And one reason why the comparison almost never works is a very simple one: No anthropologist or ethnologist or geneticist of any reputation really believes that the human species is subdivided by race, whereas it would be a very incautious person who did not regard the human species as separated for reproductive purposes into two sexes or genders. One distinction is false, in other words, while the other is real.
I guess he’s missed sociology post the mid-1970s? Because since then feminist writer after anti-racist writer after feminist anti-racist writer has drawn attention to discrimination being based not on our biology, but on how society gives meaning to our biology.
Mr Hitchen’s inability to understand discrimination may perhaps be explained when we discover his mother said as she sent him off to school in Cambridge: ‘If there is going to be an upper class in this country, then Christopher is going to be in it.’
Earlier this year Mr Hitchens also explained that men have to be funny to get dates with women, but women are “backward” at generating humour because:
Women have no corresponding need to appeal to men in this way. They already appeal to men, if you catch my drift.
Right. So, as long as we’re sexy, we don’t need to be funny. That is, if we want a male partner. I wonder how gay men get on? Must be tiring, all that trying to make each other laugh to get a shag.
He does admit there are some funny women out there, but gives us the Hitchens comic criteria:
Most of them, though, when you come to review the situation, are hefty or dykey or Jewish, or some combo of the three.
Again with the “right.” I won’t dissect any more of Mr Hitchens – when polemic crosses over into doltish offensiveness, it’s no longer interesting in my opinion. There’s enough critique already, like the female comedian who takes him to task based on statistics, and an Alessandra Stanley rebuttal which finishes by pointing out female comics have to be gorgeous as well as funny these post-feminist days.
Christopher Hitchens rebuts Ms Stanley by saying she probably fancies him. In an ironic and amusing way, of course.
But he did prompt me to search YouTube for some of my fave funny women, like Aotearoa’s very own hefty dykey Topp Twins:
British Asian Shazia Mirza, cracking funnies at Islam from the inside.
Or American Margaret Cho?
Or maybe my all-time fave, Black British comic Angie Le Mar from south-east London – worryingly completely bereft of the Hitchens criteria:
Phew, though, back to Roseanne Barr, with her reassuringly cuddly, kabalist exterior, and mention of Women’s Lib close to dykishness despite the reassuring husband:
And I have to confess to being helpless with laughter every time Friends’ Phoebe picked up her guitar:
While Australia’s Cath and Kim let me laugh sheepishly at bogan aspirations.
This is just for starters – I’ve got other things to do today – what about Dawn French’s end jokes on the Vicar of Dibley or Sarah Silverman or Jennifer Saunders or Pamela Stephenson or Kristen Schall or Josie Long or Michelle A’Court…..please add more….