With her background in improvisation comedy, quick wit and stubborn brow Tina Fey is one of the people with the potential to have her image glued to my light switch. I know, quite the honour. I have her autobiography Bossypants on audiobook (I'm very busy, I have to lie down and be read to nowadays) and spend many a moment laughing at the same joke I have heard before. Such is my high tolerance for Fey.
In particular Swift had felt let down by stalwarts of the sisterhood Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Who by mocking her when hosting the Golden Globes earlier this year, were carving themselves out a special place in Hell. The Hell area for women who don't help women. Which I suspect is massive and many of us are guilty of chipping away at. If you missed it you can watch the joke/throwaway line here.
Yeah it's a cheap shot. It's embarrassing for Swift. But it's not devastating and when Poehler was asked about it she replied: “Aw, I feel bad if she was upset, I am a feminist, and she is a young and talented girl. That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff.” Fey was a mildly more antsy: “It was just a joke, and I think it was actually a very benign joke.” Compared to the James Cameron torture joke the Swift reference reads like a glowing review.
The Hell area for women who don't help women. Which I suspect is massive and many of us are guilty of chipping away at.
It would seem however that the audiobook version I have of Bossypants is heavily abridged. Due to my proximity to the UK I have never seen an entire episode of Saturday Night Live, certainly none of the episodes when Fey was a writer on it. So I missed the little golden nuggets of Fey quotes Sarah Woolley recently brought to my (and everyone-it wasn't like a personal note so much as a Huffpost article) attention, such as this one on women Academy Award winners and subsequent straying husbands: “It's not an Oscar problem, it's a lady problem. The problem is there are girls like Bombshell McGee out there. For every Sandra Bullock there's a woman who got a tattoo on her forehead because she ran out of room on her labia. For every Elin Nordegren there's a Hooters waitress who spells Jamee with two Es and a star. You could be the woman who cures cancer and you would still be up against some skank, rocking giant veiny fake boobs where the nipples point in different directions like an old Buick. Seth, the world has always been full of whores.”
So what do I do? Fey's still a personal hero but she's also human...do I accept the flaws and think how rubbish it is that Fey and Poehler et al have to watch their language and jokes even more than their male colleagues or hope she continues to learn and expand on her feminism – you know, until she's more like me. I think the best thing to hope for is that Fey and Poehler give other women young and old courage to step into the comedy world – whether in stand up, improv or writing and use their own talent and choices to steer clear of slut-shaming, picking on the vulnerable and do what they want with their own damn boobs. Be it show them, sing about them or conceal them. Whatever's funniest to them.
Or maybe I'll just lick my decoupaged light switch.