All kinds of funny notions…

I read an article in the Mumbai Mirror today titled “Find the missing comic”. It listed all the finalists of ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ and surprise, surprise…they were all male! The article went on to ask people whether women had a sense of humour or not.

Of course we have a sense of humour. It’s a human trait…I do believe the ability to laugh and see the funny side must be located somewhere between one’s ears, not in the plumbing region of the body…which rules out the idea of humour being a gender-driven trait.

I, for one, am one of those who loves laughing and making people laugh. My sense of humour swings between ridiculous slapstick and sophisticated satire and quite often tiptoes into the raunchy. One of my favorite declarations goes thus:

The trouble with men is that they always think with the wrong head

HAHAHAHA! Very few people seem to find that statement funny. The men are too busy snarling and mumbling about feminists while the women are busy being ladylike and turning up their noses at such ‘offensive behavior’ or playing sweet-n-dumb.

My best friend is a cool, dignified lady who rarely smiles. Of course in all these years of friendship, I’ve discovered what tickles her funny bone but I also know that the poker-face mask hardly ever goes down in public. She’s the kind who can freeze you with a glance, with the atmospheric temperature dipping to record lows with the degree of raunchiness. I envy her. In all the good advice that she’s given me, the one thing I just can’t seem to take is this lesson of ‘not being funny’. Her belief is that jokes apart, men really don’t respect a girl who kids around a lot.

I hate to admit it but I think she’s right. I’ve been ‘the buddy’ for so long, I almost forgot I was female. My male friends, those amazingly wonderful specimens of humanity….while they’ve taught me so much about life, the universe and everything, conveniently forgot to mention that…oh, laughter increases your fun quotient and dips your general sex appeal. I think laughter is a great ice-breaker and I’ve used it freely in all these years as a conversation starter. Is it a coincidence then, that people like conversations with me, but not dates?

Then again, the men I am usually drawn to are humourous, whacky, intelligent and aggressive. They’re loads of fun to be with (like me!), full of energy and ideas (ditto here) and they hate to share the spotlight (*sighh*….yeah that too). A sense of humour is a great people-magnet and its possible that they don’t like being upstaged or even competing with me. Does that sound arrogant?

When I was in college, I participated in a JAM session. It was the first (and only) time I’ve ever been in a talk-a-thon. The predominantly male panel (and audience) looked at me curiously as I signed up. Rather indulgently they explained the rules of the game to me and told me not to worry, just relax and enjoy the game. I did. As I picked up the prize at the end of the game, my jam-master said “Pretty good…for a girl”. I said, “Really? I wouldn’t have stood a chance if this panel was all female.” I wonder if he did get the point. When I got home and proudly showed off the prize, my dad didn’t bat an eyelid, when he said, “Why is it so great? You’ve been practicing ever since you started to talk.” Leave it to a man to have the last word on the funnies….

I am full of awe for people who are funny. Okay, okay Mr.Nandy…coming from me, read that as a compliment! I totally admire people who write witty posts. I have tried but somehow I can’t quite match the standards set by Sagnik, Apoorva , Rumpelstilskin, Bird (and several others!) Notice please, there aren’t any women on this list. This post is so much me, me, me….I honestly couldn’t find another woman to write about (blogger or otherwise) Sighh…..alright, alright, I concede. Humour is gender-specific. I still won’t buy the notion that we’re born with a lesser sense of humour than men but it is the conditioning that makes us less able to express the funny side.

In the meantime I’ll continue my solitary crusade for the Female Funnies.

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on September 9, 2005, in Battle of the sexes, On a lighter note.. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I do believe the ability to laugh and see the funny side must be located somewhere between one’s ears, not in the plumbing region of the body… LOL to that…

    you are right when you said humour isnt a gender specific thing… but humour bringing down the general appeal of a woman… i personally wouldnt like to agree to that… i dont want to say about others… i like people (men or women) who are witty and can see the funnier side of life even in the direst of circumstances…

    one more thing is that, a lot of humour has to do with laughing and mocking yourself (anyone can laugh & mock at others)… i dont think a lot of women accept laughing and mocking themselves… its against the rule of dignity of a woman… i guess thats why we dont find too many women having a good sense of humour…

    as far as bloggers are concerned check This Lady out, she has the most awesome sense of humour… prolly someday she will be added to the list 🙂

  2. Naah.. not true..

    I saw a show on HBO once… ONLY female comedians…

    And it was HIL-HIL-HILARIOUS !!

    I tried looking for a clip of it on the web.. but couldn’t find it..

    I think its more of an Indian-women-as-stand-up(s) I think… but its do-able.. I’d love to see how the audience takes it..

    -anon1

  3. Damn if I were funny(-er) I’d give it a shot meself. My dad actually suggested it the last time I saw him.

    I was trying to immitate this stand-up I’m a big fan of, and he said he noticed that only men showed up on that show, so maybe I should give it a shot !

    🙂

  4. **ONLY female comedians… **
    I think that should be comediennes…

    You should see this movie “Punchline” with Tom Hanks Sally Field.. where sally is an up-and-(hardly)-coming comedienne and Tom is an established one…

    Good movie…

    -anon1

  5. Men probably think with the head that they use the most, be it the right or the wrong one! 😛

    “Is it a coincidence then, that people like conversations with me, but not dates?” :: Ahem…*cough cough* Does that strike a bell!?

  6. i’d like to take this opportunity to thank my mom, my dad and monica bellucci 🙂

  7. Two posts and the same number of references to my name on XX!! Wow!

    And who said women cant be humourous? On a lighter note, who said u aint being funny in your posts? Every post of XXFactor is hilarious. Anyone blogging on the lines of “Women are equal or better than men” is hilarious. 😛

    Apoorva ducks and runs… while Smithy picks her rifle and takes aim!

  8. True Apoorva…everytime I mention your name, it makes somebody laugh…especially on a blog that talks about the battle of the sexes…*wicked laughter*

  9. Smithy pulls trigger and hits target

    *THUD*–>

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