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Men and Masculinities

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Caitlin McElroy

on 3 May 2010

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Transcript of Men and Masculinities

humor The Male Monopoly... Humor in sitcoms Sitcom A sitcom is a genre of humor where the
storyline loosely reflects the everyday
lives of ordinary people in exaggerated or
extreme situations.
However, it seems to be a pattern that the
woman takes the role of the good looking trophy
wife while the husband is considered the “funny
one.” Everybody Loves Raymond
According to Jim
King of Queens
George Lopez
Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Married With Children "Guy-Coms" Each episode of most sitcoms revolves around reconciling the man’s personality with the demands of family and marriage
The men in these shows are allowed to act juvenile which translates into humor.
The “immature husband” and “hot wife” couples are also seen in cartoons such as:
The Flintstones
Family Guy
The Simpsons IMDB Character Descriptions Al Bundy:
"Selfish" and "dim-witted"
"married to his annoying but hot wife, Peggy"
Peter Griffin:
"one of the dumbest and laziest human beings on the planet"
"married to one of the hottest ladies in Quahog"
Homer Simpson:
"stupid, lazy, and prone to being emotionally explosive"
Marge is described as "patient for dealing with Homer's antics" Men, Movies, and Comedy Physical Character Traits Men in comedic roles often:
•not in shape, overweight
•physically unattractive
•immature, use lots of profanity
•Unemployed or unsuccessful
•constantly thinking about sex
"Loveable Loser" We root for these men because they make us laugh, even though they have few other good qualities.
Adam Sandler in "Big Daddy" Constantly told by friends to get a real job
His own father says, "Who would be stupid enough to give YOU a kid?" after he adopts a little boy.
Seth Rogen in "Knocked Up" Has no job, but tries to start a pornographic website with friends
Spends all his money on marijuana
Paul Rudd in "Role Models" Obnoxious and angry because he feels stuck at a dead end job Jason Segal in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" Lazy, out of shape, constantly complaining about his ex-girlfriend
Outrageous Humor Eddie Murphy: The Nutty Professor (1994)
Creates a chemical that allows his wild and sexually promiscuous alter ego, Buddy Love, to be set free
Jim Carrey: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
A detective specializing in animals has to go on a search for a missing dolphin
Mike Myers: Austin Powers (1997)
Plays a spy who was frozen in the 1960s and now lives in the 1990s
Sacha Baron Cohen: Borat and Bruno (2006 and 2009)
Both films have been faced with over $100 million in lawsuits over the wild and offensive antics Cohen caught on tape
Women in Comedic Roles Most comedies that involve women as the main characters are labeled romantic comedies

Female comedic leads are usually beautiful and quirky, but never involved in wild situations as male comedic leads would be

Cameron Diaz: There's Something About Mary (1998)
Kate Hudson: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
Drew Barrymore: Never Been Kissed (1999)
Jennifer Aniston: The Break Up (2006)

These women are all smart and lead successful lives
They are usually unhappy because they do not have a husband/boyfriend
Relationships What Women Want Dating tip for men: Women find humor most attractive, so try to be funny
"Being funny isn't that difficult, but it's a very powerful tool to impress women."
77% of women: Sense of humor is top personality trait wanted in a man
What Men Want 4 out of top 10 traits guys want in a girlfriend are physical
Want someone who is:
– Exciting
– Independent
– Confident
– Good listener & conversationalist
Humor rarely mentioned as sought-after trait
Relationships Survey Masculinity and Humor... Why is comedy such a male-dominated field?
Is it "manly" to be funny?
Humor: a masculine trait?
Is there a comedy double-standard between men and women? Stand-up Comedy Comedy Central's List of Greatest Stand-Up Comedians contains only 9 women... 99-Janeane Garofalo
97-Sandra Bernhard
88-Paula Poundstone
73-Elaine Boosler
70-Wanda Sykes
44-Joan Rivers
35-Phyllis Diller
16-Ellen Degeneres
9-Roseanne Barr Current Late Night Line-up: Comedy Central Line-up Female Comedians Kathy Griffin:
“I’m constantly dieting, constantly working out, because unlike Will Ferrell, I’m going to take more hits if I don’t at least have a normal figure. I was walking through Central Park yesterday without any makeup,
and I come home and I’m on fucking TMZ for being old and ugly.”
“Phyllis Diller used to dress like a fool. Totie Fields was a big fat woman. In the beginning, women comedians were all grotesque in one
way or another.”
“I remember seeing beautiful girls do stand-up, and it was a disaster every time. Not only were people not gonna listen to you because you’re a woman, if you’re good-looking, people really don’t want to listen to you."
Can men get away with more? Lisa Lampanelli: Vulgar, crude, and crass, but both have content that mostly involves detailed descriptions of relationships and sex. Humor in Literature Research What males and females look for in the opposite sex
Scores based on average ranking out of 5 What Guys Want
Trustworthiness (2.44)
Intelligence (2.55)
Attractiveness (2.72)
Humor (2.94)
Confidence (4.04)
What Girls Want
Trustworthiness (1.38)
Humor (3.17)
Intelligence (3.55)
Confidence (3.61)
Attractiveness (3.94)
Gender and Humor in Social Context Research on gender and humor describes gender as a system of meanings that influences access to power, status, and material resources. Humor is conceived as a mode of discourse and a strategy for social interaction.
Within this theoretical framework, it is argued that women and men use humor in same-gender and mixed-gender settings as one of the tools of gender construction. Through it and other means, they constitute themselves as masculine men and feminine women.
At the same time, the unique properties of humor make it a valuable tool of gender deconstruction.
In the political humor of the women's movement, and in the conversational humor of women friends, resistance to dominant social constructions of gender can be voiced. Functions of Humor in the Conversations of Men and Women This paper provides a tool for categorizing functions of humor, and uses this tool to highlight statistically some interesting patterns in the humor of New Zealand men and women.
Functions of humor occurring in such groups can be classified under the three broad labels of solidarity-based, power-based and psychological functions.
The distribution of these functions within the friendship groups was analyze with a sample consisted of both mixed groups and male and female single-sex groups.
Log-linear modelling revealed the women much more likely to share funny personal stories to create solidarity, whereas the men used other strategies to achieve the same goal. They were more likely to reminisce about shared experiences or highlight similarities to create solidarity within the group.
While teasing was used in single-sex groups both to create power and solidarity, this behavior reduced markedly in mixed groups. The 'Mock-Macho' Situation Comedy: Hegemonic Masculinity and Its Reiteration Examined how the TV sitcoms, Home Improvement and Coach play off the stereotypes of conventional masculinity in order to describe how these texts work to reiterate hegemonic masculinity.
The analysis focused on how the "mock-macho" sitcom takes masculinity as an object of its own discourse and induces pleasure in the realization of masculinity as a gender performance.
This study suggested some of the features and complexities of this discursive strategy and draws on J. Butler's (1990) concept of "gender parody" to theorize mock-macho gender performances and their comic effectiveness. GENDER PARODY:
Butler offers parody (for example, the practice of drag) as a way to destabilize and make apparent the invisible assumptions about gender identity and the inhabitability of such "ontological locales" as gender. By redeploying those practices of identity and exposing as always failed the attempts to "become" one's gender, Butler believes that a positive, transformative politics can emerge. Chappelle's Show
Mind of Mencia
Important Things with Demitri Martin
Tosh 2.0
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Colbert Report
The Sarah Silverman Program*
The Gong Show with Dave Attell
The Graham Norton Effect
The Jeff Dunham Show
Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn
Wanda Does It*
Too Late with Adam Carolla
Lewis Black's Root of All Evil
The Man Show
New York Times Book Review Not one female author listed Funniest books? Jane Austen Women only funny to other women? Leno
Daily Show

Writing for men...but women are reading and watching? Universal humor = male?
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