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By Madeline Perez

When I was in 10th grade, my life was changed forever. While my class was taking a math test, a boy suddenly stood up and made his way to a desk haphazardly placed in the front of the room. Curious. Though we were balls-deep in geometry, a different brand of confusion swept over me and my peers. Moments after sitting down in this new seat, the student broke every societal law and horrified us all. He farted. “Sorry,” he smirked. “I didn’t think that was right to do in my own seat.” The earth stopped its rotation and held still. The entire school seemed to hold its breath. And then break. Chaos. The class went absolutely bananas, and I didn’t blame them. I said “click” like Cam Jansen and committed the moment to my photographic memory that sometimes helps me solve mysteries. Though it was hilarious, part of me always wondered what would’ve happened if a girl had pulled such a stunt (if girls could fart), and whether we could ever live in the glimmering free-ice cream utopia where that would warrant the same reaction. This is the world I want you to consider, and with Valentine’s Day sometime around the date this will be published, what better time to reconsider your notions about the genital dichotomy?

Stand up comedy. As a chronic insomniac who can’t be alone with her own thoughts for more than 3 minutes, I have unfortunately listened to a shit ton. Now, after years of listening, one thing rings true above all others. Male comedians are obsessed with their penises. If I have to listen to one more joke about how you jerked off 7 times in secret during Thanksgiving and then came all over your ceiling fan or whatever the shit, I am going to blow my brains out. Bad masturbation jokes plague the comedy scene almost as severely as an unnamed virus has been plaguing the continental United States for the past year. And yet, they are well received and loved by those people brave enough to go to a comedy show. Now, I have seen far too many talented female comedians with well thought out sexual jokes bless undeserving audiences who get too uncomfortable listening to a woman joke about the same things men build their whole careers talking about. No, I’m not talking about Amy Schumer because her jokes actually are bad and the good ones are stolen. While I’ve witnessed the bias against female sexuality in comedy get better with time, it’s still prominent. And if you’re thinking “haha it’s because women can’t be funny lol” I say touché, but I hope that thought can console you while you lie lonely at night with only expired vaseline and a blow-up doll under your bed to comfort you. 

The main reason why this persists is because dicks are funny but vaginas are not. But why is that? Why were my high school’s cafeteria tables and architectural columns riddled with penises rather than pussies? The conversation is actually more nuanced than you might think. The best way I could explain this simply is the use of the “quirky yet loveable protagonist male-nudity” trope in comedy. We’ve seen this in movies like Deadpool, Old School, American Pie, The Hangover…I could go on but I really don’t want to. Male-nudity is seen as vulnerable or embarrassing–and therefore funny–but it would be almost impossible to present a woman in these same situations without giving the audience sexual undertones. Women are often seen as sexual beings, while other men are just–you know–vibing I guess. It’s hard to portray a healthy female body as shameful in media in the way that men’s bodies are used as punchlines. People have trouble considering vaginas and “tiddies” outside of a serious or sexual context since that’s the only context they’ve ever known. Dicks, on the other hand, are funny because they can exist outside of that sexual context. Joking about “Peepee” can provide a more relatable and honest connection to the audience. Almost everyone can relate to shame and vulnerability, but many can also feel alienated when something they view as inherently sexy is framed in a realistic or funny context. 

Another reason for this differentiation is the supersaturation of the comedy scene with male-based masturbation and “haha penis” humor. Essentially, we all have been desensitized to dick jokes. Due to the severe lack of pussy jokes, when one manages to slip through society’s cracks and hit the virgin ears of the public, the reaction is sometimes “ew wtf”. This phenomenon is actually mirrored by the commodification of penises and vaginas on the genital market. That was a normal sentence. Since you all love economics so much–because of the influx of desperate men and unsolicited dick pics, cock stock has been effectively run into the ground. Meanwhile, because of its relative rarity, pussy has attained powerful diamond status, allowing straight women to be picky choosey with men, but also forced to live under stronger societal pressure to be sexually reserved. And so–as men struggle to be taken seriously as a viable sexual option, women struggle to break out of that box and be casual with their sexuality the way men can. It’s easy to see how these unspoken metaphorical chains shackle both sides. 

Now, I can sense the fire in your heart is burning with unbridled passion about this topic. You want to help bridge this gap in which many female comedians have fallen to their death, and understandably so. “BUT HOW??” you beg to a mocking God who refuses to answer. I’ve got your answer. Expose yourself…to a diverse group of comedians, and if at some point you get uncomfortable with what you’re hearing, maybe ask yourself why that is. Give women a fighting chance. And women–be more confident about your sexuality! Make jokes! Talk about vulnerable topics! Horny women have been oppressed for decades and I will stand for it no longer. The idealist in me hopes for a future where everyone can be openly disgusting, and not just the select few who can stand when they pee. But until that day comes, prepare yourself for its arrival. 

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