Joking about the Patriarchy: How a Web Comedy Show Can Inspire You to Share Your Story
Is The Daily Show only for men? Is Last Week Tonight mostly for dudes? Did The Colbert Report only speak to your dad?Well, no. But satirical news shows are largely written by men, and the majority of their viewers are men. And that matters, because these shows have a real impact on what people understand about daily news and big social issues.So one woman is doing something about it. And she’s hilarious.Kristen Hare at Poynter profiled Keli Dailey and her humor Web show, News Hangover, last week, explaining how Dailey found a hole in the comedy marketplace with something made by women that reflects their interests and sensibilities.Why does this matter to you? Because it reaffirms how important it is for you to speak up, for you to tell your story. Otherwise we end up with one set of narratives. Which is boring, yes, but also limiting and damaging to both individuals and cultures (thank you, TED and Chimamanda Adichie).One of my favorite videos in the series is “Lady Pep Talk,” a look at how the culture of “leaning in” can be exhausting if we’re not self-aware about how we live it at work. Essentially, Dailey is pushing back against the idea that the only way to lean in is to do it about everything, all the time.In the sketch, a male boss encourages Dailey’s character to pick the pizza toppings after a celebratory meeting. She pushes back and says she’ll pass on the decision-making opportunity.Immediately, her female coworkers frame ordering toppings as a real chance for her to show her leadership skills. Eventually, she’s had enough.“It used to be self-help for sisters,” she says, “but now you’re leaning on me. No, I will not order this pizza.”“Then you’re saying yes to the patriarchy,” counters her colleague.I laughed out loud.Other videos tackle the real workplace rules Dailey wishes someone would lay out in training videos (e.g., look out for thirsty dudes trolling for mistresses, and keep crying at work to a minimum, no matter your gender) and a look at the economy through the lens of Yo Momma! jokes.Dailey’s show isn’t as popular as, say, The Daily Show. But it’s a start. And it’s a smart way to broaden the conversation we’re having about the news, and about ourselves.And she’s a rad inspiration, reminding us to lift our voices, via videos and blogs, over dinner and in the office.