Hey, Women: Stop Hating Tina Fey

Remember, she's a comedian—not a professional feminist

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 14, 2010 12:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – As the laws of gravity have taught us, the Tina Fey backlash was inevitable—Rebecca Traister actually expected it when the comedian started “appearing on every magazine cover shy of Horse & Hound”—and it’s now, quite suddenly, here in full force. But her pack of haters isn't composed of cynics: It's made of women. Feminists are angry, particularly in light of her recent “Brownie Husband” sketch on SNL, that Fey isn’t a good enough feminist icon…but they’re forgetting that she never purported to be anything of the sort.

“Tina Fey is a professional comedian. She is not a professional feminist,” Traister writes for Salon, and “Fey has already said of herself most of the things that her feminist detractors are now saying about her. She's not pretending to be anybody's ideal, least of all her own.” This backlash means it’s time to rethink feminist comedy, because if women truly want an even playing field, “we can't lay the blame for the often ruthless nature of equal-opportunity mockery at the feet of a woman who never promised to do anything but entertain us.”

Tina Fey arrives during the 82nd Academy Awards Sunday, March 7, 2010, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.
Tina Fey arrives during the 82nd Academy Awards Sunday, March 7, 2010, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Tina Fey arrives during the 82nd Academy Awards Sunday,  March 7, 2010, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.
Tina Fey arrives during the 82nd Academy Awards Sunday, March 7, 2010, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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Some feminists were not fans of this recent Tina Fey SNL skit.   (hulu.com)

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This is the hard part about bringing funny to feminism. Where do we draw our lines?
- Rebecca Traister

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