Are Women Funny?

Sarah Ratzlaff


Are women funny? As a female this is a hard question to answer. You don’t want to be hating on your fellow sistas but at the same time you want to answer the question truthfully. Generally speaking, in society’s eyes, the majority of women are not funny.

I did a survey where I asked a number of teens from different schools gender based questions, mainly focusing on women vs. men in various respects. There was a consistent pattern found in every survey. There was a general consensus among genders that men and females were equally smart and that intelligence depends on that person — not the gender. Each gender agreed that gender equality in any context was important.

However, the results for the comedic questions referring to men vs. women were astounding. 75% of men thought that women were not funny and 52% of women had the same sentiment. These opinions were not stated by egotistical alpha males. These were statements made by both females and males who support gender equality but simply think women are not funny.

Nevertheless, I have witnessed plenty of people laugh at another female in jest. Many people laugh at women but they are not considered funny. But how is it that a woman can be laughed at but not be considered funny?  In most cases, when a woman is being laughed at, it is because she has said something that’s funny out of context. The true question is why? Why aren’t women, in general, funny?

In 2007, Vanity Fair published an article entitled Why Women Aren’t Funny. This article brought up a very interesting point. Women are not funny because they don’t’ have to be. For a woman to attract male, important qualities for her to possess would be good looks, charm, wit and possibly kindness, depending on your cup of tea. For a man to be considered desirable, good looks would be an important factor, but for most individuals, a man’s personality takes precedent over anything else. And a key personality factor is whether they are funny or not.