Laughing Matters: Tina Fey, “Bitches Get Stuff Done”

Sometimes comedy illuminates hard truths with a pointed urgency that other means can’t quite achieve. Sometimes comedy is just funny. This series of posts is mostly about the former instances, but the latter is valuable, too.

Tina Fey doesn’t especially care for the segment she co-wrote and delivered which is alternately called “Bitch is the New Black.” As recounted in her book Bossypants, it was a piece that came together at the last minute, intended to be a consideration of the greater scrutiny and ready dismissal, driven by gender, that Hilary Clinton faced during her 2008 run for the presidency. I think the thesis is plenty clear, though Fey believed that it came across as more of a unequivocal endorsement of Clinton’s candidacy, something which strayed from the unaffiliated mockery that was supposed to be a hallmark of Saturday Night Live‘s “Weekend Update.” Anyway, I love it. To me, it’s one of many pitch perfect realizations of Fey’s take-no-guff feminist comedy, sparkling with a reclamation of the laziest misogynistic language, turning a caustic word into a firm statement of pride. Of course, it’s all the better that Amy Poehler is right by her side, cosigning every word.

 

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Laughing Matters” tag.

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