When asked where she predicts women will go in comedy this year, she replied, “Wherever they want.
- When someone sends around a list of potential talent and the list is all men, say “thank you, please also provide some women as options.”
- When someone complains that it’s hard to find smart, funny female talent (or writers or editors or photographers), say “look harder.” Or hand over a list.
- Carry a list of good women for when people say there aren’t any.
- When a writer submits copy in which all the examples are men, delete Ricky Gervais and replace him with Amy Poehler. Then explain why.
- When a writer submits jokes about famous women, and the setups/punchlines are limited to “woman henpecks husband” or “woman is/is not sexy,” rewrite the jokes. Then explain why.
- When other women ask you for career advice, answer them. Even if the answer is “I have no idea” or “I got lucky.”
- When people ask you what it’s like “being a woman in X industry,” tell them it’s a lot like being a person in X industry. Explain what it is like to be in X industry. Then add any details that are legitimately specific to the experience of being a woman in X industry, but only if you feel like it.
- Do the best you can. No one does the right thing every time, and the right thing is not always clear and objective. Sometimes the stupid joke with the bad setup has a really clever punchline so you let it go. Sometimes you forget to update the list. No one will die. Try to work toward progress. Try to help the people around you work toward progress. If it makes you feel good to police strangers on the internet and “smack them down” when they “trespass,” fine. That is one interpretation of working toward progress, but it’s okay if different people have different interpretations.
- If you admire a woman who is successful and/or doing good things, tell her so.
- When people talk about women in the media, they often mean people whose faces are on screens and people with bylines. We need more time on screens and we need more bylines, but it is important to remind everyone that there are other people who matter, even if you never know their names or see their faces: producers, editors, managers, directors, assistants, coordinators, lawyers. These people contribute to your favorite website/publication/show as much as the people you’d recognize on the street, sometimes even more. Exposure is not always an accurate reflection of influence.
- Do not hire men who cannot understand why you are doing any of the above. Not even for internships, because interns get jobs. There is a difference between not knowing better and being willing to learn and not accepting that there is a lot to learn.
I’m somewhere between Tennyson’s famous quote that’s been canonized as cliché (“‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all”) and George Carlin’s truest of true assertions that buying a pet amounts to “purchasing a small tragedy,” as you will outlive this life that you’re emotionally investing in (and if you don’t, that’s even worse, since you’re dead).
One of those small tragedies happens to be the uber-flat-faced exotic shorthair Winston, who’s netted millions of views on YouTube and has a few thousand Twitter followers. He’s no Maru, but I’d call him “Internet famous” if that weren’t a boastful reflection on myself and if I just hadn’t spent the weekend at ROFLcon listening to people describe themselves as such, beckoning the bile up my throat. People who’ve never visited my apartment know who he is; strangers tell me they love him. And now when they inquire about how he’s doing, I’ll either have to lie vaguely or explain my situation specifically. That’s the downside of etching in Internet stone something as skittish as life.
Thank you, Rich.
- Mary: gonzalo's internet is going out, he has to wrangle cablevision
- Dennis: matt's having internet problems too
- Mary: christ are you serious
- Mary: what is happening
- Dennis: yes
- Mary: is this it?
- Dennis: i don't know
- Mary: is this the end, dennis?
- Dennis: it might be, mary
- Dennis: it might be
- Mary: there were so many things i wanted to do
- Mary: i had like three posts in drafts