The Women of


“Why are men, taken on average and as a whole, funnier than women?” inquired Christopher Hitchens in “Why Women Aren’t Funny,” Vanity Fair, January 2007.

That’s a good question. And by that I mean, fuck you.

Since women are so hilarious all the time/everywhere, I’d like to feature the women of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, who are reliably hysterical, clever, and concise. Below is what I consider the best of what women have written for the site since the beginning of 2008.

My measures of judgment:
– A vagina. It’s not that I’m sexist, but sometimes it’s important to fight sexism with sexism.
– Timelessness. I can’t read another joke about the econolypse; everyone being poor and homeless just isn’t funny anymore, and it won’t be funny (or ironic in a good way) in ten years when everyone is rich and arrogant again. Further, I don’t care for faux math.
– Utilization of nontraditional narrative and syntactical deviations.
– Universal applicability. You were crapped on [in some way]? I was crapped on [in same way]!
– Discussion of men being emotionally AWOL.
– References to literature’s antiquity, David Lynch, The Wire, and sex phobias.

Other criteria:
– I laughed aloud.
– I was in some way offended.
– The term “manorexic” was used.


The list (out of hundreds and in no particular order):

The Sexually Fluid Person’s Guide to a Seamlessly Uneventful Coming Out by Amy York Rubin

Commentary by David Simon, Creator of The Wire, for the He’s Just Not That Into You DVD by Maureen Miller

Shakespeare Wrote for Money: An Introduction by Sarah Vowell

Ulysses Sells Out by Rebekah Frumkin

The Talk by Julia Weiss

Sick of the Revolution by Deb Olin Unferth

Everything Is Wrong With You: A Letter from Dr. Phil by Wendy Molyneux

An Overheard Conversation at the Suburban Neighborhood Pool, if the Suburban Neighborhood Pool Were in Deadwood by Kari Anne Roy

Children’s-Film Sequels as Imagined by Famous Directors by Rebekah Frumkin

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise: Mattress Salesman and Customer by Marianne Hess

Proust Discovers LiveJournal by Summer Block Kumar’s Recommendation Algorithm Applied to Life Events by Maribeth Mooney

Borges Teaches Self-Defense by Susan Schorn

Yoga Proverbs by Crystal Schachter

OK, It’s Time to Talk about the Elephant in the Room by Wendy Molyneux

Conversations My Parents Must Have Had While Planning to Raise a Child by Jen Statsky

Real Historical Dolls: A Catalog by Kathryn Higgins

A Suburban Mother Tells Her 14-Year-Old Babysitter How to Make Her Parties More Raging by Wendi Aarons

Abstinence-Only Driver’s Ed by Suzanne Kleid

The Tom Tom Club Catechism by Maureen Miller

Production Rider for Kate Kershner’s Holiday Visit Home Tour by Kate Kershner

Bikram Writing 101 by Liz Worthy

Essay Prompts for the 2009 Senior Advanced Placement High School Engish Exam for Women by Wendy Molyneux

And a special treat: Comments Written by Actual Students Extracted from Workshopped Manuscripts at a Major University collected by Tanya Rey


Honorable mentions: Sylvia Eastman, Angela Genusa, Mari Ness, Melanie Berliet, Alison Espach, Kate Hahn, Natalie Edwards, Ellie Kemper, Mali Perl, Julie Klausner, Rachel Shukert, Stacey Landowne, Sarah Walker, Samantha Martin, Allison Morrow, and Jennifer Byrne (in no particular order).

Elissa Bassist edits the Funny Women column. She teaches humor writing at The New School and Catapult. Follow her on Twitter, and visit for more literary, feminist, and personal criticism. More from this author →