Power of Comedy and Gender Expectations

This weeks readings and videos highlights one of the most common, and persistent double standards held by our society: Gender expectations. A white male comedian can most often be applauded for exploring risque topics, crass humor, and doing whatever he pleases. However, the moment a female comedian walks onto the stage, she is criticized from what she wears to the topics and humor styles used. All of a sudden, wardrobe style determines how funny an individual is. Even though I believe as a society we are more aware of this double standard, it is still extremely pertinent in the media. Look back at the last two years of the presidential candidate race. Reporters were more often commenting on Hillary Clinton’s choice of clothing than her current political actions. Donald Trump’s clothing was very rarely commented on. Look at red carpet award shows, magazines, celebrity update news shows, when asking about fashion, the majority of the time is spent on comparing the women. We have strict expectations of each gender, which feed into supporting the current system. Female comedians have broken one of the restrictions and have earned a place of power. Any minority, when taking the identity of a comedian, gains power, especially when they use charged humor. Minorities have taken back their status and are using it to change the system. Recognizing the power in comedy is extremely important. Recognizing the change it can bring, is even more important. While many refuse to acknowledge the power of comedy when it serves their beliefs, ignoring it increases the potential to change.


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