainly, fiercely.
When I stopped acting, it was so that I, too, could be a full-time mother.
If you ask a man what ‘he does’ he will answer his profession. A man is defined by his business card.
If a ask a woman, no matter what she answers due to socio-cultural influences; what she really does, or defines herself by is at least two full time jobs, maybe three: her professional job, her mothering job, and her relationship role.
Being a mother, by itself, is a 24 hour a day, triple full time job.
Being an actress requires more effort than most other professions demand.
I’ve always felt that, as women, our strong need for fulfillment in more than one area, and all the effort that even one of them requires to do successfully; even, at all…is what has compromised us, as women, in gaining as much success in the workplace as the world pretends we do, or that we set out to in the women’s movement. The women’s movement left out mothering, altogether.
Hollywood, and the film and television industry; generally portray us as a simplified version of one of the three great aspirations that most women in this country, in our culture, desire to be in their lifetimes, in order to be fulfilled.
I do mean simplified. Extremely simplified, often to the point of not being human. Most of the ‘people’ in movies, and TV, are men. Much of the depth of the roles that women play don’t have much depth at all. The roles are often written as ideas of people, very simple ideas at that. Idealized roles, and rarely authentically fleshed out. (Even when extremely fleshy!)
The women are often only there to be an accent inside the male characters’ stories. Or an object of affection, in some way or another.
Most female acting roles are to play the third goal in a woman’s life, that I mentioned above: that of the love partner. Because the arts have to do with romance, and love can be very dramatic; we as women actors get to play the lover. Or the love interest. Or the one who is a pretty person partner in intimacy that is onscreen to accent the story of the script, in some way; the story which almost always, is about the man. Or something in the man’s life, or profession.
On any movie screen, in any theater, at any time, count the number of actors who are male. Then count the females, the actresses. On one hand. All different ages and attractiveness and minorities are up onscreen, and they are almost all male. Males are people in movies. Women are not-so-much.
As in life, we actresses feel a duality. We are happy to be the object of desire, to be loved is to be adored. We see this as in almost every female role in the movies. As actresses, the object of desire is just about the only role we get to play. Or the role of ‘the friend of ‘ the beautiful actress, who almost always must not be a ‘type’ who could ever be cast as an ‘object of desire’. (To make sure that the audience gets doesn’t mix up the two, generic, and common female entertainment archetypes. Either one of these two choices, an actress can hope to play, in an acting career.)
In life, however, we adore and hope to be adored. We hope to attract, and do have attractions. Our love relationship, our primary intimate coupling, is important to us. As women, we know that that’s not all we aspire to in our lives. Hollywood doesn’t, not yet.
Am I generalizing? Yes, of course.
But, do me a favor next time you are watching anything on film. Count how many actors are on the screen, of each gender. Then, notice what are the different roles…
Food for thought, hm?
I have a lot to write about here. I have so much to say, so much to cover, that I didn’t know how to begin this topic, even after I put up a tab in the nav bar. Today, I just jumped in and made a start. This is it.
As ever, I firmly believe that nothing good can come with our heads buried in the sand. Not even in beautiful Malibu. That only by talking about what really is, can any good possibly, and probably, evolve.
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