Why Louis C.K. Really is a Feminist
So this is what I learned today: Louis C.K. is a feminist.
I know what you're thinking: "The same guy who supported supremedouchebagoftheuniverse Daniel Tosh after he told a woman it would be funny if she was raped?"
(Yeah. That happened.)
Well, yes. Apparently after tweeting to Tosh, "Your show makes me laugh every time I watch it" following the indecent, C.K. received hardcore backlash. Attempting to make amends, C.K. promptly appeared on The Daily Show, saying he had no idea joking about rape was a problem. I think the exact quote had something to do with feminism and comedy being "natural enemies" since "feminists can't take a joke" and "comedians can't take criticism."
Oh Louis. Ohhhh Louis.
I can see where you got this idea; most feminists aren't going to laugh at a rude comment about women. It's not that we don't have a sense of humor, it's that we're tired of the same old bullshit. Cracking jokes about feminazis, lesbians and bra-burners, though perhaps funny to some, can and has been used as an effective excuse to not take the feminist cause seriously.
But that's not to say feminists can't take a joke. Remember Jezebel.com? Or Amy Poehler? Or that time Tina Fey wrote Bossypants?
These powerhouse ladies have been proving for years that feminism and humor make a great team. Take a look:
“But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom —Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”
Conclusion: These feminists make their point and are damn funny about it.
Back to our friend Louis. It seems that despite his minor brainfart, C.K. is himself a budding feminist.
“I’ve read some blogs during this whole thing that have made me enlightened to things I didn’t know," he told Jon Stewart. Things like "how rape is something that polices women’s lives … That’s part of me now that wasn’t before." Bravo, Louis.
Personally, I'm not sure that admitting rape as a real problem makes C.K. a feminist. However, his latest routines, OhMyGod and Live at the Beacon Theater do include several girl-power shout-outs. For example:
On dating: C.K. asserts that dating takes guts. "The male courage, traditionally speaking, is that he decided to ask the girl out."
But he emphasizes that from a woman's perspective, dating isn't so easy: "Try to imagine that you could only date a half-bear, half-lion. ‘Oh, I hope this one’s nice.’ "
On sex: Louis challenges the long-held idea that women have weaker sex drives than men. "We think it’s because they don’t have as much desire as we do. That’s how stupid men are.“ He goes on to point out that the real problem is not that women don't like sex but that women are left unsatisfied by men. "She’s not needy, you idiot, she’s horny, because you did nothing for her.”
See? It's feminist AND funny.
True, C.K. sticks very closely to gender divisions, "women are like this," "men are like that" etc, but it's admitting that feminism is real and important that's the first step.
C.K. even addresses the infamous "male-gaze," a hot-topic in feminist discussions: “He just looks at you and you feel just buckets of cum hit you in the face.”
Um. nailed it.
Though traditionally male stand-up comedians seem to go for the jokes that make them seem like, I dunno, vulgar-epitomes-of-hegemonic-masculinity maybe, perhaps C.K.'s latest move is a breakthrough for male comedians.
Keep it up, boys.