When you see a post on Reddit entitled, "Girls Are Assholes," there are expectations, nay, concerns you might naturally have about what you will encounter: infantile sexism, reductive stereotypes, anti-feminist click-bait all seem legitimate possibilities.
Another possibility, not necessarily to the exclusion of any of the above, is that you might also find something extremely funny. Judging by the reactions to Yael Zinkow and Hunter Wolk's new YouTube series, we're all about to have a lot of arguments.
Girls Are Assholes: At Lunch
The majority of Reddit and YouTube commenters thus far seem to come up overwhelmingly in the funny column. But both Jezebel and Handbag found it neither funny nor relatable. And comedian and writer Gaby Dunn didn't mince words:
I hate that Girls Are Assholes YouTube series and I hate that a woman makes it and I hate that women act in it and I hate it.
— Gaby Dunn (@gabydunn) November 19, 2013
We asked series co-creator Zinkow about the choice to use such a potentially polarizing name. "We're really just trying to be playful," she explained. "It is, after all, a comedy. People don't often use the word 'asshole' to describe girls; it's usually a term reserved for men. So we hoped the phrasing would convey the humor and the lightness of tone we're going for - and maybe even level the playing field a bit! After all, why should anything be reserved for men?"
She went on to say, "In the end the title is really just a catchy misdirect. We don't think all girls are assholes. We don't think most girls are assholes. We think that anybody can be an asshole, and the specific ways that girls can sometimes act like assholes are often very funny."
Girls Are Assholes: At A Bar
Zinkow also hopes the series can play a larger role in how women are seen as comedic voices.
"The truth is that comedy about guys behaving badly is rampant and nobody gets offended or thinks to say, 'Hey, not all guys are like that!' because we're operating under the subconscious assumption that the people with creative agency are men."
To that end, "Girls Are Assholes" is perhaps just another example in a new wave of viral videos that sees women reclaiming the right to satirize their own stereotypes. Sarah Silverman's latest video for JASH takes on "diva behavior," and in the process uses the "c" word around 30 times. "SRSLY: The Show" by Alexandra Fiber and Danielle Gibson took off two years ago with their viral hit "Shopgirl", and comedian Ashley Barnhill just released a twisted take on daily affirmations called #blessed.
Comparisons can no doubt be drawn between Zinkow and Wolk's work and the wildly popular twitter account-turned-video-series "Shit Girls Say," but it's worth noting that the latter was written by men and starred a man (dressed as a woman).
But with "Girls Are Assholes" the creative voice is just as much the source of the subject matter as the "girls" in question. According to Zinkow, "GAA is hopefully something people can understand is a series initially conceived of from a woman's perspective in order to poke a little fun at myself and my peers."
What do you think? Answer our poll below and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.
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