Cameron Esposito Answers the Age-Old Question ‘What’s It Like to Be a Woman in Comedy?’


As part of her ongoing A.V. Club column, standup Cameron Esposito has a new feature out today called “What It’s Like to Be a Woman in Comedy” that addresses issues females face in the standup world, why the overload of white male comics should embrace the idea of more diverse lineups, why the word “comedienne” is just awful, and why the question of being a woman in comedy often goes unanswered. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

To be a woman in comedy is to be pitted against the only other female comic in the city you came up in for every booking in town and to never share a bill with her. It’s to walk out onstage after this intro: “We’re really glad this next comic isn’t raped and dead in an alley.” (That is an actual intro I have gotten.) It’s to try and describe your body or sex life without being able to use some of comedy’s most beautiful and omnipresent words: dick, boner, jerk-off. To be a woman in comedy is to look a little bit off standing in front of a brick wall telling jokes, only because we have seen and continue to see statistically more men standing in front of brick walls telling jokes.