Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Louie and Me

Technically, he's Louis C.K., but Louis doesn't rhyme with 'me' and his sitcom is called Louie, so never mind. I'll call him Louie. I think that's how the cool people pronounce - and spell - his name, anyway.

I have to confess I am yet to see Louie, but my kids have seen it and assure me it is fantastic, that the guy is a comic genius and an all-round fabulous person. And these are clearly sentiments shared by many people around the world.

And I agree -- to a degree. Comedian/Masturbator is funny, especially as 'masturbator' is not even a word, at least according to my spellchecker. It should be. Next to it you could write: Louis (or Louie) C.K.

But last night, Moose and I tuned in to watch Louie's 2015 stand-up that has just come on Netflix and I have to say, it wasn't altogether fabulous and funny.

Warning: Feminist analysis incoming...

But first, give the comedian/masturbator his due. His joke about how, being middle-aged, he now makes the sound when he pees that he used to make when he was climaxing, and visa versa, told with a convincing and entertaining demonstration, had us both in fits of laughter, though perhaps particularly Moose, who can identify. He does the same.

His joke about not caring how unfit he gets just so long as when he dies people still ask what he died of and don't just take it for granted that he died because he was overweight and unfit, was similarly very funny.

The best humour, no doubt, is when we make fun of ourselves and our 'kind', as these jokes do so well.

But... and it's a big but, his extended skit, with detailed and drawn-out demonstration, on how to make a 'girl rat' come by lying her on her back, tickling, blowing, licking his finger, spitting, etc, with the obvious point of mocking the female orgasm, was not so funny. If he'd made fun of how he failed to make a girl rat come, now that could have been funny. But he chose instead to make fun of the very idea of female orgasm.

Really? Does the clitoris have to be such a joke to men still? Couldn't some of them, those as smart as Louie with a platform to move us beyond clitoris humour and hate, give women a break and recognise that some things done to women by men, not least the amputation of the clitoris performed on millions of young African girls, is the extension of this kind of male mockery that reflects the general distaste of female sexuality by so many men who clearly don't want to have to think about giving women pleasure; and some, who don't want women to have pleasure?

I'd like to think they could.

No need for the whole hyena
But perhaps not Louie. Because in this same show he went on to pronounce sexism and racism 'fundamentally different.' Racism is bad, no argument, we must do better, he says. But 'sexism', that's just women and men giving each other a hard time, as it has ever been and always will be.

Hopefully he eventually figures out how wrong he is. He has two daughters, after all.

To help, I recommend he studies hyenas, the species with the proportionally largest clitoris of all the mammals and the species that is the most successful of all the species in the jungle. Amongst hyenas, males pleasure females, lower females pleasure higher females, but females never pleasure males and males never pleasure males. Males don't get any pleasuring at all, in short, apart from sex itself. I'm not sure about rats.

I don't think we need to go the whole hyena and flip the gendered hierarchy in terms of human sexual pleasuring that far the other way. But I would like Louie, and all the other men who doubt the importance of the clitoris to know, and to think hard about, the fact that there is a reason female humans have a clitoris, for their own sake, as much as for ours. Because those men who figure out what that reason is, will be, ultimately, the most successful men in the jungle. Masturbation is all very well.


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