03 June 2011

Best street find to date.

I can only take credit for snatching this up insofar as I had the forward thinking to be dating the awesomest boy in Brooklyn, who brought it home for me. (He also writes this awesome webcomic, which you will pretty much have to read all of, promise.)

This book is a gold mine of 70s feminist humor--pieces by Anne Meara, Florence King, Gilda Radner, Fran Lebowitz, and the proverbial many more. There's a Brenda Starr parody by Dale Messick herself. There are pitch-perfect parodies of women's magazines from True Confessions to Ms. Great convention-flipping bits like "Who Was That Gentleman I Saw You With?" and "The Myth of the Male Orgasm." And pages and pages of comics, even. Tying it all together is the editors' (Deanne Stillman and Anne Beatts, the latter of whom was the first female editor of National Lampoon and worked on Saturday Night Live during its first and best years) amazing introduction, speaking to the somehow still-extant stereotype that women aren't funny. I could quote the whole, thing, really, but I'll just give you this:
Titters is a book of humor by women, all kinds of women, and that means most of the subjects it deals with are things women in general find interesting. As a result, the book might be slightly overburdened with jokes involving the word "cuticle." There are no jokes in Titters about the following: jock straps, beer, trains, mothers-in-law, dumb blondes, cars, boxing, the Navy, chemistry, physics, stamp catalogues, spelunking, pud-pulling, or poker.
Why not? Because those subjects concern men, and, as such, have received their fair share of chuckles elsewhere. Sure, we could have chosen to parody Field & Stream and John Updike instead of the Tampax instructions and Lillian Hellman--and maybe we will, someday.
If you aren't lucky enough to have a gentleman friend spy this book on the street, there are used copies online for pretty cheap. Really, though, some influential female comedian needs to lobby to bring it back into print. Does anyone know Tina Fey?


  1. Hey, this sounds great. When I heard about the concept, I was afraid it might be a woman-mocking book (in the vein of "ha ha, bless their hearts, they try, but..."). But for it to be edited by women, contain Lillian Hellman jokes, and no "pud-pulling"? Completely awesome. I must see if I can find a copy.

    It's a little depressing that stereotypes that were around 30+ years ago are still with us. Only this past week, the latest "romance readers are idiots" media kerfuffle swept the Interwebs. What's the problem with romance? As far as I can tell, it's because (mainly) for women and by women. Not to jank your post; I just thought it was a creepers parallel. As far as I'm concerned, stuff written by women and intended for women is more likely to be something I care about and like. /screed

  2. Ugh, yeah, I heard about that. Romance equals porn? Really? Dumb dumb dumbity dumb.


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