Are Women Funny?

Are women funny?

My sister Liz is funny, but that’s because she’s my sister and we share superior genes. Kim will catch you out there with a slew of punchlines if you get on her nerves, FRLZ, and I think Mel’s probably pretty mentally dangerous in a snap-fest, but, overall… are women FUNNY?

I know there are female comedians, and I’ve been laughing incessantly over how I can’t tell Tina Fey apart from Sarah Palin,


but… in general… are women funny? And if so… Is there “Male Humor” and “Female Humor”?

I’m thinking about this because I watched / listened to a panel of bigwigs in the internet comedy space yesterday. After they spoke, they had a Q&A session, and my homegirl Kathryn Jones got her hands on the mic…. RUH ROHHHH!!! πŸ˜€



Kathryn Jones & Bill Cammack

So, basically, Kathryn asked “Where is the content BY women and the content FOR women?” and the answer was “um, uh, um, uh, um…” hahahahaha πŸ˜€ Kathryn’s been asking this question ever since I met her, so as soon as I saw her get the mic, I was like AWWWWW HERE WE GO!!!!! πŸ˜€

The answers made sense, business-wise, and the thing to remember is that this internet stuff is business for them, not art or entertainment. If you do “art” and nobody watches it or buys ads on your content, you get fired. If you do business, and it’s the same business over and over, you get advertising dollars and you keep your job.

Basically, they said they have a demographic and they cater to it. Business 101. If the people watching your content is GUYS, then you make more content that GUYS would like so that they tell MORE GUYS to watch your videos and you grow your community and make more money.

Rocketboom had a study done a while back, which IIRC determined that a whopping 8% of their viewership was female. Of course, that has to do with Eye Candy, but that’s a different topic. The point is… well… the point, I guess, is a question… “If 92% of your viewership is male, why cater to females at all?” or, “Why not do things that affect 92% of your viewership instead of 8%?”. That’s how I was feeling during that silent period right after Kathryn asked her question and the panelists were mentally deciding who was going to address it. πŸ™‚

One panelist even said that if they were going to do female-oriented content, they would have to make a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITE! πŸ˜€ This and other comments that escape me right now are what got me thinking about this topic. Is there a difference between “female humor” and “male humor”? Do women (in general) get stuff that’s “funny to women” and men get stuff that’s “funny to men”?

Assuming that’s the case… In this era of niche marketing, there’s no “space” for the combination of “male and female humor”. Doing stuff to attract women will “turn off” male viewers, taking away from “the bottom line”. The question becomes whether attempting to increase the low percentage of female viewers will decrease the number of male viewers to the point that it wasn’t worth it in the first place.

The moderator had the solution… technically… which was to bring in female content creators to make videos specifically geared towards a female audience. However, this fit EXACTLY into the other two theories, which were basically “We’re going to cater to what our demographic is” and “If we’re going to ‘add’ females, we need to make a completely different site”.

On a different topic, yet the same, in a way… I ran into the same issue with my DatingGenius blog. Being a guy, I can blog all day and all night about tricks and tips for “getting girls”. It’s easy to create content for males, because all guys want to know is how to get around the artificial obstacles women throw up which prevent / delay guys from getting laid. It’s not so easy for me to create content for women, because I have to reverse-engineer it. I think to myself “What would *I* do to them?” and then figure out their defense against me and write it. The only other way I get female-oriented material is through actual discussions with my myriad homegirls and selecting common issues that they have, like why guys catcall.

Thinking about this question in terms of my own content, it’s clear to me that if I gave a damn about having female-oriented content and I knew damned well that my mind didn’t generate this stuff on its own, I would need to bring in someone who understands “female comedy” to handle that part of my business for me. This is why it was funny to hear “um, uh, um…” when Kathryn brought up the same topic she always brings up πŸ˜€ , because you would think that if I’VE heard the question a million times, THEY would have heard the question a BILLION times and done something about it by now.

However… Being that internet video is about “the bottom line”, viewership, eyeballs, revenue sharing, CPM, CPC etc etc etc, women may just have to wait until they’re seen as a “market” worth throwing funds at…. haha Wait… I forgot something. πŸ˜€

Assuming that it’s NOT the case that there’s “male humor” and “female humor”, there should be a crossover. You should be able to make comedy shows by females that males flock to (other than because they think she looks good and don’t give a damn what she’s saying anyway) and comedy shows by males that increase the female presence in your demographic surveys.

The whole idea may be self-fulfilling. We can’t get female numbers up higher than blah blah percent, so why bother catering to them? Meanwhile, not catering to them doesn’t increase your female viewership past those traditional percentages.

I have no idea and totally don’t care what my demos are for DatingGenius. I try to mix it up and have something for tha fellaz AND tha ladiez! Then again, DG isn’t a business. It’s something I do for kicks. If I were doing it for money, haha, I might be in the same boat with the panelists, saying essentially “Our statistics haven’t show that the sector you’re asking about is worth us wasting our production money on, due to lack of ROI”.

So maybe it doesn’t matter whether women are funny or not. Even if they WERE, they’re not going to see any light unless businesses can figure out ways to make money off of them. Seems to me like a void waiting to be filled by women that are willing to create their own content, encode, post, distribute and market it THEMSELVES and take advantage while the currently established sites get caught slippin’.

~Bill

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15 thoughts on “Are Women Funny?”

  1. Ok.. Maybe there is a different brand of funny betweent he sexes but on the most part there are just people who just have no humor. I am 100% female and I find some women soooo intense and caught up with their issues of “whatever” that they miss the levity of making light. Not all the time just some of my sister out there. But then on the flipside I find it difficult to talk to men who just take themselves too seriously.

    hmmmm. Still thinking about it.

    no about pick up chicks… I wrote an ecourse from a woman’s perspective for men about women’s minds… so that is a discussion we discuss for a while…

    peace

  2. Hey Tina. πŸ™‚

    I agree with you that there are people that “have jokes” and people that don’t. I just find the topic interesting because I never considered whether there were different brands of “funny” based on gender.

    I could understand if the focus of a site was “The Top 50 Chicks in Bikinis”, because that’s going to appeal more to guys. I guess I never wondered as I was laughing at something whether a woman would find it funny in the same way I do and for the same reasons.

  3. Hi Bill!!!
    Wow!!!! Loved your post!

    Ok.. but this is the deal… Advertisers are literally desperate for content that will appeal to women- Women are one of the hottest markets out there…so the problem isn’t the dollars… nor is the problem the audience…women watch online video at a rate of about 48% – the problem is us… that we, as online video creators, perhaps specifically female content creators, aren’t stepping up to the plate!

  4. I agree with you and I am so glad that Kathryn spoke up at the panel yesterday. I really want to curate comedy content for women, so let’s talk soon to see how it can happen.

  5. @Kathryn: hahahaha Apparently, the panelists weren’t aware of those numbers! πŸ˜€

    In that case, the answer should have been “… but WHERE does Homey sign?” πŸ˜€

    @Nichelle: That would be a very good idea, IMO, being that people don’t seem too eager to take women’s money! πŸ˜€

    Make it happen! πŸ˜€

  6. hmmmmm…
    I would say that there is a defiinitive line in the sand in terms of the sexes. (Im speaking only about personal experience) It seems that many females let their “home based moral” upbringing determine what is funny. In many Latin homes the girls are supposed to be learning how to be mothers and wives and live bt the mantra that females develop earlier than males do. As kids many of the “boys” could sit for hours making that farting sound with their arm pits and laughing hysterically while the little “girl” who is playing house with her dolls was looking on thinking “how gross”. This separation continues into our adulthood and in a situation where the fellas are laughing heartily at an off color joke many woman will look in disgust and just call us immature. Obviously there are mutually funny jokes but do men really want to spend the eveining drinking beers and being politically correct?? Probably not. I think it takes a well read, socially developed female who can see the funny in things she does to really have a sense of humor that actually crosses the line and is universal. ie LIZ.

    To many men comedy is like sex: Hope you got yours ’cause i got mine!

  7. Bill you had half of it here.

    Doing stuff to attract women will β€œturn off” male viewers, taking away from β€œthe bottom line”. The question becomes whether attempting to increase the low percentage of female viewers will decrease the number of male viewers to the point that it wasn’t worth it in the first place.

    The other half of this is that it doesn’t work the other way. i.e. Content doesn’t get aimed at women because women will check out stuff that’s aimed at guys but guys won’t check out stuff that’s aimed at women.

  8. of course there’s humor that will generally be found more funny to guys, and humor that will be more humorous to women. it all boils down to relatability, and as Frank mentioned, upbringing.

    there’s plenty of “personal experience” related humor that could be related directly to gender based experience.

    then the middle ground, the more broad “what makes people laugh” things we will all find identifiable, which are more relatable to the human experience. just like if I said “don’t you hate it when you’re playing so hard you fall off the table, and then you have to try and act like you meant to do that, because people are watching?” it wouldn’t be funny to people, but cats would laugh their asses off. haha see? women can be funny.

    1. If they ever make an internet channel for cats, I’m going to make sure they book you immediately, Rebecca! πŸ˜› hahaha

      But yeah.. There’s definitely a middle ground, but once you get to women’s issues, it’s usually only women that are interested in them.

      I mean, it’s like I’ll watch those “Housewives” shows so I can feel like “Damn! :O .. Imagine getting stuck with some idiot chick like this! :/” and I can suffer vicariously until I turn off the DVR and breathe a sigh of relief.

      I don’t actually give a damn when they go shopping and quibble about nothing important and reprimand each other on etiquette issues.. That’s why I watch on DVR, so I can Fast-Forward through most of it! >:D

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