Friday, March 18, 2005

Write Chicks

Political Animal continues the debate about the dearth of women in the Op-Ed columns and political blogosphere:

In any case, I think the overarching question this brings up is one that Shakespeare's Sister and I have also discussed — but then dropped because we ran out of steam: what are "women's issues"? Isn't the war in Iraq a women's issue as much as a men's issue? How about abortion? Is that a women's issue? Or is it equally a men's issue?

I haven't been blogging long enough to consider myself a "political blogger"--don't know if a guy in a similar position would say that, unless he's got a "besieged regular guy" personna like Ray Romano--and my interest in politics has been peripatetic over the years, flaring in times of stress as if it were excema.

But this whole argument does sound like similar discussions I used to hear and have in the 80's about women and stand-up comedy.

Around 1984 when I was first starting and when Women's Comedy Night was a fad in several (un- or low-paid) gigs throughout the New York area, I would have MC's and club owners telling me:

"Come back again; we need more women."

But what about what I was doing onstage? And what about when you don't need more women; will I still be funny?

I got that question answered for me later in the 80s, when I was actually a lot funnier and more experienced and the answer was, "We already have a woman this month." (I was a single woman at the time and I found that for other purposes most guys need a woman more than once a month.)

Another comment that I got was that women comics did "women's comedy." So I'd be thinking, "What's feminine about the subway? Is it because it goes underground and in and out of tunnels? Is the tunnel the woman and the train the man?" Thereby making it a lot more Freudian and a lot more intellectual than making drunken people laugh warranted, which is probably why I quit.

But who am I to speak? I know about show business, not politics. Politics isn't show business, right?

Yeah, right.

The other obstacle I had with comedy is the same as one I'm having now: getting an audience!

If you're reading this now, and especially if you have a blog, site, show, whatever, that you're promoting, how do you promote yourselves?

Forget about women being afraid to blow their own horn. I've never had a problem with opening my mouth. The question is, "What is the sound of a mouth opening in the forest if nobody hears it?"

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