Comedian Lynn Bixenspan Talks To Us About The Collision Of Feminism & Comedy


For those of you who have been following our blog and reading our content for a while, it will be no surprise to you that two of our favorite things are feminism and comedy. And if those two things are combined, then you have us hook, line and sinker.

We here at GTHQ love discovering funny women who are continuing to prove critics wrong with their success, and hilarious jokes. While the internet can be a major cesspool of hate and vitriol at times, it is also a great place to find your next obsession, which we have in NYC-based comedian Lynn Bixenspan.

If you have a twitter account, do yourselves a favor and follow @LynnBixenspan already! She has the type of one-liners that were pretty much made for 140 characters, and we are big fans. Not only has she been featured in some major online media publications, but she is also a feminist.

Since feminism is still such a polarizing topic for some, we figured we could corner Lynn and ask her why using comedy is a great vehicle to talk about feminism, how she became one, and why people should stop being so damn grossed out about periods!

Lynn is also the co-host of a regular show called ‘Relationshit’ alongside fellow comedian Morgan Pielle. The two perform standup based on relationship stories (friends, family, co-workers etc) that have been submitted to them by other people. It is described as a storytelling/therapy show. As if she couldn’t be more awesome, check out what Lynn had to say in answer to our questions about feminism and comedy:



First of all, tell us how you discovered feminism and why you are one?

My first awareness of feminism was as a teenager, when I started listening to musicians like Hole and Babes in Toyland. and more explicitly political grrrl bands like Bikini Kill. I read articles about what it was like for them to be female musicians (and constantly referred to as “female musicians”) and what they encountered. It was really inspiring.

I am a feminist because equal rights are cool and we’re not there yet.

How did you get into comedy?

Many moons ago, when I was still living at home on Long Island, I randomly read an article about Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and improv in the newspaper. I was miserably depressed and thought “other people will voluntarily make up funny things with me? on a stage? cool!” and started taking improv classes there. I did improv, musical improv, and sketch before taking a break. I came back a few years ago inspired by ridiculous things in my life to do more personal and solo work. I took a storytelling class with Kevin Allison from The State, did a one-person show about my life (but, like, not a gross one), and started doing stand-up.

I was actually not a huge comedy fangirl growing up, but I loved writing and being onstage. I grew up reading my parents’ old National Lampoon books and having my dad recap SNL for me the next day when I was too young to stay up for it. Basically, like everything else in life, I can blame my parents?


We’ve seen an awesome feminist evolution of comedy over the past few years which has basically put critics of female comedians in their place. How does this make you feel?

This is so optimistic! I would love it if this were true. The quality of female comedians’ work has always been good enough that this should be the case. And we are getting more and more recognition, and that’s super-great!

But, I think that a lot of the people who are still saying stupid things about women not being (as) funny are not necessarily going to change their minds. Even if a woman makes them laugh, they’ll choose to view it as the exception. You just can’t focus on those people. You’ll reach the people who get and appreciate you. And I think that inherent unrealized sexism is a bigger issue in comedy than any kind of outright misogyny: men who just book other men without thinking about it, etc.

In music women have traditionally had their bodies and sexuality controlled, but now artists like Miley Cyrus and Beyonce are taking back both. In comedy women have traditionally been made fun of because of their vaginas, having periods and their appearance, but now we see female comedians reclaiming this. How do you think this speaks to the younger generation about female empowerment?

It’s interesting because the stereotype of a bad female comedian seems to be “my period! my vagina!” But you know, words aren’t jokes in and of themselves, and a bad male comic could also be summed up with something like “my balls! my dick!” I resisted talking about stereotypical feminine things at first because of that, but lately my attitude is, there are really no hack topics, just bad writing and good writing. So, being open in a smart way about topics that other women can relate to is great. And hopefully young women see it and feel more OK being open about basic bodily functions and don’t feel weird and gross about them!


What would you say is the essence of good comedy?

I want to say something lofty about truth, and that’s real, but also, I think farts and the word “flongle” are really funny. So, I’ll settle on “things that are funny without being mean.”

Where does feminism fit in in the new age of comedy?

At the tippy-top of bestness.

You have been called one of the “funniest feminists to watch on twitter” by The Frisky and Huffington Post. So when are you getting your own damn show already!??

Ha! If you mean TV show, please email, write letters to and tweet this at all relevant development executives at the networks. I mean, uh, “THE PATRIARCHY IS KEEPING ME DOWN!”


But seriously, if you had your own show, what would it be called, what would it be about, and who would co-star alongside you?

A show in which I’ve succeeded in uploading/digitizing my brain and then by accident a bunch of versions of me are out there. A sci-fi-esque show with elements of comedy, like Orphan Black. And Joss Whedon produces. Name…maybe The Singularity? That Darn Brain? Only people I’ve met online are allowed to costar.

..Or, you know. A show about a wacky single gal in the big city!

While there are definitely more opportunities for female comedians to put their content out into the world, it is still very competitive. What advice would you give to up-and-comers in terms of getting noticed?

When you feel jealous or inadequate watching someone else’s greatness, try to let it inspire you instead. “Be yourself” is pretty much the most cliche thing to say, but…be the most honest version of yourself that’s funny and feels right. That’s when people will respond to you the most.


In your opinion, who are some other awesome feminist comedians we need to know about?

Oh dang, so many! This might sound like a cop-out, but Katrin Higher’s list on The Frisky that you mentioned has so many fantastic ones that it beats me calling out a few.

If a woman tells you they aren’t a feminist, how do you react?

This has never happened, interestingly! But I think a lot of women who say this don’t understand what feminism means. If a woman actually understood and told me she didn’t believe in equal rights, I would probably just feel sorry for her.

Where can we see more of your work?

If you’re in NYC, you can see my storytelling and live on-stage therapy-with-real-therapists show Relationshit monthly. Details are, follow me on Twitter at, and watch some performance videos on

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