Do Men Really Like Funny Women? Discuss

Oh, sure.  Men always say they like women with a sense of humor.  In fact, they often rank it right up there with a knockout figure and ravenous sex drive.  But sometimes, I have my doubts.

I say this because of my experience after my husband got a really small laptop computer five years ago.  It had a tiny split keyboard and minuscule screen.  You’ve probably never seen one like it, since it cost a billion dollars and was pretty much useless.  Every time one of his friends would come over, my husband would have to display the laptop and rave about how tiny it was and had they ever seen anything like it that was quite that small?  He usually neglected to mention how much he’d come to dislike it and couldn’t have typed an illiterate ransom note on it.  Finally, he just left it in its tiny case, stopped talking about it, and got a more accessible laptop (thank God for government grants is all I have to say).

“I’d never seen anything like it,” I once told a mixed group of people at the office where I used to work.  “Have you ever heard a man brag about how ‘mine is smaller than yours’?”

Later, one of the man I worked with approached me.  “I can’t believe you said that,” he announced, visibly aghast.  Looking at his face, I could clearly read the message of sympathy for my husband: God!  What that poor man must have to live with!

Oh!  A sensitive topic!  I love it when I innocently identify a sensitive topic — especially when it’s with somebody who likes to razz me upon occasion.  I took to noticing what else this guy — let’s call him “Michael” — found patently offensive.

One day, during an office baby shower, I casually mentioned that during the 1960s, some women — in a desire for a more primitive birth experience — had gathered around after a baby was born to dine on the placenta.  I mean, it was just an observation.  I’d never eaten a placenta myself, nor did I have any particular desire to.

“Michael,” though, looked paralyzed with horror.  The word “placenta” had greatly upset him.  He looked green, he looked nauseated, he looked awful.  Pay dirt!

As the weeks passed, I challenged myself to use the word “placenta” around “Michael” whenever possible.  You’d be surprised how often placentas can come up in a work environment if you’re motivated enough.  Say, when you’re sitting around a lunch table and someone brandishes a piece of octopus.

“What does this taste like?” he asks.

Oh, just like, well, placenta.

Again and again, that same look of horror and disgust was my only reward.  I don’t ask for much.

Placenta, placenta, placenta!

I have a sense of humor.  I live to amuse myself.  But does anybody love me for it?  Sometimes, I’m not so sure.

(Copyright 2009 by Ruth Pennebaker)

17 comments… add one
  • I was looking at “The 25 Funniest Women Actors” on the Entertainment Weekly website.  The first comment left in the comments section after the article was from a man who simply said “Women aren’t funny.”  I didn’t post, but I thought to myself, “Proof once again that men have no sense of humor.”

  • You’re horrible!  But since I’m exactly the same, this post thoroughly cracked me up!  Hey, we’ve got to have our fun where we find it! 

    Sometimes when I think of something funny that I know might shock or freak someone out, I’ll pause a moment and ask myself, “Do you really want to say that?”  Unfortunately, I almost always answer, “Hell, yes!”  I just can’t resist.  So, rest assured, you’re not alone!

  • Ruth,

    Your posts often amuse me (as I hope I have sometimes made clear).  This one made me laugh out loud several times. I think that was a first, even for your posts. 

    My favourite joke  was the inverted commas around Michael.  Nice touch.

    Funny is quite the sexiest thing there is and I expect your husband will hang on to you. 

    To answer your question, yeah, most men worth wanting want funny women.  I’m holding out for one of those.

    I have never dined on placenta either.  But I am quite fond of octopus.  Octopus, octopus, octopus!  Do you know anyone sensitive about having an extra foot or six?


  • ruthpennebaker Link

    Hmmm.  No men have commented so far.  Coincidence?

  • Steve Link

    Hilarious.  You indeed have wicked streak I can and do admire.  And, as you know, two of my primary goals in life are to (a) amuse myself and (b) make others uncomfortable.

    The fact that “Michael” was likely the only male at an office baby shower adds a certain additional amusement.  Having, on occasion, been the only male at such an estrogen-laden event, I can smile at the thought of the additional awkwardness your commentary caused, no matter how comfortable he was at the event up to that point.

    And, although I’ve previously described myself as an omnivore, I’m no longer sure of that status.

  • Craig Link

    I have it on good authority your sense of humor stunted your husband’s growth

  • Where would life be without people with a wonderful sense of humour…..


  • (a different) Michael Link

    I have always loved you for many things – certainly including your sense of humor – the quickest wit around.

  • I adore you for your sense of humor. You are about the funniest woman I read. And I love to read.

  • Marie Claire recently did an article on funny women, and it does seem like they’ve had to work harder to get where they are. I think this guy just doesn’t have a sense of humor, though.

  • Oh men HATE hearing about penis size. It’s probably the most sensitive topic around for them. They like women who joke about their own butt size instead.

  • Winston Link

    Ruth, you empower me with your knowledge!


    And all this time I thought placenta was Spanish for playhouse.  I never dreamed it was a side-dish.

  • Baker Kawesa Link

    Women are not funny!

  • ruthpennebaker Link

    Thanks for solving that dilemma, Baker.

  • Barry Tomlinson Link

    I hate generalizations. As if men are so insecure, with such insatiable egos, that we only like people laughing at OUR jokes, not making them.

    Sarah Millican isn’t the best looking woman physically, but I find her attractive SPECIFICALLY because she’s funny.

  • Ras Trent Link

    People who say they are funny are quite often not. Like this lady.

  • I rarely comment, however after reading through a few of the remarks on this page Do Men Really Like Funny Women?
    Discuss | The Fabulous Geezersisters’ Weblog. I do have 2 questions for you
    if it’s okay. Is it simply me or do a few of these responses look like they are coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I’d like to follow you.
    Could you post a list of all of your social networking pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

Leave a Comment