Feminism and Laughter, Inseparable Allies
One of the benefits of well-done comedy is the ability to lay bare uncomfortable realities, truths that are difficult to process and make them digestible with laughter
Since the beginnings of Greek comedy, politicians and public figures have always been portrayed in humor as a disguised and safe strategy to tell the truth.
With the evolution of the genre — between literature, film, and music — the phenomenon of the humorist, or stand up comedian, has gone from simple everyday observations (Jerry Seinfeld) to bitter and pointed political and religious criticism (George Carlin), to historical vindication (John Leguizamo).
However, with the arrival of the 2000s, another phenomenon began to emerge: feminism with humor, especially in Latin America, where comedians such as Natalia Valdebenito (Chile), Malena Pichot (Argentina), and Sofia Niño de Rivera (Mexico) put the reality of being a woman in a radically different prism.
With the Netflix phenomenon and the opening of new spaces for live comedy, a growing number of women have decided to break the silence and make the public realize, between guffaws, the reality of gender violence, the rifts between men and women, and make clear the time for change is now.
However, in countries like the United States, comedy is still a white, male-dominated industry, where the gender, colorism, and race debate remain thorny issues.
That's why the work of comedians and producers like Samantha Varela is more urgent than ever. As a receptacle of the Hispanic reality in the country, Varela addresses issues such as race, color, feminism, and “fatphobia” and has also dedicated her work to create a community around humor.
In her conversation with AL DÍA, which you can read here, Varela talks about her experience and the work that remains to be done.