Fuck yooooooou, Christopher Hitchens.
Quote from his mind-boggling meditation in Vanity Fair on why women aren’t funny:
Be your gender what it may, you will certainly have heard the following from a female friend who is enumerating the charms of a new (male) squeeze: “He’s really quite cute, and he’s kind to my friends, and he knows all kinds of stuff, and he’s so funny … ” (If you yourself are a guy, and you know the man in question, you will often have said to yourself, “Funny? He wouldn’t know a joke if it came served on a bed of lettuce with sauce béarnaise.“) However, there is something that you absolutely never hear from a male friend who is hymning his latest (female) love interest: “She’s a real honey, has a life of her own … [interlude for attributes that are none of your business] … and, man, does she ever make ’em laugh.”
Quote from Al’s blog, May 29, 2006 (emphasis mine):
I’m going to be honest… I have high hopes. The girl is different than ones I’ve known before. Smart, funny, pretty. Smart is a big deal.
For my money, that last line there explains the “women aren’t funny” stereotype a hell of a lot better than Hitchens’s unbelievable bullshit about babymaking and joke-cracking being somehow antithetical. Funny takes brains–even poop jokes, done right, take brains. The kind of people who think women are congenitally unfunny also tend to be the kind who think (secretly or not) that women are congenitally unsmart. One could write a (humorless! feminist!) dissertation on the nuances of both stereotypes, but I’m pretty sure that’s it in a nutshell.