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First I want to say that women can be vulgar and crude and I am in favor of them being so when they enjoy it. Some of the raunchiest stories I’ve heard have been told to me by women, and they were good stories.

Now on to the first sentence there. Don’t accept that claim. It isn’t a “micro aggression”, it is a dangerous myth. A myth perpetuated by the extremes of the left and the right for different reasons. The left says you’re too weak to handle it, the right says you’re too pure. There is functionally no difference between those two, but significant nuance.

From the Right side it is an admission that men tend toward crudeness and that society at large doesn’t usually approve. This is often referred to as the “civilizing effect” of women on men, or the real rationale of “boys will be boys”. From the Left, it is all patronizing as I see it. Are there some women who “can’t handle it”? Sure, just as there are some men who can’t either.

Yet nobody is claiming to support men who “have to endure it”, are they? This is the hidden aspect of the “boys club” or “good old boys” problem: it isn’t about women. Like with any social group, the workplace is both inclusion and exclusion and anyone who doesn’t fit is excluded.

If you don’t drink you are excluded in very similar fashion from workplaces where drinking is essentially expected. Today this is often tech startups where they brag about having on-site alcohol and drinking parties. Non-smokers saw, and see, this in the “smoke break”. Those of us men who didn’t make a habit of drinking or never took up smoking experience(d) the same exclusion at work, for example. We aren’t part of the “men’s club” either.

This is part of why focusing on the gender is more than a “micro-aggression”; the gender isn’t the real issue. The other is that it is quite insulting to be told you can’t handle, as you put it, dick jokes and thus need protecting.

But the rub here is that these men have been conditioned largely by their mother to not be that way around women, and that the attempt to drive vulgar humor underground has been advanced most ardently by modern feminists.

As far as crass female comics “trying too hard” I can see it both ways. Some clearly are. Ive had a fondness for stand up for quite some time and have seen the shift. Yes, many male comics are crass. But the ones who are only crass and only joke about sex are just not that funny either. In my view of the only thing that makes you “funny” are sex jokes, you aren’t that funny.

It’s like laughing at a fart. Babies laugh at their own farts. Kids laugh at each other’s farts. And adults tend to stifle their laughter at farts. But at the end of the day, laughing at a fart is just not clever. And nobody wants to sit around in a room full of farting just so they can laugh.

To me a a crass joke or bit is funny not because it involved sex, but because of the other aspects. So if a comic has nothing but sex jokes, I see it no differently that if he or she stood up there and farted into a microphone for an hour. It isn't the fart that is funny, it is the reaction and story around the fart that is funny.

And when you look at some of the most crass male comedians it is rare to find the popular ones being only crass. The closest you can get, I think, is Andrew Dice Clay. But he wasn’t funny because he told crass jokes. He was playing a character we knew to laugh at. He was lampooning a stereotype.

I suspect a lot of female comedians who have bombed because they were “trying too hard” weren’t panned because they talked about dicks and pussies, but because that was all they were doing. Personally I think men and women both want a funny story, and whether it involves a dick or not is usually secondary to the story. Take for example a non-dick routine from Eddie Murphy.

I think it was in his Delirious special’s video. He had a scene of him as a child trying to do standup for his family with some toilet humor. Now this is from memory so it may not be fully accurate, but as I recall his as-a-child bit was basically “don’t you hate it when the turd comes out a little and goes right back in”.

That joke wasn’t funny, and it wasn’t portrayed as funny. What was funny was the story it was a part of. In his scene he was trying too hard to be funny. Clearly, he got better.

That is what separates a crude comic from one that is “trying too hard”. “Laugh at me, I talk about dicks” just isn’t funny regardless of whether you have, don’t have, or used to have one.

At least, that is how I see it.

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