A friend of mine who is forced to acquire the habit of reading my blogposts (no doubt due to my constant nagging) commented that I need to take a less serious view of life. Another friend expressed the diametrically opposite view that I ought to stop being flippant about serious issues. Now, that set me wondering-do I lack a sense of humor, or more generally speaking, is the funny bone missing in women? My friend probably thinks that when God made Eve out of Adam’s bone, He definitely did not choose the funny bone for the job!
Mention comedy stars and that immediately brings to mind mostly male actors like Billy Crystal, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, whereas female actors like Whoopi Goldberg are far and few in between. This is not the case in
but even in Indian movies irrespective of the language, the situation is almost the same. Hollywood
Commuting to my college a couple of decades ago was made incredibly interesting and exciting by the incomparable evergreen literary genius P.G. Wodehouse. Many a day have I laughed out loud unmindful of my surroundings after reading the adventures of the eccentric Lord Emsworth, the scatter-brained Bertie Wooster, the ingenious Jeeves, the resourceful Psmith, an assortment of domineering aunts and bumbling uncles, and of course, the prized pig, the Empress of Blandings. There are quite a few writers who handle humor with ease like Henry Cecil and Terry Pratchett, not to mention the classic authors like Mark Twain and Jerome K. Jerome. But no female writer comes to mind immediately with equal fervor (well, after thinking for a while I could come up with Nora Ephron).
Not only in the kaleidoscopic world of the rich and famous celebrities, even in real life rarely have I come across women who can see the humor in everyday life. Why do women take themselves and the world seriously-or atleast more seriously as compared to men? Is their genetic make-up to blame? Or are they so burdened with their worries that they forget to appreciate the humor in their life? Viewing this from an Indian point of view I would like to think that it is more about the way women are brought up. They are expected to behave in a certain way in society and the transgressions/deviations from the set path are not viewed charitably. It would indeed be a rare sight to see a woman guffawing in a public place.
A woman may view the world humorously but still not be confident enough to express it in public. It is only when she is comfortable with and confident of herself that all aspects of her personality blossom fully. That may be the reason that, more often than not, it is the middle-aged women who come across as humorous. May be I, along with my sisters need to let our hair down more often, treat the burdens we carry on our shoulders a little lightly, learn to ignore the swords of life’s uncertainties over our heads and unlearn our conditioning by this society. Well, this is my serious take on humor!