Don’t Think Women are Funny? Science Says That’s on You …

Posted by:Kate Melville on Oct - 19 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

Why do people have trouble seeing women as funny? Nerd that I am, I think it has to do with the Benign Violation Theory, as outlined by Dr. Peter McGraw, co-author of The Humor Code.

When primates laugh, it is often in response to boundary being violated, while simultaneously being shown they are under no threat. Tickling is a great example.

But when women are funny, they often cross boundaries that have nothing to do with the actual joke. Professional female comedians are seen as violating a norm by daring to get on stage and be funny in the first place. If your perception of whether something is ‘benign’ is coloured by your preconceived notions of women in general, you may not find them funny, but science says that’s on you. Some of my fave female comedians play with ALL those boundaries, including the audience’s lack of comfort with their very existence.

Check out this killer bit from Hannah Gadsby, regarding some audience “feedback” on her appearance.

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