Can you be a feminist and funny?

Sanjida Tanny
Published : 19:20, Feb 11, 2019 | Updated : 18:13, Feb 14, 2019

Sanjida TannyMy editor has been quite upset about how I disappeared---- after all, if Carrie Bradshaw disappears, who is going to brag and sustain the talks about us ladies and our love for shoes, handbags, being independent, and pissing some more people off?
Ok, that’s just me trying to show a sense of humour that is almost dead; please pretend to laugh even if you DO not like it. I am really working on it, just need a bit of the pump from my fella ladies to guide me on how to be funny and yet, relevant. And why the sudden humorous style? I will come to it, allow me some time.
Firstly, apologies for actually disappearing- I really hope I was missed. In my defense, I had been going through a mix of everything. Suicidal thoughts, travelling for work, realizing how abnormal it is to be treated as differently as are, even sometimes, so especially, in this part of the world. In the end, it all came down to one learning, my need to keep acquiring new skills and paying my own bills (which others clearly don’t pay) hence, diverting my attention to upgrading myself as a person, as a professional instead of being bothered about how others perceive me as.
Now, about being funny. Firstly, I would like to believe that I do own some characteristics of making people laugh. Could be satirical, but I do, maybe? Regardless of this being about me, I would want to establish a fact that women can be funny and THAT IS ABSOLUTELY FINE!
I will give a personal example here; I have a 15-year-old sister, she is the kind who is naturally loud, and usually loves to be the reason for people to laugh. As the older sister, I quite appreciate and love to observe her (not to mention, when young, I was known to be more of what she is today). However, dwelling in the surrounding where we do, she is often asked to lower her pitch and to stop making fun of herself. Please note, she is not considered to be funny but is rather considered to be making a joke of herself for being able to make people smile. As a 15-year old, I recall listening to similar comments that broke my confidence in being vocal and accepting a quality I had. However, growing up, I observe how women, in general, are expected to have any other quality, but a sense of humour.
As they say, old habits die hard, I tell you, innate individual personalities die harder. The storyteller and the feminist in me has a new year’s resolution which is to still keep writing the relevant experiences and stories she always intended to but in a different tone. It is believed that any information given in the form of humour or wit is easily grasped, and that is exactly the medium that I would try to achieve in every piece I write from now on. That’s what my new year resolution (for my write-ups) is going to be (hopeful to continue this). Being more humorous, being funny but relevant. Eliminating the belief that being a woman (read feminist) and being funny has no connection, rather it is nothing to be embarrassed about. Inspired by her youngest sister, this is what a feminist’s new topic will be about. Actually, a new style.
Worry not my ladies; I will still continue to write about the serious issues which we want people to be educated about. I just really want the approach to be different, to be a challenge. In fact, to be as challenging as it is to be born with the very XX Chromosomes in our society.
Meanwhile, I want to leave a message to my little sister and all the girls out there who are told being funny are not lady-like.
Nobody gets to tell you not to laugh. Nobody gets to dictate your sense of humour. Nobody gets to be a regulator on how you should act like a “lady”. Nobody defines how to be a lady because darlings, ladies are not created by people, nor defined by the society’s parameters. They make their own identity.
Sanjida Tanny is the founder of Contentier (more known as The Raconteuse/Storyteller) and a passionate art curator.

***The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions and views of Bangla Tribune.